Flea Prevention During Pet Travel

Hi PetRelocation,

Our cat has fleas and we cannot get rid of the them even though we've tried everything. We are moving in August or September from Italy to the United States and he will be flying into SFO.

Will the airline deny our cat due to his fleas if he still has them when we travel, or will SFO hold him with his fleas? He will be flying back as cargo through a pet shipper.




Hi Allison,

Thank you for your question! The United States pet import rules are relatively straightforward -- essentially you need to have a vet health certificate stating your cat is healthy and fit to fly.

Flea prevention is not specifically addressed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so we'd suggest reaching out to someone at that office directly if you are worried about what to expect. Regardless of what you find out about how strict they are, however, it is definitely in your cat's best interest to be free of fleas during travel. If he has a serious problem your veterinarian will likely suggest a stronger treatment than what you've been using and/or or apply a topical or oral treatment during a vet visit soon before the move.

In short, please discuss this issue with your vet in order to decide what the best option may be. In addition to making sure your cat is crate trained and well hydrated, being free of fleas will also help him enjoy a comfortable journey to the United States.

If you think you'd like some assistance with your move, please contact us for a pet travel consultation. Either way, good luck with everything!


Pet Travel Question Details:

Name: Allison
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Domestic Cat
From: Italy
To: California, United States


PetRelocation Team





United States, Italy
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