Even if you are just moving across town or to a nearby city, the task of packing up all of your belongings, loading them into a truck, and taking them somewhere new can be more than a little stressful. Here you will find a list of tips to follow in order to make your move as stress-free as possible for both you and your cat:
- Gather all of your cat’s documentation, including veterinary records and a health certificate – this is especially important if you are traveling to a new state. When you find a new veterinarian, they will ask for your pet’s records, so keep them handy.
- Do not forget to update your cat’s identification tag and microchip information. Your best bet is to prepare a new identification tag for your pet before you move. That way, if your cat happens to get loose during the move or shortly thereafter, whoever finds them will be able to contact you. If your cat has a microchip, make sure to update that information as well.
- Put your cat in a carrier or crate during the actual move. Not only will being in a crate help your cat to feel more secure in the car, but also it is much safer.
- Allow your cat to get accustomed to the crate or carrier prior to the move by having it available in the house for them to smell and possibly sleep in. Adding your cat's favorite toys and bedding will help to show them that this is a place of safety and comfort.
- If your cat typically does not do well on car rides, consider taking him for a few test drives before the move. This is especially important if you have a long trip ahead of you. Some short test runs will help you identify any issues that may become more problematic on a longer journey.
- Select a quiet room in the new home that can be a designated introduction room for your cat. Generally, it is best to introduce your cat slowly to any new smells and noises from the confinement of one room to reduce stress and anxiety. Ensure there are plenty of your cat’s favorite items, bedding, a clean litter tray, food and water. Spend time in this room with your cat, petting them and reassuring them that all is fine.
- After a few days, when you are fully settled after the move, then you can start to allow your cat to access the rest of the home. Ensure all windows and doors are closed to prevent unwanted escape. Allow your cat to emerge from the “safe” room on their terms and try to let your cat discover at their own pace.
- Try to remain calm yourself – your cat can sense your emotions and if you are stressed, he may become more anxious as well.
Moving is never easy, but there are certain things you can do to make the process go more smoothly for your cat. Follow the tips above to prepare your cat for the move and to help him get used to the new house after the move. Just remember to be patient with your cat and allow them time to adjust to their new environment.