Are you moving places with your cat?
If your answer is yes, you will love to find out how to move without distressing your feline companion.
Cats are very shy and secluded animals and do not particularly like change.
Once they find their comfort zone they tend to stick to that place forever.
So moving house with a cat needs a lot of preparation if you love and care for your pet.
The transition to the new place should be stress-free and comfortable for your feline companion.
There are some challenges in the process that can pose a huge problem like excessive meowing, crying or dirtying the house for example.
You may need to housebreak your cat all over again even though if it is a well-trained pet.
Also, cats are very territorial and once they establish theirs they do not want to create a new territory.
You should understand this nature of your cat and act accordingly.
There are a few basic aspects of moving house with a cat:
All these three aspects are very important while moving in with your cat.
The third aspect is the most important for your pet.
Preparing your cat for moving
- You will be carrying your cat in a carrier obviously and if it is the first time your cat is going to be in a carrier, allowing it some time to get used to it might help. Keep the door of the carrier open so that your cat can walk in and walk out when it wants. That way your cat will not feel insecure. Keep its bed and toys inside the carrier so that your pet reaches out to it and starts feeling familiar. Also, feed it inside the carrier so that it starts feeling comfortable and not claustrophobic. First, place the dish outside the carrier and gradually every day move it all the way back to the carrier. This is the best way to work with your cats’ psyche.
- The moving boxes usually arrive at the last minute just when you are about to move. However, the best thing to do is to bring down the boxes a couple of weeks in advance so that your cat is used to the presence of the boxes and is not taken by shock at the last minute of moving. If you feel your cat is nervous or restless while you are packing your house then keep it in a different room where it is quieter.
- Do not make any changes in your cats routine or bring in new habits. Try to keep it the same as far as possible. Stability is very important for your feline friend at this moment in time when you are moving. Meals should be given at the same time every day.
- If you still feel that your cat is restless and is nervous then take it to a vet and get a prescription of anti-anxiety medications or sleep medications for the time of moving.
The Moving Process
- When the movers come to pack, it is obviously going to be chaotic because they will keep dashing in and out of the door. At this time, your cat may just scoot out of the door in a panic. Moving house with a cat is not as easy as we think. To avoid such situations keep your cat shut in a quiet room of the house and keep the litter box, toys and food there. Also, place a sign on the door to keep it shut.
- The cat may be highly prone to stomach disorders during the moving process, so keep the meals light to avoid vomiting or severe stomach upset. Also, give it some soothing things to chew on while moving. The cat may be clawing constantly at the carrier door while in transit. However, make sure that you open the carrier’s door in a secure area so that even if it dashes out, it cannot get far away from you.
- Keep a first aid kit and extra water with you and also some tape for emergency repairs of the carrier. Also, make sure that the cat is well hydrated throughout the transit and do not avoid it in any way.
The Settling Process
- A new house is always chaotic with wired pulled out and several things lying around. These things may not be safe for your pet and treat your pet like a baby. So it is utmost important to cat-proof the house before you actually move in. Do not get the cat out of the carrier unless you make sure that all the loose ends of the string are tied. First of all, make sure that all the windows are closed. Also, the house should be rodent- and pest-free and there should be no harmful houseplants for your pet.
- Take the cat carrier to a room that is safe and secure and then releases your cat from the carrier. It is normal for the cat to scoot out immediately and then explore its surroundings first. They will completely ignore your existence. Another thing you can do is to keep some treats here and there hidden in the room so that the cat familiarizes itself. As your pet is familiarising itself, you can alternatively set up its food, water and litter box in the room. Put familiar things in the room so that your pet does not feel out of place.
- For the first days as you are settling down in your new house, keep your activities low-key like watching television or simply unpacking. Do not have house parties as it is too early for your feline friend to adjust. Also, spend some quality time with your cat by playing with it or fussing with it. Give your pet some attention so that it feels secure and loved even in a new environment.
- Once you have totally unpacked and settled in, it is now time to familiarize your cat to the rest of the house. Introduce the entry and exit points in the last. Because your cat might still be in the escape mode. Let it gradually settle in as well and start feeling comfortable. After that, it can start exploring the outdoors and also find its way back home. Whenever your cat steps outdoor, follow its movement closely and also ensure that it stays out of trouble.
- Keep a second litter box which can be moved around the house just in case. Keep the permanent one in its place and do not remove it or displace it. For the first few weeks, familiarity is very important for your pet. It may take as much as one month long for your pet to get acclimatized to the new environment.
- Last of all, always be vigilant be about your cat’s health. If you notice any sign of sicknesses like nausea, vomiting, excessive sleepiness, or inactivity, then immediately take it to the vet. Also, if it is not eating well it could be an early sign of sickness.
Moving house with a cat can be an easy process if you are well prepared using the above steps.
You just need to put in a little bit of effort in advance and the rest will fall into place very easily.
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