The process for importing animals into Cayman is time consuming and advance planning should begin at least six months prior to shipment. All dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands must have an import permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA). Application forms are available from the DOA (Tel: (345) 947 3090, Fax: (345) 947 6501 or email, or in person at 181 Lottery Road, Lower Valley in Grand Cayman.
The Cayman Islands are rabies free and to prevent this deadly disease in Cayman, no exceptions will be made by the Government. All animals and paperwork will be inspected on arrival and an inability to meet all requirements can lead to the death, or immediate return to the country of origin for any improperly or illegally imported animals, all at the pet guardian’s expense. No pet detention or quarantine facilities are in the Cayman Islands. For animals being imported from countries that have rabies, there is at least a three month wait from when they are rabies titre tested (and gain a positive result) before they can travel. For countries that are rabies-free, the requirements are less restrictive.
There are required and sequenced steps that need to be taken to obtain an import permit:
- Having your pet fitted with a microchip and submitting a certificate showing the date of the implant
- Being current on rabies vaccinations
- Having a rabies titre (blood) test performed
- Having tick and tapeworm treatments performed
- Completing an application form
- Gaining an Official Veterinary Health Certificate
- Submitting payment of CI$50 (USD $61) to process your application
- Submitting a current photo of your pet.
If your pet was born or has resided in Cayman for six months or more, it may be eligible for a pet passport. A passport is a useful document to have if you and your pet travel to and from Cayman more than three times a year. For more information call the DOA directly on (345) 947 3090 or email.
Pets Entering from the UK or the US
UK residents must apply to DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) for the Official Health Certificate (application form) needed to take a pet out of the UK, a few weeks before you travel. DEFRA will send the form directly to your vet.
If you are in the US, blood samples for the titres is: The Rabies Laboratory, Kansas State University, 2005 Research Park Circle, Manhattan, KS 66502 Tel: (785) 532 4483. Visit the USDA web site for more information.
Pets Entering from Jamaica
There are a separate set of requirements for dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands from Jamaica. Dogs must have received a combination vaccine against Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus, Parvo virus and Leptospirosis, at a minimum of 12 weeks of age after the microchip was inserted. Cats must have received a combination vaccine against Feline Enteritis and Calici virus at a minimum of 12 weeks of age. Contact the DOA directly on (345) 947 3090 or email. Animals imported from Jamaica do not qualify to travel to other countries and back into the Cayman Islands.
All captive cage birds (e.g. parrots, budgerigars, lovebirds, finches and toucans) entering the Cayman Islands must be accompanied by an import permit issued by the DOA. Contact them directly by phone (345) 947 3090 or email for a list of the requirements.
Certain breeds of dogs or crosses of such breeds are prohibited from entering the Cayman Islands. Genetic material such as semen and embryos from these breeds are also prohibited. These breeds include, but are not necessarily limited to the following dogs and its breed types: Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino and any breed of dog or crossbreed of dog whose breeding lineage was for the primary purpose of dog fighting. Check out our banned breeds page for more information.
In accordance with the Animals Law (2013 Revision), no animal of any description may be directly imported into the Cayman Islands from any country in Asia, Africa or Central and South America. Other territories from which dogs and cats are prohibited are Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Some airlines do not allow your animals on-board and over the summer months many airlines will not take pets due to the high heat in the hold. You are required to take the most direct route possible and preferably on an evening flight.
Cayman Airways (Tel: (345) 949 2311) accepts domestic dogs, cats and household birds. The maximum weight allowed to travel is 99lbs (this is the total weight of the pet plus carrier). They charge US$100 each way to a US destination for a small pet travelling in the cabin and US$125 each way for a larger pet travelling in the cargo compartment.
British Airways has a special hold for pets and the cost varies depending on the size of the animal but is usually around CI$900 to fly a cat and CI$2,500 to fly a Labrador sized dog from the UK. Like many airlines, British Airways no longer takes pet bookings directly from the public and insist all bookings are made by specialist pet relocation agents.
On arrival in Cayman, you will need to go to the ‘Goods to Declare’ counter and hand over your paperwork for the animal. They will ask you to take the animal out of its carrier to inspect and check its microchip. All dogs staying in the Cayman Islands for longer than 30 days must be licensed with the DOA.
For more information and advice, please contact:
Director of Agriculture
Ph.: (345) 947-3090
Fax: (345) 947-6501
P. O. Box 459 #181 Lottery Rd
Bodden Town Grand Cayman, KY1-1106