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Does a Cat Need a Rabies Vaccine to Travel Overseas?

Cat getting a rabies vaccine

“Does my cat need a rabies vaccine before going to Europe? I’ll be traveling overseas with my cat later this year.  Will he need special vaccines? And how can I find out what’s needed?” asks Tim J., from Illinois. We asked Sue Smith from PetTravel.com:

“Nearly all countries worldwide will require that both dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before entering the country, so you’ll need to plan several weeks in advance to ensure that you cat’s rabies vaccine records will be accepted when you arrive at your destination. Many rabies-free countries such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and even Hawaii will require an additional step – a rabies titer test. The titer test will measure the level of antibodies in your cat’s blood to be sure that their rabies vaccination was effective and they are protected against this disease.

In addition to a rabies vaccine for your cat at least thirty days prior to traveling internationally, you will need to find out the official rabies classification of the country you’re leaving from (in your case, the United States) according to the country you’re traveling to. The classifications are determined by the World Health Organization (WHO), which determines whether a country is rabies-free, rabies controlled of high risk.  While most European countries use these as standard, just as many places have their own requirements and classifications.  In addition to the rabies vaccine, you may discover that there are other feline vaccines required, such as calicivirus, feline distemper or rhinotracheitis. Your veterinarian should be able to help you with all the vaccines that might be needed.”

The Pet Travel website has an excellent guide to these requirements on their Pet Passport & Quarantine page. You can also find additional information about traveling with your pets on The Contemporary Pet’s Pet Travel page.






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