vaccination info for the travelling cat

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After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination.

When to vaccinate

Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the recommendation on the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet. This can be done any time after it has been implanted with a microchip. Before vaccinating your pet, make sure your vet reads its microchip number and enters it on your pet’s vaccination record.

If your pet has been vaccinated against rabies before it was identified by a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again. This is to make sure that your pet is correctly identified when it is vaccinated.

An approved inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine must be used. The vaccine must be approved in the country of use.

Further vaccination info for the travelling cat

21 day wait

From 1 January 2012, there is a wait of 21 days from the date of the first rabies vaccination before a pet can enter or re-enter the UK if you are travelling from an EU or a listed non-EU country. If the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet requires more than one vaccination to complete the primary course of vaccinations, the 21 day wait applies from the date of the final vaccination of that course. It is important to note that the day of vaccination counts as day 0 not day 1. Ask your vet for advice.

A 21 day waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date.

For pets entering the UK from unlisted countries, different rules apply. After your pet has been vaccinated, it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has worked and then serve out a 3 month waiting period.

Booster vaccinations

After your pet has been vaccinated, it will need regular booster vaccinations. These must be kept up to date and be given by the “Valid until” date in the relevant section of the EU pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate.

Booster vaccinations are valid for entry to the UK and other EU countries from the date given provided they are given on time (according to the instructions in the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet where the previous vaccination was given).

If the revaccination date is missed your animal will not meet the conditions of the scheme and will have to be vaccinated again and have to wait 21 days before it can move under the scheme.

Vaccination record

When your pet is vaccinated, make sure that your vet has recorded the following details on its vaccination record and passport or third country official veterinary certificate:

  • date of birth and age
  • microchip number, date of insertion and location of the microchip on the animal
  • date of vaccination
  • vaccine product name
  • batch number
  • date its booster vaccination is due (calculated by reference to the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet)










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About the Author


Anita Kelsey graduated from Middlesex University with a first class Honours degree (work based) in Feline Behaviour and Psychology. She runs a vet referral cat behaviour consultancy in Notting hill, London. Anita also trained in cat grooming at master level and is known for her valuable work with extremely aggressive cats. She is a regular contributor to Your Cat magazine, Cats Protection magazine and The Canine and Feline Behaviour Association of which she is a fully member. Anita is fully recognised, by pet insurance companies and veterinary practices, as an accredited qualified cat behaviour practitioner. Home visit consultations are offered in London and anywhere else in the UK.