No Bengal Cats in Hawaii
Did you know that bengal cats are not allowed in Hawaii? Despite what the Hawaiian government website says, it is ALL bengal cats, not just non-domestic:
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.
I was shocked when the vet called to tell me that the cat, whom I had been working on getting to Hawaii to join his dad, was summarily rejected from Hawaiian soil based on his breed. Knowing the strict guidelines to get him to Hawaii with only a 5-day quarantine versus a 120-quarantine, I had read the website and the terms over 20 times to make sure all my i’s were dotted and my t’s crossed.
Why are they banned you ask? It’s actually a rather interesting tidbit of information, albeit frustrating considering my own personal experience in this process. All asian-breed cats are banned from Hawaii, and here is why. Hawaii uses water barriers to protect their endangered and protected species of animals. Asian breed cats are unafraid of water. So even the most devoted indoor cat runs the risk of escaping into paradise, and if they do escape, Hawaii’s precious protected animals are at risk of injury and death because these cats will just walk/swim/leap/pounce right through the water barrier to attack the delicious looking creature.
Oh, and do not think you can just call it a short-hair on it’s rabies test that is sent to Hawaii to begin the process. They do a thorough physical inspection as soon as the animal enters their quarantine facility, and if there is any indication of bengal or other asian breed, they are kicked out and sent back to their originating port.
So please do not trust the verbiage of the Hawaiian government’s website regarding animal importation. ALL bengals, non-domestic and domestic, are in fact banned from the island.
P.S., my particular story has a happy ending – this particular bengal has been embraced by a community of bengal owners and is on his way to finding a wonderful forever home.
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