Taking a cat to another country via airplane

Daughter is moving to a different country. Since there’s a big ocean between here and there, she’ll be flying. She has a cat that she really, really, really, really wants to bring along.

Some facts might be helpful:
She’s moving to Finland.
She plans to live there for about 2 years.
She will most likely fly out of MSP or DFW…which means a layover somewhere in Europe. It’s been my experience that you go through that country’s customs just to leave again in a few hours.
→ Upon further review…chances are good that she’ll fly out of ORD since they have direct flights to HEL.
→ Upon further review²…JFK is also an option.

What can you tell me about traveling internationally with a cat?

I can’t tell you much, beyond being sure to check the restrictions on cats entering the country to live there. There are countries with quarantine requirements for some pets.

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Looks like flights from ORD are non-stop. That will be helpful.

You raised a cat lady?

Well, there’s only one cat…for now.

How old is the cat? Is it an indoor or outdoor cat?

Close to 3yo. Indoor cat.

Doesn’t seem worth the hassle if the move is temporary… I had a friend move a dog with him from the US to the UK and I think it cost close to 10K for everything involved in the move that did not involve the third country customs. A cat will obviously be much cheaper, but still plan on it costing a few thousand each way.

Maybe cats are a lot cheaper if you can carry them on board, his dog was too big for that.

You aren’t coming from an EU country so

:duh: you asked about Finland. Netherlands rules wouldn’t apply.

Finland Pet Passport - Current Dog and Cat Import Requirements for Transport has some info. I don’t know how one determines if the microchip is ISO 11784/11785 compliant. Also, I don’t quite understand the words they use in the vaccine section.


Link for Finland

Looks pretty similar. In particular, need microchip, rabies, pet passport.

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That’s helpful, thanks. It’s more official than the link I just posted.

Would it be worth it if I added another “really”?

(fwiw, the cat is small enough to fit in a backpack.)

I brought Goobs into the US but I drove her across. They should have asked me for proof of her rabies vaccine, but they didn’t… which saved me a big hassle because she was medically exempt from getting the vaccine.

Can you explain? I can imagine medical situations in which Canada might not require a Canadian cat to be vaccinated, but that those conditions would not necessarily permit such cat to enter the US unvaccinated.

She was on immunosuppressive medications so the vet advised no vaccine.