Rabies Vaccines for Cat Travel to the United States

Hi PetRelocation,

Our domestic cat will be traveling in the plane cabin with us from Hawai'i to Phoenix, AZ. He is 12 years old and has always lived indoors in a rabies free country/zone. I do not want to vaccinate him at this age for rabies. Does he require a rabies vaccination to enter Arizona from Hawai'i?

This is a purebred Abyssinian who was born in England and moved to Hawai'i without ever being quarantined or required to be vaccinated for rabies. Will he be held at the airport when we arrives in Phoenix? What are the requirements for moving from a rabies free state to Arizona?




Hi Cynthia,

Great question, thanks for reaching out! The United States happens to be one of the easier countries to which you can bring a pet, and cats don't necessarily need to be vaccinated against rabies to travel.

Please read more about the United States cat import requirements via the Centers for Disease Control to find out more. Do note that you'll still need to follow the rules of the airline you're traveling with (they may request a vet health certificate stating your cat is healthy and fit to fly). 

Each state has its own rabies rules, so you can check with a vet as you settle in to your new home in Arizona to find out what may be required.

Hope this helps, Cynthia! If your cat isn't used to traveling in a crate, we'd suggest looking over these cat crate training tips. Finally, here are a few general pet travel tips that may help you prepare for your journey.

Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions, and good luck with your travels.


Pet Travel Question Details:

Name: Cynthia
Number of Pets: 1 (one)
Pet Type: Domestic Cat
Pet Breed: Abyssinian Cat
From: Ewa Beach, Hawai'i
To: Tucson, Arizona


PetRelocation Team





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