Tips for moving house with a pet – CATS

Cats will not like packing up, routine changes or strange smells at your new house. Add to that not being fed on time and getting less attention than usual and your feline can get really stressed out! Here are a few tips to help make the move less stressful for the family cat – in our blog we will call him Tiger:

  • It may be useful to actually find boarding for Tiger during the move. This will be much easier for him to adapt to new surroundings when everything is already in place. However, we realise this is not always possible and Tiger will have to make the move with the family.
  • It is essential to move Tiger in a proper cat carrier. Cats are very different to dogs and mostly would not just jump in the car excited over a road trip.
  • Plan well – put the carrier in Tiger’s surroundings a week or 2 before the move. He will be curious to explore and if all goes well, he may even start sleeping in the carrier well before the move. Start feeding him closer and closer to the carrier and eventually inside.
  • Make sure the cat carrier has a base of nice absorbent towels so that the top layer can be removed without having to completely open the carrier. This will be very useful during your move.
  • Tiger sees the world differently to us humans – he sees it through a cloud of smells. Tiger also likes routine and predictability, so this move is very traumatic for him. Getting an appeasing pheromone plug in device prior to the move and using it after the move for a while, can help him settle quicker.
  • Ensure someone is responsible for Tiger right through the move. Family members can take turns looking after Tiger and making sure he stays calm in the chaos.
  • Refrain from opening the cat carrier to comfort Tiger at any stage during the move. He may be scared and dash out before you can stop him.
  • Avoid putting food and water in the carrier unless you are travelling for more than 12 hours.
  • Take extreme care if you are moving during summer – car temperatures can soar and Tiger can die from the heat!
  • Take care to keep his identification tags on. If Tiger is microchipped, ensure they have the correct new address on file!
  • Take some of Tiger’s favourite toys traveling with him – this will provide comfort with smells he knows.
  • At the new home, aim to confine Tiger to one particular room until most of the stuff has been moved in. This will lessen the risk of escape or injury. Fill this space with Tiger’s familiar toys and feeding bowls to provide comforting smells.
  • Do not let Tiger outside for the first 2-4 weeks after the move. His first few outings should be well supervised until you can be sure he will not be scared suddenly and run onto the road or up a tree.
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