Pet Transport Rules for the United States

Dear Pet Relocation,
What is the process to relocate our cat with us from South Africa to Houston, TX, and is there a quarantine period for cats? What are all the requirements and risk factors? Is it very traumatic for the animal?

We are unsure what type of accommodation we are relocating to as of yet but want to figure out the pet travel details.

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your question! Pet travel to the United States is fortunately not as complicated as shipping pets to many other countries. There is no quarantine for pets entering Texas or any other lower US state (Hawaii does have its own regulations).
You will need to follow a few rules, however; please review the pet import requirements for the United States for an idea of what to expect. Primarily, you'll need an international health certificate issued within 10 days of departure stating that Minks is healthy and fit to fly (the airline usually wants to have this information).
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cats do not technically need to have an up-to-date rabies vaccine to travel but we do recommend this -- same goes for a microchip.
As for your other questions, most people find that their pets do not suffer traumatic effects after a move. When the right choices are made the process is very safe; we recommend looking over these frequently asked questions as well as these cat crate-training tips as you get started. The more comfortable Minks can feel in her crate, the less stressed out she will be on travel day.
To further illustrate the previous point, please take a look at these pet travel stories submitted by our recent clients as well as these tips for how to minimize the risks of a pet move. As you'll hopefully see, preparing your cat, choosing a pet friendly airline and doing your best to remain calm yourself will all help make the transition a smooth one.
Please contact us if you think you'd like some assistance with your move, and good luck with everything!
Pet Travel Question Details:
Name: Sarah
Estimated Move Date: September 2015
Reason: Work
From: Johannesburg, South Africa
To: Houston, Texas, US
Pet: Tabby Cat (Minks, female), 6 years old, approximately 5kg


PetRelocation Team





United States, South Africa
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