Moving house can be an extremely stressful experience – worrying about your cat is an added concern. Hopefully, this article can help to make this part of moving house a little less challenging.
Cats are creatures of habit and having their routine interrupted and interfered with can be quite stressful for them. While it’s almost impossible to make moving house a stress-free experience for you or your cat, there are some steps you can take to make things easier for your feline companion.
How to move house with a cat
A general piece of advice is to try your best to keep your cat away from the commotion and chaos that can occur when moving house – things like packing, cleaning and moving the house around can be very unsettling for your cat.
Before the move
The first step comes a week before you move. Make a space specifically for your cat by clearing a room in your existing house.
Move all the things your cat uses on a regular basis into this room – food, water and litter tray being the most obvious, but also toys, any bedding, their scratching post and so on. Feeding them in this room will help them become more comfortable with this space. Make sure the cat carrier is also in this same room.
Also, think about what furniture is in this room. Ideally, when you move, your cat’s new room will have the same furniture to give a sense of familiarity.
The night before the move, feed them in the room and then close the door – keeping the cat in here overnight will also mean you don’t have to worry about them disappearing during moving day.
Ensure that you have a room in the new house that you can use, temporarily, as the cat’s room, much like how you now have one in your existing house. As mentioned above, this will ideally have the same furniture as the room your cat has been using.
The move itself
The cat’s room should be the last room you pack into the removal van (or whatever kind of vehicle you’re using), meaning your cat is removed from as much of the stress of loading up the van as possible.
Use a cat carrier, but don’t put the cat in with all the other furniture or in the boot of the car. Keep the cat carrier with you. Equally, if it’s a long journey don’t leave the carrier in the car if you take a break – especially on a hot day.
When you arrive at the new house, unpack everything that was in the cat room in your existing house into the equivalent room in your new house. Close your cat in here, preferably with something that smells of you, while you unpack the rest of the house.
After the move
Once you’re in for the day and have finished moving things around (at least for now!), you can let your cat explore the house.
Ensure any windows or doors are shut and that you are especially vigilant in areas where there are narrow spaces, as your cat may retreat to these if he or she is feeling anxious.
If your cat is showing signs of anxiety or stress, allow him or her to explore one room at a time to prevent the cat from being overwhelmed. Remain as calm as you can, as this will send the message to your cat that this is a safe environment.
As much as you can, keep to routines that were established in the old house – this will help your cat with a sense of familiarity and continuity.
Letting the cat out
If your cat is an outdoor cat, then we’d recommend waiting at least 2 weeks before letting it roam the outside of your new house.
As always, ensure your cat is microchipped and that vaccinations are up to date.
Initial ventures outside should be supervised, just to make sure that your cat isn’t panicked or overwhelmed by their new surroundings.
Want to know more?
We hope this article helped to address your concerns about moving house with a cat. If you have more questions about how to move house with a cat or about cats in general, then we’d like to help. Submit your question below.
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