Cats and moving
How to make them feel more at ease.......Last week we talked about ways to help your dog through the anxiety of moving into your new home. Maintaining their schedule, giving them extra attention, more exercise and spending quality time in their new surroundings. This week I want to talk about your cat. Our feline friends don’t like change. Fortunately, we have options to consider when minimizing their discomfort in moving.
You will also want to set out the pet carrier that you will be transporting your cat in. You have probably already experienced transporting your pet to the vet in their carrier. Perhaps it didn’t go well. We need to remedy that as best we can. On moving day, your friend will be in the carrier for an extended period of time, so for their safety, they need to be comfortable. If the cat is leery of entering the carrier, place their favorite treat inside and/or toy. You may also want to start feeding them in the crate for those who are extremely reluctant to cooperate.
Moves are stressful for your cat due to the sudden change in both environment and routine. While the move can’t be avoided, you have found your perfect home, the routine you can control. As with dogs, keep a routine for your cat even if it’s difficult. Meals, play time, and cuddle time should remain consistent during the coming weeks.
The day of the move has begun. Movers are in the house carrying out furniture and boxes. Your cat feels the excitement and anxiousness occurring around them. Their little tummy is all jumbled. Feeding small meals will reduce the risk of your cat vomiting especially if they tend to get car sick.
You will want to make sure to keep your cat contained while the loading and unloading are going on. The risk of your feline friend bolting out the door unnoticed is high. Before loading, empty out a room and place your cat in there. Give them plenty of water, a small amount of food, their favorite toy, their bed and litter box. Make sure you place a sign on the door for movers to NOT OPEN. Once ready to make the journey to your new home, ease your cat into their carrier. During the drive, you may be tempted to let your cat out especially if they are telling you they aren’t happy, but don’t. For your safety as well as theirs. When you arrive at your new home, you again will designate a “safe room” for your cat. Place water, food, toys, bed and litter box along with your sign on the door. You may want to sprinkle their favorite treat in the room to encourage investigation while you unload your belongings.
The movers are gone, the house is somewhat quiet and now your friend can come out and explore their new environment. Do this is steps, limiting their area of exploration. They will be experiencing all sorts of new sensations. Having full reign of the entire house may cause sensory overload. If the previous owners had pets, you will want to vacuum away lingering fur, use Clorox wipes on the counters and shampoo the carpets in your new home. Cats have tremendously sensitive noses. They will smell not only general pet odors but the previous animal’s anxiety too. Spend quality time with your cat strengthening their comfort level with the new surroundings.
While transitioning your cat to their permanent litter box, you will want to keep the litter box in their “safe room.” Let them both sit out for a few weeks, and then remove the temporary box when you know your cat is comfortable.
Monitor your cat’s behavior for the next couple of weeks. If your cat still is exhibiting signs of anxiety, you may need to consult with your Veterinarian. Jefferson, Carroll, and Harrison counties have several outstanding veterinarian clinics as well as the for you to seek advice from. Be patient and show your cat lots of love and that there is nothing to be afraid of in their new home.
For more information on moving with your pets, please visit this link Moving with Pets at moving.com.