Moving is stressful for everyone, but it can be especially tough on a territorial animal like a cat. Despite their reputation for being standoffish and apathetic, cats are actually very sensitive animals that don’t like change. If you’re going to move house with your kitty, it’s important to make the transition as stress-free as possible. That means you’ve got to do some work before, during, and after you move house. Here’s a list of some of the ways you can make your cat feel more confident during the moving process!
During the packing process
- It’s all about exposure. Get your cat used to the cat carrier, and, if you can, the smell of the new house. To achieve this, you should bring out the carrier about a month before you move. Use plenty of treats and verbal encouragement to make them feel positive about being around and inside of it.
If you’re able to take an item from the new home, such as a rug, even better. It will be less shocking for your furry friend after they’ve become familiar with the smell. The key to exposure is to give plenty of treats and affection in connection with the new stimuli.
- Get advice from a vet. Cats that are naturally anxious will have a harder time with the move. However, your vet may be able to give you helpful advice or prescribe a calming supplement.
On the day you move house
- Try to stay relaxed. Cats are able to read the emotions of their Owners, so make sure you model the mood you want for your cat. As moving is often stressful, this can be tricky. However, it will go a long way to make your cat, and you, feel better during the move.
- Keep your kitty in a safe place. Whether you’re moving in stages or all in one go, it’s important to keep an eye on your cat. They can sense change coming and may try to escape while you’re busy moving boxes or talking to the removalists. If you have a quiet room in your house, set your cat up in there with food, water, a litter box and their favourite toys. Make sure they’re safe and sound before you begin any move-related activities.
This goes for the new place, as well. Once you’ve made the trip in the carrier to your new home, find a quiet, secure room. There, you can set your cat up with all their amenities. Check in on them often and don’t let them out until the boxes have been unloaded.
- Expect some stomach fussiness. Stress often causes digestive issues in cats. As such, your furry friend may vomit in the carrier or at the new place. Of course, moving is stressful enough without having to worry about cleaning up after a cat. Even so, try to be patient and understanding. Cats don’t do anything out of spite, and adding to their stress by getting frustrated will make matters worse.
In the new place
- Think of your move as an opportunity to make your place more cat-friendly. Cats love the opportunity to climb and see the world from above, and this is the perfect time to think of your new space with your cat in mind. As you arrange furniture, you might place a sturdy side table underneath a window so your cat can look outside. Alternatively, you might install a shelf dedicated to your furry friend. These small details will make your cat feel more confident in their new environment.
- Consider delaying the welcoming party. If you can tell that your cat is having a difficult time with the move, the worst thing for them would be to invite over all your friends and family. If you can, wait until your cat is totally comfortable with the new home before exposing them to such a stressful situation.
- Give your cat the affection they need. This is going to be different for every kitty. If you have a very social, loving cat, make sure to give them all the love in the world. If your cat is naturally standoffish, give them the space to explore their new world in peace.
Trying to move house with your cat can always be a challenge. Having said that, the above methods will help you to relieve stress in your furry friend. And, because a happy cat is going to be key to a happy new home, make sure you keep them in mind during your upcoming move!