Moving Cats or Dogs to Hawaii Animal Quarantine

Real Estate Agent with East Oahu Realty RS-25848

Dogs and Cats in Hawaii - Quarantine Laws 

Your dog or cat will need to go through quarantine; if you plan ahead, you can minimize the time your pet needs to be quarantined, which also minimizes expenses.

Direct Release on Hawaiian Neighbor Islands: Pets may now qualify for direct release at Kona Airport (Big Island), Kahului Airport (Maui) and Lihue Airport (Kauai). See “Checklist for Requesting Direct Airport Release at Kona, Kahului and Lihue Airports.”
A Five-day-or-less quarantine went into effect on June 30, 2003. This quarantine program allows pets to be directly released at the airport if the pet owner follows strict procedures prior to the pet’s arrival in Hawaii. It takes at least four months to qualify an adult pet that has had at least one rabies vaccination. It takes at least 10 months to qualify a newborn puppy or kitten for this program.

E-mail us:
Animal Quarantine Station phone: (808) 483-7151

Hawaii is rabies-free. Hawaii’s quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats, regardless of age (puppies and kittens included) or purpose, must comply with Hawaii’s dog and cat import requirements.

Chapter 4-29 Hawaii Administrative Rules, governs the importation of dogs, cats and other carnivores into Hawaii. This law states that dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for 5-day–or-less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection. (See “Checklist For 5-Day-Or-Less Program” for details.)

Furthermore, the law requires dogs and cats not meeting all of the specific 5-Day-Or-Less program requirements to be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival In Hawaii. (See “Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Information Brochure” for details on 120-day quarantine.)

Prohibited Animals: The regulation of animal breeds and species that are permitted to enter Hawaii is under Plant Quarantine Branch jurisdiction and administrative rules. Non-domestic dogs and cats and hybrids such as wolf, wolf cross, Dingo, Bengal, Savannah, etc are prohibited under Plant Quarantine (PQ) law. Refer to Plant Quarantine’s animal guidelines for importation.

Puppies and Kittens: Due to the minimum amount of time needed to prepare a puppy or kitten to meet the requirements of the 5-Day-Or-Less program, a puppy or kitten will be about 10 months of age by the time the preparations are completed. Puppies and kittens not able to meet all of the requirements for the 5-Day-Or-Less program will be quarantined for 120 days.

Hawaiian Resident Pets: Owners wishing to leave Hawaii with their pets and return without extended quarantine must meet all requirements listed on the “Checklist Only For Resident Dogs And Cats Originating From Hawaii And Returning For The 5-Day-Or-Less Program.” The length of the waiting period after a successful rabies blood test is modified and must be completed before leaving Hawaii. See “Checklist Only For Resident Dogs And Cats Originating From Hawaii And Returning For The 5-Day-Or-Less Program” for details.

Re-Entry Fee Requirements: For pets re-entering Hawaii after completing a Hawaii rabies quarantine program, click here for requirements when a reduced “Re-entry” fee for Direct Airport Release or 5-Day Or-Less quarantine applies.

Call me or send an email if you have questions.

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Leslie Axelrod

Hello, Frank -


My husband and I are planning to move to Hawaii by the end of this year from Florida (preferably sooner).  I am terribly confused by the rabies vaccination requirements.  We have a puppy who is 4 months and has just had his first rabies shot.  Does this mean that we have to get him another rabies shot at least 120 days before we arrive?  I'm not sure if it is safe for a dog to get two rabies shots in one year. 

On another note, we will be looking for a rental in the Kailua area when we arrive.  And wonder if you would be able to help us with that.

Thank you for your assistance and we look forward to hearing from you.

Leslie and Larry Axelrod

May 28, 2010 09:28 AM #1
Carly Crabtree

We will be moving to Maui (Kihei) at the 1st of January 2012 or sooner.  We have 2- 4 yr old cats that have had their rabies shots.  Do they have to have another one? They are strictly indoor cats and are very well taken care of and healthy.  Thank you

Apr 22, 2011 04:13 PM #2
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