Have you ever wondered why there are so many articles about moving that talk about easing the process? Experts say it’s because we’re inherently territorial creatures. We like familiarity and routine, and any change to that can create uncertainty and stress.
And it’s not just people who aren’t big fans of change.
Our furry friends are not immune to the stresses of moving. If you have cats, you’ll want to know how to make the transition as smooth as possible to avoid house soiling, escape attempts, aggression and so on.
Here we have five tips to make moving with cats a lot easier on you and on them.
1. Preparation is Key
In a previous post, we talked about how you should start sorting through your things early on as part of your moving checklist. While you’re sorting and packing the things you’ll keep in boxes, put them in a place where your cat can frequently see them. This will help your cat get used to their presence.
Another thing you need to prepare is your feline friend’s carrier. He must get used to it before the big move. What you can do is leave it sitting open and of course, make sure there’s a comfy bed inside.
Leave cat treats in the carrier and let your pet find these on his own. You can also start feeding him in the carrier. If he doesn’t want to enter the carrier, don’t worry.
You can take things slowly and place his dish next to the carrier’s opening. After a few days, place the dish inside the carrier (still right next to the opening). Then, after a week or two, gradually move his dish to the back so he’ll have to go all the way in to eat his meal.
2. Minimize Changes in His Routine
Moving with cats is a lot harder if you introduce new routines all at once. You need to keep to your cat’s daily schedule as much as possible. Don’t change his feeding and play times if you can help it.
Now, if you have a cat who’s very nervous or skittish, you can consult your vet about anti-anxiety meds. It’s possible your cat doesn’t really need meds, just behavior modification.
3. During the Move: Points to Remember
It’s going to be a busy day with movers going in and out of your apartment or house. To prevent your cat from dashing out the door, designate a room where you can close him in with food, water, bed, and a litter box. Put a sign on the door so the movers will know to keep it shut.
To prevent stomach upset along the way, don’t give your cat a huge breakfast. While in transit, don’t open your cat’s carrier just because you want to soothe him. Only do this when absolutely needed and make sure it’s in a secure area so your cat won’t try to dash out.
Another thing to bring with you is packing tape. This is in case the carrier breaks or needs repairs while you’re on the road.
4. Establish a Home Base Room for Your Cat
Now that you’re in your new home, you might think that the hard part of moving with cats is over. But you’re just halfway done.
You still have to cat-proof your new place and designate a home base room for your cat.
With cat-proofing, you’ll want to tuck away electrical cords and make sure all windows have secure screens. You also need to get rid of poisonous houseplants, as well as pest-control poison traps that may have been left by previous owners.
After doing this, take your cat to a room that’s relatively quiet. But don’t open his carrier just yet. Set up everything first – his food, water, litter box, and bed.
You’ll also want to place cat treats around the room. This will motivate your cat to explore his home base.
5. Get Your Cat Settled In
For the first several days, it’s best to keep your cat in his home base room. You don’t want him to get overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, and smells of your new home.
You’ll also want to re-introduce his previous routine. Again, this includes his feeding and play schedules. Make sure to spend lots of time with your cat in this room. If he’s reluctant to go exploring, you can offer treats and more playtime.
When you’ve unpacked everything, gradually allow your cat to explore the rest of the house. Do this one room at a time. If limiting his access to rooms isn’t possible, your next best option is to closely supervise him during his short trips.
Ideally, his home base room should be his permanent nook. But if you plan to move him to another area, you just need to follow the same steps we’ve outlined here.
It may take some time but it’s the best way to get your cat settled in your preferred location.
Moving with Cats: Are You Ready?
Moving is stressful. It disrupts routines. And the transition can be hard for both people and pets.
The good news is if you’re moving with cats, there are things you can do to ease the process. If you follow the five tips above, getting your cat settled in your new home will be a lot easier.
If you have other concerns or questions about moving, we suggest you check out our moving tips, as well as residential moving articles. We also offer other moving services including office moving, specialized packing, data and records file moving, to mention a few.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-640-4487 if you want to get a free estimate. Or you can leave your name, email, phone number here so we can talk about your move and your specific moving needs.