Dealing with relocation: How to move with cats
Moving is always stressful, but making sure your pets are comfortable and safe during your move can be a challenge all its own. Some dogs may know how to roll with the punches, but most cats are hesitant to embrace change. Even though your kitty may not love the thought of a move, there are several ways you can make the transition as easy as possible.
Gradually introduce your cat to the idea of moving.
Leave your cat’s carrier out with the door open and put inviting toys, bedding, and treats inside to pique their interest. You can also start feeding your cat in the carrier; if Fluffy doesn’t go for this at first, start by putting their bowl outside the door and gradually inch it to the back of the carrier over a few days. If you can, bring out moving boxes a few weeks before the move so your cat can get used to seeing them in the house. If you think your cat might hide in the boxes, it’s okay to confine them for their own safety.
Keep routines the same.
Moving tends to throw daily schedules upside down, but keep your pet’s routine as similar to normal as possible. Stick with feeding schedules, and make time for play and affection. Even a few minutes every day can make your pet feel safe, loved and calm.
Consider a little chill pill.
If your cat tends to be excessively nervous or stressed out, talk to your pet clinic or animal hospital about some anti-anxiety medication. If you want to visit us at LazyPaw Animal Hospital, getting a refill is extra simple with our competitively priced, quick-order online pet pharmacy. We can even mail your prescriptions straight to your door to help you save time, plus delivery is free on all orders over $50.
Manage your move in day.
Moving day can be extremely chaotic and confusing for animals. Keep your cat in a bathroom with water, food, a bed, and their litter box to protect them from being underfoot or dashing out the front door. Put a sign on the door so movers know not to let the cat out. It’s also best to feed your feline a modest breakfast to reduce their chances of getting sick on the road. Always, always, always make sure your pet is wearing a visible ID tag and collar with current information. You should have them microchipped before the move, which is a simple, quick process we handle for a nominal fee at LazyPaw Animal Hospital.
On the road again…
While en route, even if you’re not driving, don’t give in to mews and let kitty out of the carrier. They are safest in their crate. Plus, in crates they can’t leap into the driver’s lap, distract the driver or risk escape from the car if the door or window opens. Try playing soothing music if your feline is fussy and reassure them with a calming voice instead of holding them. For more tips on traveling with your cat, check out these helpful suggestions from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
Hello kitty! Introduce Fluffy to your new home.
Find the quietest room in your new home, close the door, and set up your cat’s supplies there. Put some treats around the room, then open their carrier and let them explore. Keep your cat housed in this room for a few days to let them adjust to the new place and learn the litter box location. Spend quality time with your cat in the room just watching television, reading, or playing. When the rest of the home is unpacked, slowly give your cat access to other rooms. Gradually transfer their litter box and food to its permanent spot as kitty gets more comfortable.
Moving can be stressful, but taking these steps will help your kitty feel settled. In no time at all, they’ll be making themselves at home!