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Domestic Health Certificates


Our veterinarians are fully accredited with the USDA to issue formal certifications that your friend is healthy enough to travel safely and has had the appropriate immunizations.

Cat on street in front of cars
Cat on street in front of cars

Overview

You may require a federally-approved health certificate to travel with your cat domestically by airplane, ship, or even car. Our veterinarians are federally-accredited to issue these certificates so they may accompany you on your travels.

Why does my cat need a certificate to travel?

Health certificates are federally-approved documents that certify your companion is healthy to travel, does not bear diseases potentially communicable to other pets or humans, and has had the appropriate immunizations so that she won’t pose a health risk to others. Feline health requirements may differ from state to state and even individual airlines may have their own companion animal travel requirements. Check with both your airline (or ship) and your destination state to see if either requires this documentation.

When should I start the process?

Because animal health requirements vary widely among destination states and transportation agencies, we encourage you to contact our practice as soon as you know your travel dates. Generally, but not always, certificates are issues within 30 days of travel and require that a cat is at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before traveling.

How do I obtain a domestic health certificate?

First, check with your travel agency and destination state(s) to see if a health certificate is required. In order to receive a health certificate, your cat must have a passing health examination and up to date vaccinations (especially rabies). Many states require freedom from parasites such as heartworm disease, or proof of preventative medications. Our certified veterinarians will work with you to satisfy the requirements for individual states and airlines; we suggest that you check the current travel needs at the USDA website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/interstate-pet-travel