Moving can be an emotional and stressful experience and not just for the humans managing the move. So while you may have built fond memories in the space you’re leaving, remember your cat will have also developed strong bonds to perhaps the only environment they’ve ever known. Planning and undertaking the following steps will ensure that your transition from your old to your new home goes smoothly for everyone involved.
Getting Ready to Leave
Before the moving truck arrives, settle your cat in a familiar room on the day of your big move. Place your cat’s bed, water and food bowls, a toy, and the carrier in this room as well, so you do not have to run around when time is tight. Ideally, you will have already emptied this room of all other furniture and personal effects. Make sure to include the litter tray and put a sign on the door, so all windows and doors remain closed. When your belongings are in the truck, and you’ve said your last goodbyes, get your kitty into the cat carrier, collect their belongings, and set them safely in your vehicle.
On the Road
If you have a long drive ahead and you know the trip could make your cat stressed, consider a prescribed mild sedative—for your cat—for the drive. Your cat’s last meal before the trip should be at least three hours before you leave. This plan will give them time to digest and use the kitty litter before it’s time to go. Move your kitty in a safe cat carrier lined with a familiar smelling blanket and include a toy for extra security.
Make sure you secure the carrier in a car seat with a seat belt or snuggled safely on the back seat between soft objects so that it can’t move around. If it’s going to be a long journey and you haven’t sedated your cat, you may want to offer them some water along the way. Ensure your vehicle is well ventilated and nothing heavy covers the carrier that could block the air circulation.
Upon Arrival At Your New Home
Once you’ve arrived at your new home, offer your cat some fresh food and water. Ensure there are no external doors or windows open, and accompany your cat while it investigates the new space. Remaining calm and speaking in a soothing voice will help relieve their stress and signal to your cat that the new environment is a safe one. Watch that your cat doesn’t go unsupervised when in the kitchen or any room with small spaces, as nervous cats may try to hide in difficult-to-reach places.
Let’s Get Settled!
If your cat is an outdoor cat, experts advise that you keep your cat inside your new home for at least two weeks upon arrival. This process helps your cat get used to its new territory and reduces the risk that they will get lost once they do go outside. Then, when the time comes, spread some of your cat’s litter around your property’s perimeter to signal to neighbourhood cats that there’s a new cat in town.
Try to maintain the same routines in your new home as you had established in your old one to provide continuity and security for your cat. To enhance their security, consider spreading their scent throughout the house by taking a soft cloth or gloves and rubbing gently around your cat’s cheeks and head. Rub the cloth or gloves onto areas in your new home where your cat might rub against to make it seem more familiar.
For additional insights into your new home’s area, or if you need help locating a new home, contact an experienced real estate professional today.
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