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I’m an American in Germany, and now I have to move back to America in about 9 days. My most important thing that I want to ensure I can move back safely is my cat.

According to the CDC cats require no vaccinations or health certificates. However my flight FrankFurt - San Francisco is operated by United Airlines, which in their website seem to unfairly group the requirements for dogs and cats in one single category. And therefore United Airlines says I require a rabies vaccine which was given at least 30 days prior to me arrival to the US.

It’s impossible for me to satisfy this requirement, given the timing.

How likely am I to encounter problems? Do you have any suggestions getting around this?

My plan is to have with me a health certificate from a licensed German veterinarian and also have with me my cat’s previous vaccine certificate, that said a booster had to be given in April (but I didn’t do this on time).

Thank you!

Update:

I contacted United about it and they said it’s okay and they added to my documentation that my cat doesn’t have an updated vaccine and I will show that CDC doesn’t require one, which should be okay because they just follow CDC guidelines. IDK whether or not this was a mistake on my part for speaking too much.

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    did you already contact United Airlines ASAP?
    – user253751
    Jul 18, 2022 at 12:18
  • @user253751 Yes. They said it’s okay and they added to my documentation that my cat doesn’t have an updated vaccine and I will show that CDC doesn’t require one. IDK whether or not this was a mistake on my part for speaking too much.
    – DLV
    Jul 18, 2022 at 12:25
  • It is the airline (and some states) that requires the vaccination, as on your CDC link: "some airlines or states may require them". It's not a matter of whether the US requires them - it is the airline's policy. Jul 18, 2022 at 13:03
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    @WeatherVane I think this can easily be misread. I called United Airlines and they said it’s okay if you inform them you are following CDC guidelines. I think the discussion is still open as to whether or not the lady I spoke with was right or not.
    – DLV
    Jul 18, 2022 at 14:03
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    @DLV, please can you post what you wrote in your (last) update as an answer. We are a question and answers site and that is the way it works.
    – Willeke
    Jul 18, 2022 at 16:35

1 Answer 1

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I (original poster) contacted United about it and they said it’s okay and they added to my documentation that my cat doesn’t have an updated vaccine and that I will show that CDC doesn’t require one, which should be okay because United follows CDC guidelines.

Let’s hope that’s the end of the story. If someone thinks of something else, I’d love to hear about it.

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