Check any ranking of stressful life events out there, and you’ll find moving pretty high up on the list. As exciting as residential relocations can be, they also pose challenges, fears, and anxieties that don’t fully subside until everyone and everything is all settled in and unpacked at your new home.
That includes your pets. And not all pets are created equally: Cats, in particular, have particular characteristics and habits that need to adjust to new places.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help them more smoothly transition to new digs. With a bit of advance planning, you can have your beloved feline contentedly purring away in no time!
Steps to Smoothly Transition Your Cat(s)
- If you have an outdoor cat, begin limiting outdoor time at least a week before the move, then keep your cat indoors only for several days before your move. Cats can get nervous around all of the boxes and bustling activity and may decide to stay away from home for a few days. The last thing you need to deal with on moving day is a missing cat!
- Before you move into your new home, make sure it’s been cleaned thoroughly, especially if the previous owners or renters had pets. Cats are very territorial and sensitive to smells, and they can get upset or even mark their territory if they smell other animals. Getting any carpets professionally cleaned can go a long way toward making your cat comfortable.
- On moving day, keep your cat either locked in a room that the movers will empty last or in a pet carrier to ensure that your cat doesn’t run outside while the moving truck is being loaded.
- At the new house, keep your cat in the carrier until you have a room set up for them—preferably the room where the litter box will be. The litter box is absolutely the first thing you want your cat to investigate in your new home.
- Just like people, cats have different personalities. Some respond to the stress of moving by becoming more affectionate. Some would rather be left alone while they spend time investigating every nook and cranny of their new home. Some may lose their appetite for a few days. There is a wide range of normal reactions a cat can have to moving, and usually there is no need for concern. If your cat’s uncharacteristic behavior still concerns you after several days, though, it may be time for a visit to your vet.
- If you have an outdoor cat, wait until behavior has returned to normal before allowing any outdoor exploration. A good rule of thumb is to keep your cat indoors for at least a week after the move, allowing your cat to get used to one thing at a time.
Following these steps will make things easier for your cat—and, in the process—easier for you!
Visit our website for more tips on packing and moving, and call us anytime for a moving consult or estimate:
BB&D Moving Services
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