Moving with a cat sounds like a nightmare, right? Wrong. Moving with a cat can be made easy. In fact, when you’re armed with the right tools and knowledge it can be something you look forward to doing time and time again. In this guide, we’ll share a few tips that may come in handy the next time you move with your kitty in tow.
Moving with a cat doesn’t have to be a stressful event. There are a few important things which you need to consider when moving with your cat. Plan ahead, keep everyone happy and well fed, and stay organized (yes, I am talking to you).
Moving with a cat is one of the most stressful experiences you can have as a pet owner. Here are some tips for making your move as easy and stress-free as possible:
-Be prepared to be patient. Cats are creatures of habit, and they don’t like change. Even if your cat has been living in your new apartment for months, he or she will probably act confused and uncomfortable when you start moving your furniture around. Be patient and try to keep things familiar for the first few days after moving in. This will help ease your cat into the transition more gently.
-Get used to carrying things around that smell like home before actually moving them into the new place. Cats are very sensitive to scents, so having familiar scents around while they’re still getting used to their new surroundings will help them adjust more quickly. You can try putting blankets or pillowcases from home in drawers or cupboards at first and then gradually introducing more items once they’ve gotten used to being in the room without them there yet.”
Moving with a cat can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some tips for keeping your cat safe and happy during the move:
- If you’re moving to another apartment or house, make sure to check if there’s a pet deposit fee. This is often required in apartment complexes and may not be something that is included in the overall cost of rent.
- Make sure you get all of your paperwork in order before moving day arrives. You’ll need proof of vaccinations, an updated rabies certificate, and records of when your cat was spayed or neutered (if they’ve been). The vet can help you with these things if necessary.
- If possible, hire a pet relocation service to assist with your move instead of doing everything yourself or hiring just one person—this will make it easier on everyone involved! If this isn’t an option for whatever reason, don’t worry—you can still do it yourself! Just make sure that your cat has plenty of time out at home before being moved into their new home so they can become accustomed to their surroundings first; also keep them indoors until they’re settled into their new place and comfortable enough with their surroundings
Tips For Moving With A Cat
Cats are not known for their affinity for change. Most cats are highly territorial creatures who prefer to spend their days in a familiar environment and are resistant to new routines. But unfortunately for our feline friends, occasionally we do have to move, and that means they have to move too.
Moving with a cat is all about minimizing stress where you can. How your cat reacts to the move has a lot to do with their individual temperament, but as their benevolent human, it’s your responsibility to mitigate the anxiety of the situation as much as possible. By putting in the time and effort to reduce your cat’s stress while moving, you can help ease the transition and lessen the likelihood of your feline companion developing fear- or anxiety-based behaviors in your new home.
Read through the tips below to learn how you can make moving with a cat less stressful for both your feline companion and yourself.
Before the move
Preparing your cat for a move starts long before the day the moving truck arrives. This is usually the easiest part of the process, as your cat is still in their normal environment and more curious than stressed about what is going on. It’s important to take these early steps to acclimate your kitty to the nuances of a move though, so that when moving day does arrive, they’re better prepared to handle it.
Get your cat comfortable in his carrier. Your cat is going to be spending a good amount of time in their carrier on the day of the move, so you’ll want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. You’ve probably already experienced how your cat reacts to the carrier from vet visits, so if you know that your furry one strongly dislikes it this is your chance to help ease that dislike – at least a little bit – before the big day.
Leave the carrier out, door open, in a room your cat frequents and give them a chance to explore it at their own pace. Put their favorite toy in there to encourage them to go inside, and start feeding treats around and inside the carrier. If your cat is very reluctant to go near the carrier, start feeding their regular meals beside it, and after a few days move the food dish inside the carrier so they have to step in it to eat. Move the dish further back every day. The more scared your cat is of the carrier, the earlier you’ll want to start this process. The goal is to have your cat comfortable going in and out of the carrier on their own, and associating it less with fear and more with good stuff like treats, toys, and meals.
Fun with moving boxes. Cats love cardboard boxes, which is actually a big plus for you when it comes time to start packing. Take a few boxes out early and let your cat explore at their leisure. If you notice that they’re skittish, grab a favorite toy and play with them in and around the boxes or hide some treats in them. Any stress around moving boxes is likely related to their unfamiliar smell, so if your cat is showing anxious behaviors, spritz some organic catnip spray on a box to make them more enticing (preferably one you don’t intend to use, since catnip spray may make your cat scratch or bite it), or use a spray like Feliway, which contains synthetic feline pheromones that can induce feelings of comfort.
Keep a routine. Just like with dogs, it’s important to maintain your cat’s routine during a move. That means meals, play time, and cuddles at the times they’re used to. Moves are stressful for cats because of the rapid change in both environment and routine, and while you can’t do much about the former, you can actively take steps to maintain the latter. You’ll want to be sure to maintain the routine throughout the move, including moving day.
Talk to your vet. Some cats are naturally more anxious than others. If your feline companion is prone to stress and anxiety, have a conversation with your vet prior to your move about ways you can help manage it. There are a range of cat-specific products designed to help ease these kinds of feelings, including anti-anxiety medications, supplements, prescription diets, and calming aids. In conjunction with the behavioral tips mentioned above, these can go a long way toward reducing the stress of moving and keeping your kitty more at ease.
During the move
Once moving day arrives, your main priority is going to be keeping your cat safe and secure. There are still things you can do to help with stress at this point, but you’ll also just have to accept that this day will probably be a bit anxiety-ridden for your feline companion. Fortunately, with some attention and kindness you can help make it at least a little bit easier on them.
Feed a small meal. Stress and anxiety can be felt throughout the body, and the stomach is no exception. Help reduce the chances of your cat experiencing stomach upset or vomiting by cutting down their meals a bit that day. This will also be helpful if your cat has a tendency to get car sick during travels.
Keep your cat contained. You’ll be opening and closing your front door a lot when it’s time to load the moving truck, and that last thing you want to risk is your cat bolting out. Be careful about keeping your cat contained at all times, especially if you’re using movers and there are unfamiliar people around. You don’t have to put your cat in their carrier before it’s necessary, but you do have to keep them in one secure spot.
Before you start loading the truck, empty out one room completely – it can be just a bathroom – and put your cat in there with some food, water, and toys, as well as their bed and litter box. If friends or movers are coming to help you with the move, make sure to put a sign on the door noting that the cat is inside and the door needs to stay closed. While your cat might not love being shut in, you’ll at least have peace of mind knowing that they’re safe, and they’ll have the comfort of their familiar belongings and smells.
Carrier time. Load your cat into their carrier right before you’re ready to hit the road. While in transit, resist the urge to let them out, even if they’re clearly not happy in there. Stay as calm as possible, since animals are pros at picking up on our body language – the more at ease you are, the more at ease your cat should be. Only open the carrier to let your cat out when you are at your new home and in a room with a closed door. Then repeat what you did at your old place, keeping your cat secure in the room until all boxes are inside and the front door is firmly shut. Make sure to put their same familiar things in the new room (a small bit of food, water, toys, bed, and litter box), so that they have comforting scents around them. Scatter some treats around the room to encourage them to explore while they’re in there.
After the move
The worst is over! Now your objective is just to help your cat ease into the new home as seamlessly as possible.
Follow your cat’s lead. The more stressed your cat is, the more gradual you’ll want to be about introducing them to their new space. It may be too much for a stressed cat to have free reign of the house right away, particularly since they’ll need to learn a new litter box spot in an unfamiliar environment. Choose a sort of home-base for your cat in the beginning, and keep their things, litter box included, in there. Spend a good amount of time in the room as well, interacting with your cat and doing other normal activities. As your cat eases in, curiosity should replace fear and they’ll be ready to expand their explorations.
Deep clean. This is especially important if there were other animals living in the home before you moved in. Cats have a powerful sense of smell, and they can pick up on not just general animal smells, but any stress those animals had, which can increase their own. Shampoo and deep clean carpets, vacuum every square inch to remove any lingering fur, and take a Clorox wipe to all counters and surfaces.
Set up a permanent litter box space. Once your pet is ready to explore more, you’ll want to establish their litter box’s permanent home. Keep a litter box in their home-base room, and put another one where you’ll want the main spot to be. Let both sit out for a few weeks, and then remove the home-base litter box so the only one left is the permanent one.
If you notice your cat isn’t adjusting after a few weeks, talk to your vet about possible solutions to make the transition easier. Hopefully though, being present and being aware will be enough to help reduce your cat’s moving-related stress. Show your cat that there is nothing to be scared of, and gradually they should start to come around and adjust to their new environment.