It’s always worth remembering that if you’ve got a cat (or cats), then the moving process won’t just be stressful for you; your little whiskered friends will also potentially be suffering. Cats are not known for embracing abrupt changes to their living environments and the first inkling they’ll get that something’s underfoot is on moving day itself, so they’re bound to be unsettled or even shocked since they’ve had less time than you to prepare. But there’s nothing to worry about because with a little forethought, you can mitigate the stress and upset caused to your furry feline companions and ensure that everyone gets settled in the new home in good time. Here’s how:
- On moving day, keep your cat contained in one room. It could be a bedroom, for example. Whatever room you choose, keep the door and windows closed and – should there be removing company personnel traipsing through the house – place a note on the door telling everyone to keep out.
- Calm your cat down by making sure he or she has favourite belongings in the room – beds, baskets, toys, litter tray, water and something for snacking.
- Once it’s time for the journey, place your cat in its carrier. You’ll already know that if there’s hesitation on the part of your cat, you should probably lure it in with some food. Now the movers can pack up that last room. The carrier can be put in your car and driven to the new home. Leave a window open and, if the journey is long, have a break to give your cat some water by placing a bowl in the carrier rather than letting the cat out.
- At your new home, arrange for the bedroom furniture to be unloaded first and placed into the appropriate room. Now you can repeat the first step – shut your cat in this room with all its belongings. Ideally, have a member of the family spend time in the room with the cat to help diminish its anxiety. Keep your cat in this room until all the unpacking is done – even if it takes a few days.
- Now your cat can be allowed to roam and explore the new surroundings. Keep doors and windows shut because, at this stage, its just internal exploration that’s to be allowed. Keep it this way for two weeks. It’s not always easy to determine if a cat is stressed, so be on the safe side and assume it is. After two weeks, your cat can be allowed to go wherever it likes.