Bringing Cats To Canada

Bringing Cats to Canada

Are you allowed to bring a cat to Canada? Are you allowed to bring a kitten to Canada?

Yes, you can. If you are travelling with your pet or if you are shipping it you will need to make sure that you have the right paperwork. Canada has very specific import rules when it comes to animals and pets.

Getting Your New Pet to Canada Via Air

If you are looking for a new kitten or cat and having a hard time finding one in Canada importing a cat may be the option.

Shipping cats by air is actually not that uncommon.  In today’s modern world there are a lot more options available to people who need this service.  The process of shipping cats by air is safer and easier than most people think.

Yes, you can ship your cat by air.  Whether you are travelling with your pet or shipping a cat to new home airlines have made it increasingly easy to ship pets by air. Each airline has a different set of rules when it comes to shipping the cat.  There are also professional companies that can help you with the shipping arrangements.  If you are crossing international borders you will need to make sure that all of your customs paperwork is prepared.

Quick Over View of the Basic Steps

The more time you have to plan and get everything in place the better off you will be.  It’s not a difficult process but good planning will help.

  • Medical.  You will need to research the import rules for the country you live in.  This will likely include vaccinations, rabies and potentially a vet check.
  • Shipping Airline.  You will need to check with the airline that you are travelling with or, that you are shipping with.  Each airline has its own guidelines and policies when it comes to cat transport in the air.
  • Professional Pet Relocation.  There are a number of companies that can help you transport your cat.
  • Should I sedate my Cat?
  • Choosing a travel cat carrier for your cat

All animals, upon landing in any country/region, may be inspected by government veterinary officials. Please note that veterinary inspection fees may be charged. Local veterinary health certificates obtained from animal clinics are not sufficient to clear government veterinary inspections. To obtain these additional documents, such as government-approved health certificates, please contact the consulate or embassy of the country/region to which you are travelling.

If You are Shipping Your Cat in Canada

Westjet

Air Canada

Each Airline is a little different, but generally the same. Air Canada will allow 2-4 pets on each flight inside the cabin. So if you are thinking of taking your pet on your flight you should book early and let them know you are bringing a pet. Once the maximum number of pets are on board that’s it. When you book tell them the dimensions of your pet’s travel carrier, the weight and the breed information. You will also want to give yourself extra time at the airport and make sure to check in early.

If your pet will be inside the cabin on a Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft, the pet carrier cannot exceed 8.25″ x 15″ x 17″ (21cm x 38cm x 43 cm). Carriers with soft sides are recommended, and they need to be well-ventilated. Your pet cannot exit the carrier during the flight, it needs to be comfortable inside the carrier.

  1. Pets in the Cabin
    • Air Canada and Jazz flights allow small cats and dogs inside the cabin. The weight of the pet and the carrier must be under 22 pounds or 10 kgs. That is why it is a good idea to get a soft-sided carrier, they weigh less. It is important to remember that your pet counts as one carry-on and must go under the seat. so make sure to plan accordingly.
  2. Pets in Checked Baggage
    • Air Canada allows cats and dogs over 12 weeks old to travel in the hold on some flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada Express, Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian or Exploits Valley Air. Pets travelling in the hold should not exceed 100 lbs (45 kg). Each passenger is permitted to travel with up to 2 pets, charged separately. If you’re planning on bringing Fido and a friend, they must be used to cohabitation and weigh less than 31 lbs (14 kg) combined. Pet fees for 1-way travel within Canada range between $105-120.75; and 1-way international flights range between $270-318.60. When temperatures in the hold are too low, Air Canada may refuse animals to travel in the hold.
    • Dogs and cats that are over 12 weeks old are allowed to travel in the hold on some flights. These pets cannot exceed 100 pounds or 45 kgs, and you are allowed to have 2 pets per traveller in the hold. Each pet will cost you a fee.
  3. Pets in Cargo
    • If you need to send your pet somewhere alone, or they do not meet the size restrictions for travelling in the hold, you can email Air Canada Cargo at cargo.customerrelations@aircanada.ca to arrange safe transport of your pet as cargo. For pets travelling in the hold, carriers must not exceed 115″ (292 cm). They must be hard-sided, leak-proof, and big enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Carrier Guidelines

For pets traveling in the cabin on Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft, the pet carrier cannot exceed 8.25″ x 15″ x 17″ (21cm x 38cm x 43 cm). In their cabins equipped with lie-flat beds, only small or miniature dogs and cats are allowed. Soft-sided carriers are recommended, and they must not exceed the dimensions of 11″ x 8″ x 16″ (28 cm x 21 cm x 41 cm). They must be soft-sided, leak-proof, and well ventilated. During the flight, your pet must remain inside the carrier and be able to turn around and lie down comfortably within it. For pets traveling in the hold, carriers must not exceed 115″ (292 cm). They must be hard-sided, leak-proof, and big enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Ok, so either you are moving or you are purchasing a cat and need to transport that cat by air.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Cat by Plane?

Air Canada – On domestic flights, pet fees for 1-way travel range between $50-59. On international flights, pet fees for 1-way travel range between $100-118.

How do you Ship a Cat by Air?

YOUR ANIMALS WERE MEANT TO FLY!

AC Animals is Air Canada Cargo’s designated shipping solution for live animals. We understand that while air travel can be stressful to passengers, it can be extremely difficult for animals. That’s why your animal’s safety and comfort are our top priorities.

With specially-trained staff to care for the animals, designated holding facilities (at select stations) and dedicated transport vehicles, we help to make your animal’s journey a little easier.

The AC Animals Solution

The AC Animals solution offers the following benefits for you and your animal:

  • Priority1 service
  • Specially-trained staff to care for your pet or animals
  • Designated holding facilities at select stations for your animal’s comfort
  • Dedicated transport vehicles for safety and comfort
  • Designated agents for bookings and questions about live shipments
  • Bonded kennel facility in Toronto for comfort stops when in transit
  • Easy new pricing for the transport of dogs and cats within Canada and between Canada and the US.
  • Veterinary consultant services

Can you ship a Cat in the Mail?

Which Airlines Ship Cats as Cargo?

What are the requirements for travelling to Canada with your pet cat?

Are you moving to Canada? Or maybe you have purchased a cat and need to ship it.  Or you are just wanting to travel and need to enter Canada.

Yes, you can bring your cat to Canada.  Depending on the country of origin there are different regulations.  There are no quarantine requirements in Canada.    Cats under the age of three months are exempt from these regulations. 

Can I Bring My Cat to Canada?

Domestic Cats, like Ragdolls, are amazing pets and do not need to be quarantined,  nor do they require an import permit.  Canada also does not have a waiting period between the vaccination for rabies and the import date.  It is a must however to have a rabies certificate from a vet when entering Canada.

Basic Overview of Pet regulations and requirements.

We start with a basic overview of the main things you need to know for your pet.  This will also act as a table of contents, so if you need to skip ahead you can.  This way you can get the information that you need.  Each of the parts in this post is discussed in greater depth below.

Of special note is that advanced notification of arrival is not required.  There is always a proper officer at the border.  Pet entry in Canada is a pretty simple process but you want to make sure that you have all of the documents you need.

  1.  Pet Microchip or tattoo.  Is getting a microchip an essential requirement? There is no requirement for a microchip or tattoo.
  2.  Vaccinations.  There are a number of countries that Canada considers rabies-free.  See the list here. If your Cat is from a country that is not on this list you will need to get your vaccinations done.
  3.  Rabies.  A titer test is not required for entry, but a health certificate may be required.
  4.  Cost.  Cats entering Canada will be inspected unless they are coming from the USA.  This inspection is 30$ for the first animal and  5$ for each additional animal.
  5.  Are you going to travel with your pet by air?
  6.  Travelling into Canada by car?
  7.  What are the requirements if I am just travelling through?

Introduction

In the past travelling with a pet, especially a cat was a much tougher deal.   I remember as a kid travelling with the dog was something that we did quite a bit but we never travelled with the cat.

More and more people are travelling with cats, in fact, more and more people are doing all kinds of things with their cats.  For example, take a look at this item for sale on Amazon.  Its a Cat carrier stroller.  And, it’s one of the most popular items.  If you want to check it out or get one click on the image.  Or click HERE

A couple of things have happened.  One of those things is that the internet has made getting a pet from an international breeder much more realistic.   The other big thing is that more people are travelling more often and desire to take their pets with them.

Importing a Cat into Canada

So you want to import a Cat to Canada?

Let’s look at the big things that are required.

Does entering Canada require a microchip?

Canada does not require a microchip for cats.  There is also no requirement for a tattoo.

Vaccination Requirments

Cats entering Canada that are over 3 months old will require a rabies certificate.   There is a list of countries that are exempt from this, you can find that list here.

The USA is not on that list, so if your cat is coming from the USA you will need a rabies certificate.

The following information is directly from the Canadian import Website.

rabies vaccination certificate

  • be written in English or French;
  • be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal (as in breed, colour, and weight);
  • state that the animal is vaccinated against rabies;
  • indicate the date of vaccination;
  • indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine; and
  • specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for one year from the date of vaccination).

The European Union pet passport is an acceptable alternative to the rabies vaccination certificate as long as all the required elements are included.

Veterinary Certificate for entering Canada

  • It can be written in English or French;
  • It must be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal (as in breed, colour, and weight);
  • state that the animal has been in the exporting country since birth or for at least six (6) months immediately preceding shipment to Canada; and
  • be accompanied by documentation from a competent government authority, stating that rabies has not occurred in the country of origin for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the animal’s shipment to Canada.

A competent government authority refers to a veterinary agency or other government agency that manages a country’s animal health and welfare situation, as well as handles the responsibility of veterinary certification for the purposes of international trade. The document can be either:

  • a letter issued on the competent government authority’s letterhead, which must be dated, stamped and signed by an official of the competent government authority in the country of origin; or
  • a letter by the licensed veterinarian who issued the certificate, which must be endorsed by the competent government authority. 

If your cat is not certified you will be required to get the tests done at your own expense and provide documentation to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency within a specified timeline.

Is there a cost for entering Canada with a pet?

The Canadian Border Services Agency will inspect your cat when it arrives at the border.  This inspection is to ensure that your animal appears healthy and matches your vaccination and vet certificates.

In certain cases (especially from countries other than the USA) will incur a 30$ fee for this inspection.  If you have multiple cats, each additional cat is 5$ on top of that.

If your pet does not pass the visual inspection an additional inspection by a vet is required.  It will be at your own expense.

Entering by Air?

If you are entering Canada by Air there are a number of things that you need to consider ON TOP of the things listed in this article and on the Government of Canada Inspection website.

The primary thing that you need to check is the regulations and policies with the airline that you are travelling on.  You can check out our other article called shipping cats by air, that goes into this in more detail.

You can also check the companion pet carrier guidelines.

Travelling by Car?

Most of the information contained in this article will cover what you need if you are travelling by car through one of the border crossings in Canada.  You can also read about medicine to calm cats for travelling. 

One of the things that you will need to consider is pet food.  Depending on how long your trip is you may carry cat food in the car with you.

Travellers entering from the USA may bring into Canada a personal import of pet food (limit of 20 kg) if the import meets all of the following requirements:

  • The pet food or product must be of United States origin and be commercially packaged.
  • The pet food or product must be in the possession of the traveller at the time of entry from the U.S.
  • The animal that will eat the imported product must accompany the traveller at the time of entry.
  • The imported product is fed only to the animal that accompanied the traveller into Canada.

What if I am just entering or going through?

Yes.  However, all of these requirements are exactly the same regardless of the purpose of the cat crossing the border.  Even if your cat is “Canadian” and returning home, the regulations still apply.

The recommendations given on myragdollcats.com reflect the current regulations.  I update it as much as possible.  Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense.  You may also be forced to return your pet to the country of origin or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.

Ragdoll Breeders in Canada

You’re here reading this because you want to import a cat or a kitten, but we also want to make you aware of Ragdoll cat breeders in Canada just in case you haven’t yet heard of some of these.