There you are: living in the US, cohabiting (is this a fucking word?) with a cat, and getting a job in Denmark. Despite what most of your family and friends tell you, you decide you are going to bring your furry friend to Denmark. You’re a planner, so you start figuring out the logistics of such a thing four months before you are supposed to leave the US. You call your current vet, the Copenhagen airport, the future vet you’ll be getting the necessary documentation from, and the USDA. You think you’ve got your shit together.
Well, you don’t.
You want to bring a cat to Denmark? Just follow these bajillion easy steps.
- Reconsider. Heavily.
- Come to the inevitable conclusion that you love your fluffy little asshole and decide you are going to do this damn thing despite the nay-sayers and your better judgement.
- There are only three airlines that allow for in cabin transport (you don’t think you can handle the thought of fluffy loosing his shit in the cargo hold) of animals into the EU. Delta, United, and Air Canada. None of these are cheap airlines, so gird your loins. If you chose to go with Air Canada (who has excellent customer service and decent in flight meals) it might be cheaper for you to buy a round trip ticket even if you are only travelling one way. Why, you might ask? I. Have. No. Fucking. Clue.
- After you purchase your tickets, call the airline to reserve a spot for your cat. This will be an extra USD100 on top of the outlandish prices you just paid for your tickets. The airline will check if the people around you have listed a cat allergy. If so, they will move your seat. They only allow transport of up to 2 animals per flight, so call as early as possible.
- Have a strong drink, cause shit is about to get worse.
- Now you and the fluff butt have reserved seats on a flight. Let’s talk veterinary requirements. You will have to ensure that your cat is microchipped (ISO standard 11784 or ISO standard 11785. If your pet was chipped before 2010, it is possible you will have to get this re-done). You will need paperwork from the company that implanted the microchip to provide proof of the date of implantation. This information is not given when the pet is scanned. For whatever fucking reason.
- You will have to provide the certificate of rabies vaccination for your cats current rabies vaccination. This vaccination must have occurred after the time of microchip implantation and before 21 days of your scheduled flight. Don’t fuck around with this time line. Let me be clear. You must have the actual CERTIFICATE OF RABIES VACCINATION. You will ALSO need your veterinary records because they will have to have the lot number off the box the specific vaccine was taken from. At this point, I think my cat has better documentation than I do.
- It is also strongly suggested that your cat have the Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccinations. If they do not (or they aren’t current) do not have them redone within 14 days of the flight.
- You will have to get a EU Health certificate (form Annex II) from your vet. This is a six page document which details that an actual certified vet has reviewed all of the aforementioned documentation and that it is correct and true to the best of his or her knowledge. These six pieces of paper (which your vet will print for you) will cost you ~ USD200. If you use a Banfield pet hospital (props!) and have a pet care plan (look at you and your preventative medicine tendencies…I am fucking proud of you!) it will only run you ~ USD120 (if you have a dog these requirements are different and will cost more).
- You have cried at home, in the vets office, and on your fiancé at this point. You have also discovered that you love Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka and soda water. You thought you were done. But you aren’t. Pull on your big girl panties and get ready to deal with this last fucking step.
- This health certificate must be endorsed by the fucking USDA. No, I am not kidding. In the state of Florida there are only two locations to have this done. Information on where the USDA centers are located in your state can be found on their super user friendly website (was that sarcastic…because it was supposed to be). You will have to bring the health certificate and all aforementioned documentation to the USDA center. You will pay an additional USD38 (for cats…more for dogs) and they will stamp those six sheets of paper with a very official looking raised seal of approval (note that if your animal is a service animal, this part of the process is actually free for you). You will play Pokemon Go in the lobby while you wait. You will also commiserate with the other animal lovers there who were silly enough to want to bring their pets with them on their journeys.
- You now have a USDA certified prime cat.
- All that is left for you to do is drug the furry butthead (I used prozac as prescribed by my vet…it was glorious) and lug him across a globe. Your animal and carrier must not weigh more than 25lbs, so you might have to put fluffy on a diet. The carrier must be airline approved, and fit under the seat in front of you. They will take you into a private room at security, have you remove your cat, and scan his carrier separately. Fluffy will not enjoy any of this process, but the drugs will help.
- Bring those little bottles of booze with you so you don’t have to pay USD13 for the whiskey ginger you so desperately need at this point.
- Carry every bit of paper work you have with you. You don’t want to be caught unaware when they ask for all of it at security and at customs.
You’ve done it. You brought your fucking cat to Denmark. I sincerely hope that you get an intense amount of enjoyment at hearing that meow and seeing his fluffy little ass every time you walk through the door of your new apartment (which was harder to find than it had to be…because you had to tell them you were bringing a fucking cat). I know I do.