Even before moving day arrives, just like their owners, cats will start to feel the stress. Lots of boxes, strange smells, anxious Mom or Dad, potential disruption to their feeding schedule and a decrease in cuddle and play time. There are, however, ways to decrease stress on your felines during a move. Here are some tips:
Get them Used to the Carrier
If you plan on taking your cat in a carrier—and we recommend that you do as they could run away under duress—it’s a good idea to get one ahead of time and get your furry friends to get used to it. You can place a towel inside so kitty can sleep in there. You can also place food near it so your cat can familiarize him or herself with the transporter so it’s not a strange, scary box on moving day.
Let Boxes be a Plaything
Cats love boxes and there’s no reason why having these new objects couldn’t be a fun activity for them. To make them more appealing, you can dust a little catnip or spray synthetic cat pheromones that would make your cat feel safe.
Keep the Routine
During the relocation process, it can be hard to remember to feed your cat on time or change his or her water dish as frequently as a regular day but staying with your pet’s normal schedule can reduce their anxiety.
Get or Find Cat ID
Make sure you have an updated cat ID with your cell phone number so you can attach it to your cat’s collar on moving day. Cats can get spooked and run away. Should such an event occur, an ID would ensure that if someone does find your cat, they could easily contact you.
Visit the Vet
The stress of moving can make your cat more vulnerable to illness. An exam before the move will ensure kitty is healthy and all his or her vaccinations are up to date. If you’re traveling long distance you might want to ask the vet about anti-anxiety and motion sickness medication.
Create a Safe Space in Both Homes
Keep your cat in a room away from the hustle and bustle of moving in the old home with the door closed. Keep his or her water dish, food, toys and litter box in there with the cat. In the new home, create a similar space to bring kitty in and keep away from the activity.
Your furry friends will be anxious on moving day. Give them a small breakfast so they have something in their stomach, but don’t overfeed as they can get sick during the relocation process.
Let Them Explore
Once you’re all moved in, let the cat out of the safe room to explore his or her new environs. Be careful to keep doors and windows closed for a couple of weeks while kitty gets used to the new home and remember to get back on schedule with their food, playtime and such. Routine keeps them happy.