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Moving with cats

Moving With Cats

Moving – many people consider it to be one of the most stressful experiences you can ever undertake. The moving process can be even more difficult for your pets. As well as being territorial animals, cats are creatures of habit and often don't cope well with even the most minor changes to their environment.

If you're moving with cats there's a few steps you can take to help alleviate the potential anxiety that your cats will have to endure.

  • When choosing your new home it's important to find out whether your potential new home is 'cat friendly'. All too often cats have to be given up by their owners because they're not allowed in their owners new home.
  • Ensure that you cat is micro-chipped before your move and that their details have been updated with the local council that your moving to as well as any electronic registries that they may be registered with. Placing a collar on them with your updated address details and  phone number is a good idea in case they decide to wander, or escape from your new home.
  • Leaving your cats travel cage open and available in the lead up to your move can help them feel more at ease with it. If you're moving a long distance it can be helpful to get your cats used to travelling by car with some shorter trips in the lead up to moving day. By placing a familiar blanket on the bottom of your cat's cage or providing them with a favourite toy you can make the trip less stressful for your cats.
  • Moving day can be stressful for cats. They may be frightened by your 'unfamiliar' removalists, the noise, the movement of all of your furniture, etc. It's best to send them to a cattery, have a friend look after them, or lock them away securely in a room - ensuring that everyone involved in your move knows not to let your cats out. It may not be a good idea to allow your cat to go outside on moving day because they may be hesitant to return.
  • When you are travelling with your cats you should ensure that they're properly caged and secured in your car. If they're not good with travelling then you may be able to get some mild sedatives from your VET. Never leave them alone in the car. Cars can heat up to extreme temperatures within minutes.
  • When you arrive at your new home it's best to confine the cat to a given room until you've finished unpacking, ensuring that there's no room for escape through open windows or doors.
  • Provide something familiar for your cats to help them feel more comfortable and adjust more quickly. Cat beds and blankets from your previous home will carry your cats scent, so they won't be so alien.
  • Ensure that you clean your new home thoroughly to remove any residual odours from any cats that previously lived there.
  • When your cats arrive at their new home, they'll likely be terrified and retreat to the safest place they can find. Leaving a cupboard door open, or placing their travel cage in their room will provide them with a safe place to hide until they're ready to come out and start their first, tentative explorations.
  • Be patient with your cats and don't try to force them to adjust to their new home. They will naturally, but it can take time. It may take several days before they're prepared to leave their 'safe-room' and explore the rest of the house.
  • If you plan to allow you cats to go outside, let them explore their new house for several weeks first. When your cats are showing no signs of stress or anxiety you can begin the process of letting them out. Where possible, having an outdoor enclosure for your cats to play and relax in can be a good way to introduce them to their new territory. Before letting them roam freely, you should accompany your cats outside for the first week or so.
  • Check with your local council for any curfews that may exist for cats in your area if you do plan to let your cats outside.
  • Understand that when moving with cats they may not eat or drink for some time after the move has taken place. Rest assured that they'll get their appetites back before too long. Just keep some fresh water and food close by.
  • Familiarise yourself with your new local VET's as soon as possible. You never know when you'll need them and if your cat goes missing this is one of the first places you'll want to check.
  • Establishing a routine as early as possible after moving can help your cats settle more quickly to their new home. Help your cats predict and expect your behaviour by feeding and playing with them at set times.
  • The stress of moving can result in toilet problems with your cats. They may not immediately use their litter tray, especially if they're used to being outside and you have confined them for the initial period. Keep your litter clean and available at all times and don't try to force the issue.
If you've got dogs, you might be interested in reading our article on moving with dogs.

If you have any further questions about moving with cats, or moving house in general please give our sales staff a call on 1800 812 333, or send us a message via our contact page.

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