Cats are territorial animals so a house move can be a very traumatic event for them. You need to give a lot of thought to how you can reduce the level of stress as much as possible, during the move and after. Here are some tips to help when moving home with a cat.
Some cats are by nature less easily stressed than others so you will probably have an idea as to how much the move will cause problems for the feline in your family. That being said any cat needs special attention when a house move is taking place.
Before the move
On the day before the move it’s a good idea to keep your cat confined to one room; often a bedroom is a good option. You need to consider where the furniture in that room will be kept in your new home as the cat may consider a certain piece of furniture to be a place of safety after the move. Make sure you place your cat’s bed, food and drink trays and toys in the room with them. It’s vital that you make sure that everyone involved in the move knows not to open the door to that room. When the removal men arrive ask them to clear the rest of the house before the room where your cat is being housed. When it comes time to empty the room, your cat should be placed in a cat carrier ready for the journey.
During the move
You should never let your cat be transported in the removal van, or in the boot of a car. Your pet should travel in their cat carrier in the car with you. Offer your pet food on route and make sure they are kept at a comfortable temperature. The majority of cats don’t travel very well so it’s always worth reading tips on traveling with your cat. When you arrive at your destination you should make sure that the furniture from the room in which your cat was last housed is unloaded first. This provides a place in your new home in which your cat can safely be placed.
After the move
If you are able to do so it’s a great idea to plug in a Feliway device in the room in your new home where your cat is first placed. This helps to control stress issues. This device should be plugged in a few hours before the cat is placed in the room if this is at all possible. Don’t forget to put your cat’s food and accessories in the room with them.
Once all of the furniture has been moved into your new home you can let your pet explore but make sure all of the doors and windows are locked before you do so. You shouldn’t let your cat outside for the first couple of weeks after you move; this gives them time to get used to their new surroundings.
When you do decide it’s time to let your cat venture outside then you should go with them for the first time, and be prepared to chase away any other cats; this makes it easier for your pet to mark their new territory.
Important points to consider
If your cat is prone to be quite nervous anyway it may prove to be a good idea to put them in cattery while the move is taking place, and introduce them to your new home when everything is calmer. If you are going to be living in close proximity to your previous home then be aware that when you allow your cat outside they may make their way back there. It may take a few attempts before you manage to get your cat to settle with you in your new home.