Cats are routine creature that aren’t very fond of change. It can be a challenge for them to adjust to new situations and new environments. This is why moving can be a stressful experience for them. In order to move with your cat smoothly, it’s important to take steps to minimize her anxiety. In that regard, below are a few “Tips For Moving With A Cat.”
The advantage of preparing your cat before the move, is that she is already comfortable in her current environment. Therefore, it’s easier to get her used to the process that lies ahead.
Familiarize Her With The Carrier
If your cat is not a fan of cat carriers, then it would be ideal to put it out a few days in advance. Place it in her favorite room with the doors open.
Spray synthetic calming pheromones on her favorite blanket, then place it inside the carrier. Synthetic Pheromones mimic the chemicals that are released from your cat’s cheeks and are designed to promote a sense of calm and familiarity.
Also, place her favorite toys and treats in and around the carrier. Allow her to explore the carrier at her own pace.
A good tip for getting cats acclimated to their carriers, is to feed them next to it. Each time you feed them, gradually move the bowl inside the carrier. Eventually your cat should feel comfortable going inside the carrier for her meals. The point is to get your cat to positively relate her carrier to good things like food, toys and comfort.
Moving Box Fun
The good thing about moving, is that you’ll have boxes available for your cat to play with while you pack. Since most cat’s like playing with cardboard boxes, this can be a great tool to distract them from any stress they would feel otherwise.
If your cat is reluctant to play with the cardboard box, spray it with a little organic catnip or Synthetic Pheromones—which are both attractants for cats.
Stick To The Normal Routine
Since cats are creatures of habit, it’s important that you make an effort to stick to your cat’s normal routine. Be sure to feed, play and nurture her on schedule, so that she feels stable throughout the move.
Consult A Veterinarian
All cats are different and therefore react differently to change with varying degrees of stress. If your cat is frequently stressed, it might be worth it to consult a qualified veterinarian. From there, your vet can advise you on employing an appropriate anti-anxiety product.
On moving day, it’s important to keep your cat secure and safe. Since moving is an all consuming activity, stress is something that is inevitable. However, there are still things that you can do to help minimize anxiety for you and your cat.
Consider feeding your cat a small meal on moving day. If your cat does feel stressed, then she can potentially feel it in her stomach and vomit her undigested food. This tip is particularly important to consider just before a car ride.
Secure Your Cat
On moving day, there will probably be a lot of strange people, movement and noises in the environment. It could be enough to make your cat want to escape out of the nearest open door.
To prevent this, make sure your cat is contained. You don’t have to put them in the carrier, before it’s time to leave, but you can clear out a room and put them in it—make sure to close the door. Be sure to put food, toys, a litter box and all the amenities that make her feel comfortable.
Also, be sure to put up-to-date ID tags on her, just in case she does escape.
Inside The Carrier
Just before you’re ready to leave, put your cat in the carrier. While you’re traveling, do not let your cat out. A loose and uncontrollable cat while driving, could lead to an unfortunate accident. If your cat is giving you signs that she is uncomfortable, remain calm and wait until you reach your destination.
When you get to your new home, wait until you can prepare a room to put your cat in before you release her. Once you’ve prepared a room with food, water, toys and familiar items of comfort, you can release your cat into that room. It helps to diffuse the room with calming synthetic pheromones and spread treats around, so as to properly get them acclimated to the room.
When The Move Is Over
Now that the hard part is done, you can now take the time to get your cat used to the new environment.
Let Your Cat Show You
Your cat’s stress level will dictate how fast or slow you need to introduce her to her new home. If she is very stressed, then it may be too overwhelming to let her explore the house right away. Especially when they have to relearn a new litter box area.
Consider setting up a central location, to where your cat can return—a home base. Make sure it has a lot of comfort items, food, water and a litter box. Be sure to spend a fair amount of time in the room, nurturing and playing with her.
When your cat becomes comfortable, she should slowly expand out and investigate the rest of the house on her terms.
Clean Really Well
Cats have a really strong sense of smell and can pick-up on the scent of previous animals or owners. If the previous occupants created a stressful environment for themselves and there pet(s), then your cat will be able to pick up on it. The lingering scent that’s left behind, can potentially compound with your cat’s scent—which can cause anxiety issues.
To minimize this, try to clean the home really well. Shampoo the rugs, carpets and vacuum as much pet hair as you can find. Wipe down all the surfaces and try to eliminate any lingering smells.
To learn how to clean cat spray, click here.
Set Up The New Litter Box Area
When your cat feels comfortable enough to check out the rest of the house, you’ll probably want to establish a preferred litter box area. When you do, keep the home base litter box option available, as you’re training your cat to recognize the new litter box option. Make them both accessible for several weeks, then remove the initial home base litter box. This will leave the preferred litter box available for your cat to use.
In conclusion, if several weeks have gone by and your cat is still showing signs of stress, consult a qualified veterinarian to help you find a way to get your cat adjusted. Also, during this time, it’s ideal to be very present and nurturing. Be sure to maintain the routine you kept in the previous home and try to create a similar environment with plenty of cat amenities—cat trees, perches, hiding places, catnip, pheromones, etc. As long as you can communicate to your cat that the new environment is a safe place, then moving with your cat should be a smooth experience. Thanks for reading “Tips For Moving With A Cat.”