When you hear the affectionate meows of your cat or see her graceful silhouette scampering swiftly around as you return home after a hard day’s work, you are probably overwhelmed by a warm reassuring feeling of coziness and comfort. The playful attitude of your feline friend is a clear sign that everything is fine and you have every reason to feel safe and relaxed. This is so because cats are strongly attached not only to their caring owners but also to the familiar surroundings associated with security and good life.
However, if something disturbs the set daily routine and the habitual behavioral patterns your cat is used to, your sensitive pet will become anxious, fearful and upset. This oversensitivity may result in severe health problems, so you need to pay special attention to your cat’s needs and emotions in every situation that involves radical changes and great upheaval in your lifestyle. Moving house is one of the most stressful instances that necessitate taking your pets out of their comfort zone and throwing them in strange new surroundings. When moving cats to a new home, you must be very careful in order to ensure their well-being and peace of mind. So, how to make moving easier for cats should be among your primary concerns when organizing and preparing your relocation.
How to prepare your cat for moving
When moving house with cats you need to make sure that your animal friend stays calm and healthy throughout the entire moving process. While preparing your move, you are advised to take a couple of essential steps in order to guarantee the emotional and physical well-being of your cat:
Be considerate and keep your cat’s daily routine unchanged
You should not only keep your furry friend’s regular schedule for sleep and food undisturbed, but also find enough time for playing with and talking to your cat. This will give your sensitive pet some reassurance and confidence despite the inevitable pre-move chaos in your home.
Take your cat to the vet
It is very important to visit your vet before the relocation takes place for a number of reasons:
- The medical check will show if your dear pet is in good health so that the trip to your new home poses no considerable risks. If some problems are detected, you will have enough time to treat them accordingly and secure the physical well-being of your cat;
- You will be able to have your cat vaccinated according to your new state’s requirements and to retrieve any medical records and documents that may be necessary;
- Your vet will give you useful tips on how to reduce the stress for your cat in this transitional period and will prescribe an appropriate anti-anxiety medication if necessary. Besides, you may ask for recommendations for a good veterinarian in your future area.
Provide an appropriate moving container
You will need a specialized pet container to take your cat to your new home. The pet transportation carrier should be spacious enough to allow your cat to sit or stand comfortably, as well as to turn around freely in it. Besides, it should be secure enough to guarantee the safety of your pet during the transportation and to prevent any attempts of panic escape. You may put your cat’s favorite blanket or another appropriate layer on the bottom of the carrier to add some comfort. It is a good idea to leave your pet’s favorite toy inside too, just remove any food or water containers from the carrier as they may pose additional risks.
Allow your cat to get familiar with the container before the actual relocation trip – let it play or sleep inside it. In the event of a local move, you are even recommended to take your cat to your future home several times before the actual relocation.
How to move cross country with cats
Keep your cat away from the stress and chaos on Moving day – arrange a friend to take care of your animal companion or designate a safe room for your curious pet (out of the way of movers carrying heavy items around). Leave the pet carrier inside the room so that your cat can hide from all the hassle. Remember that your pet should be the last one to leave your old home.
If you are going to transport your cat in your own car (which is highly advisable), secure the carrier to the backseat with a belt, make sure nothing can fall over it and keep it away from direct sunlight. If you are moving long distance, make frequent stops to give your animal friend food and water but don’t let the agitated cat out of the carrier to prevent attempts for escape. If you need to spend the night at a hotel or motel, plan ahead and reserve pet-friendly accommodations. Never make the rookie mistake of leaving your dear pet in the vehicle but take your cat in the room with you (still inside the carrier).
To move your cat on the plane with you, you will need a health certificate for air travel and a suitable shipping container. Label the carrier appropriately and remove any potential hazards. Provide food and water to your pet about 4 hours before the flight and be sure to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before take-off. Be very gentle to your cat after landing, as the animal will be scared and upset by the unusual journey.
Another beneficial option when moving house with cats is to entrust your animal friend to a professional pet transportation company. Your pet will be taken good care of and will certainly reach the final destination safe and sound. Leave the specialized movers clear handling instructions and your phone number in case of emergency.
How to help your cat adjust after the move
The period after moving into your new home will certainly be rather confusing and disorientating for your cat. So, despite the large number of post-relocation tasks that need your immediate attention, you should dedicate a lot of time and loving care to your stressed pet.
Take your cat to a specifically designated room immediately after arrival, provide water and quality food, and bring some items from the old surroundings (toys, scratching posts, etc.) in order to enhance your pet’s feeling of security. Leave the traveling container in the room too. Give your feline friend enough time for acclimatization and introduce the new world one step at a time. Keep your cat indoors for the first few weeks until the animal gets enough confidence and regains its usual cheer.
Before letting your cat outdoors, provide adequate identification in the form of a permanent microchip or a suitable collar with your mobile phone number. It may contribute greatly to your happy reunion in case the moving stress becomes too much for your pet and the cat tries to return to your previous home or just escapes and gets lost.
Watch your animal friend closely and if you notice any signs of cat depression after moving, visit the vet and try to devote more time and attention to your pet.
How do cats react to moving depends on your attitude and behavior throughout the moving process. Do your best to expose your furry friend to as little stress as possible and show your unconditional love to help your cat regain the reassuring feeling of security and special connection with you.