Are you moving house with a cat?
For our feline pals, moving can be an overwhelming experience.
Anyone who owns a cat will be aware of their love of consistency and familiarity, so preparing for your relocation in advance can really help them adjust to the move more easily.
Most of the time, you won’t be able to completely eliminate the stress associated with the move.
You may, however, take steps to make relocating with a cat a little bit simpler.
In this article, we offer a few suggestions that you might want to consider.
Prior to Moving
When something is different or when change is approaching, cats can become very aware of it.
Moving where they sleep and where they eat several weeks before your move day is a good idea to prevent them from having to deal with too many changes all at once.
Their food bowls, scratching posts, toys, and bed should be placed in a location that will see the least amount of disruption as the big day approaches.
It’s also a good idea to place their cat carrier close by as well.
Lots of cats detest their baskets, it usually means they’re going to the vet!
So, attempting to get them inside it at the last minute can be unpleasant for them.
They are less likely to be frightened if they are familiar with it a few weeks in advance, as it will become a safe space for them.
You can put a towel or blanket inside; ultimately, they might even fall asleep in it.
The use of pheromone sprays or plugins is another great option!
Available at most pet shops, the pheromone sprays release odours into your house that help your cat feel comfortable and at ease.
To attract a cat inside, sprinkle the carrier with some of the pheromone spray and fill it with some of their favourite food.
This should really help with getting them comfortable and safe for your move.
The Day of Your Move
Moving day is likely to be very chaotic in the eyes of your cat!
It will be very loud, they aren’t going to get as much attention as usual and there will be some new people in their personal space (when using a removal company).
As you may expect this can be very overwhelming for them!
Booking your cat into a cattery for the day while the relocation is taking place is highly recommended, especially if they are accustomed to staying there.
This will make sure they remain secure, contained, and away from all the stresses that can come with moving house.
The next best thing, if they aren’t able to go to a cattery, is to designate a room as a “safe zone”.
This is somewhere that your cat can be kept behind a closed door and away from the noise and commotion.
As we previously said, making sure your cat feels comfortable in their carrier can really help ensure that they remain safe and content at all times.
Getting Your Cat to Your New Home
As much as they might hate it, it is often the case that you will have to take your cat with you in the car.
Unlike dogs who seem to love the excitement of the car, most cats hate the experience!
It is not something they often experience and when they do it is usually because they are on the way to the vets!
Covering the box, feeding them before the journey, and even using different types of carriers are some of the best ways to reduce their stress.
We would also recommend placing some plastic or a blanket between your car seat and the carrier. Accidents can happen, especially when they are feeling uncomfortable on a long car journey!
Overall, the best piece of advice we can give you is to talk to your vet.
Find out what they think is best for your cat and follow any of their advice that we missed!
Moving Day Essential Bag
Packing a moving day essentials bag will ensure you have everything you need close at hand while travelling longer distances.
There are plenty of things to pack here, all are chosen to ensure your cat is happy!
Make sure you include your cat’s favourite toys, food, treats, and grooming supplies.
You will also need water bottles, a litterbox, litter, and numerous dishes.
We would also recommend packing some kitchen roll or wet wipes for any spillages or accidents.
Having everything to hand will not only make your cat more comfortable but will also make your life a lot easier!
Preparing Your New Home
Now that you have successfully moved, you will need to prepare your new home for your cat.
One of the first things to do is clean…sounds like fun!
This is especially the case if the previous owner also had cats.
Don’t be too concerned about things like shelves that are out of reach or the tops of doors at this point.
We are sure you’ll get around to a full clean at some point but for now, cleaning everything that is “cat height” or lower will set them at ease.
Checking the new home’s cat-proofing is also a priority.
All windows and doors should be shut, and any plugs or electrical wires that your cat could get stuck in should be kept out of the way.
For a few days, pick one of the rooms to serve as the cat’s room.
It will help if you surround the cat carrier with a few things that still smell like your former house.
Make sure you put their dishes of food and drink next to the carrier.
You can allow your cat out to explore while keeping the room door locked (for now).
Allowing your cat to explore one room at a time in this way helps them adapt to the new environment without feeling overwhelmed.
Routine and Familaraity
Try keeping your cat on the same schedule as before you moved despite everything that is going on.
Feeding your cat at regular intervals and making an effort to spend some alone time with them will help them feel less anxious.
It is inevitable that their pattern will occasionally change, but try to keep it as much as you can to lessen the worry your cat will experience.
You should also try to place familiar items like bedding, toys, and scratching posts around the house to provide a sense of comfort.
These items will remind them of their old home and should help them to settle quickly.
Playing calming music or using pheromone diffusers can also help create a soothing atmosphere.
Cats will show you indications of stress by hiding, excessive meowing, or changes in their appetite.
Be patient for the first few weeks after moving and provide as much comfort as possible during this adjustment phase.
Register With Your New Vets
You must sign your cat up with the neighbourhood vet clinic after you’ve had some time to settle into your new home.
If you need to switch practises, you should do so well in advance of your move to ensure that your new veterinarian has access to all of your cat’s medical records.
Most places you move to will have a nearby local vet, a quick Google should help!
The best way to find a veterinarian is to look for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) registration.
This is the best way to find a reliable and trustworthy vet in a new area.
Ready to Move House?
By following the advice found in this article, we hope to alleviate some of the strains of moving with a cat.
Ensuring you have the help of a trustworthy and knowledgeable removals company when moving home is also key.
With years of experience moving individuals and families alike to locations throughout the UK, R.H Pardy Moving & Storage Limited can assist you with every aspect of your move.
Our specialist team can guide you throughout every aspect of your move.
For added assurance, you will have the knowledge that you are dealing with a member of the British Association of Removers.
For more information about our removals services, be sure to give us a call today at 01202499390, or fill out our quick and easy contact form here.
A member of our team will be more than happy to help you get your move started in no time!
How long will it take for my cat to adjust to the new home?
The adjustment period varies for each cat. It might take a few days to a few weeks for your cat to feel comfortable in the new environment.
Should I keep my cat indoors after the move?
Yes, it’s a good idea to keep your cat indoors for the first few weeks to prevent them from getting lost or disoriented in the new neighbourhood.
Can I use sedatives to calm my cat during the move?
It’s best to avoid sedatives unless recommended by a veterinarian. Sedatives can have unpredictable effects on cats and might not address the underlying stress.
Will my cat’s litter box placement change after the move?
Initially, place the litter box in a quiet and familiar location. You can gradually move it to a more permanent spot once your cat is comfortable with the new surroundings.
How can I help my cat bond with the new environment?
Spend quality time with your cat in different areas of the new home. Engage in play sessions and provide treats to create positive associations with the space.