Tips for Moving Your Cats to a New Home
29 October, 2012
We know that our beloved cats are not fond of changing their normal routines. Therefore, moving to a new home can be very stressful for you and your cat. However, if you prepare for the move and are patient with your feline friends, the transition can go smoothly.
Preparing for the Move
The first thing to remember when you move with your cats is that no matter what you do, it will be stressful for your cat. Therefore, you should try to keep your cats routine as normal as possible until moving day. Make sure to feed your cat at the normal times and try not to pack everything with your cat’s scent on it until right before you move.
When you’re packing, remember that cats are very curious and might want to climb on top of stacked boxes. This could lead to injury if your kitty knocks the boxes down, so don’t stack them too high and make sure the stacks are stable. Your cat might choose to hide in or behind things that are now exposed because of the move, such as ovens and refrigerators. Be careful when you begin to move these items.
On the day of the move, it is best that you place your cats in a secure room that people will not be continuously going in and out of. It should be as far away from the commotion as possible and have a litter box, food, water, and a hiding spot available. A kennel carrier with a blanket with your scent is a good place as well.
Move your cats last if possible after everything else has been moved. Place your kitty cat in a carrier for safety in the vehicle. Make sure to have your cat drive with you and not in a moving van. If you are moving a long distance, make sure to have plenty of water and a litter box available.
Make stops every few hours and allow the cat out of the kennel (but not out of the vehicle) to drink, use the box and stretch. If your cat is likely to be extremely stressed, you might be able to get a mild sedative from your veterinarian.
Introducing Your Cat(s) to Your New Home
When you arrive at your new home, choose one room as the “safe room”. This will be a quiet area away from all the noise and commotion where your cat can hide. Provide food, a litter box, water and a hiding place (again a cat carrier is a good start). Once safely in the room, open the door to the carrier, then leave the room and shut the door behind you.
For several hours, leave your cats in the room alone and let them come out when they are ready. Constantly coming in and out of the room to check on your cats could cause more stress and make the adjustment process longer.
Gradually you can let your cat explore other areas of the house. Allow access to only a few rooms at a time taking notice of any tight places your cat may hide but could get stuck. Try to keep the same feeding schedule you had before. Also spread items with the cats’ scent, such as toys and blankets, throughout the house so the cat knows that it is allowed to be in certain areas.
For an outdoor cat, let your cat out at the same time every day. When it is time to let your cat out, start with short, supervised trips around the immediate area of the house and yard. You can put a harness on your cat (at first) then work up to letting the cat off the leash while you walk with her as she explores.
If you follow the above steps and watch your cat for signals as to how he or she is adjusting, the transition should go smoothly. Some cats will adjust instantaneously while others might take a little longer. But, soon enough, your cat(s) will love their new home and new places to explore.