Moving is always stressful. Not only do you have to keep up with your day-to-day tasks, you have to organize and pack all of your belongings, hire movers to transport everything to your new home, and unpack all of your belongings. With so much to do, it's easy to feel stressed. However, it's important to remember that moving isn't only stressful to you. It's stressful to your entire family, especially your cat.
Preparing for Your Move
Cats hate change, so taking the extra time to prepare your furry friend for your move is extremely important. Not only does the extra prep time help your cat get used to things, such as random boxes in your home, but it gives you time to determine just how stressful moving will be on your cat. To prepare your cat:
- Put moving boxes in your home a few weeks before you start packing so that your cat can get used to their presence.
- Get your cat used to the cat carrier by setting it out in the open with the carrier door open and a comfy bed inside. Put a few treats in the carrier to encourage your cat to enter it. Then, slowly start feeding your cat in the carrier. Once you get the cat to start eating in the carrier, you'll know it's okay for your pet to be in the carrier for an extended amount of time.
- Stick to your cat's routine as much as possible. Remember, small changes are often very stressful for cats so sticking to a normal feeding, play, and attention schedule makes it easier for your cat to get used to things such as the addition of moving boxes and random objects getting packed away.
- Pack your cat's stuff last. The longer your cat has access to toys, bedding, and furniture he loves, the less anxious he'll be. Also, when you pack his belongings, make sure you put them in a box that you'll be able to access quickly so that he has all of his favorite things immediately in his new home.
Expect moving day to be particularly hard for your cat. It's not likely that your furry friend will enjoy the movers coming into his home and taking everything out of the house. To make things easier on him:
- Close him in the bathroom with food, water, a bed, and his litter box while the movers are in your house. This way, you don't have to worry about him running out the door and he doesn't have to worry about strange people being in his home.
- Wait until the movers have left to lock your cat in his carrier. To keep him calm, allow him to enter his carrier on his own instead of putting him in the carrier yourself.
- Avoid opening the carrier door during transport because scared cats often run.
Your New House
Your cat needs time to get used to his new surroundings too. Make the process easier for your cat by letting him get used to one room before allowing him to explore the whole house.
- Put his things in a room that will remain relatively quiet.
- Put his food dishes, litter box, treats, and toys in the room before you open the carrier.
- Spend some time in the room with your cat while he's adjusting to the new surroundings.
- Slowly introduce him to the rest of your new house after the movers have gone and you've unpacked.
Moving with cats isn't simple because change is really stressful for cats. However, taking your time to prepare your cat for your move and slowly introducing him to your new home, makes things easier for your cat.