Moving can be one of the most stressful life events for both humans and pets. Cats are naturally territorial creatures and transitioning from one home to another can be stressful, even for the most laid-back felines. When the time comes to pack up the house and relocate, there are steps you can take to make the transition easier on your pet. The goal is to keep your kitty calm and relaxed. This will help you avoid messes, aggression, meowing, and escape attempts. In this article, we will go over some ways of helping your cat adjust to a new home.
Preparing Cat for Move
One of the best ways of helping your cat adjust to a new home quickly is to gradually prepare them for the moving day. It’s best to start preparing your feline as soon as possible, maybe even right after you find the right home for you and your pet. Avoiding stress in the days before the move itself is a great way to make the transition as easy as possible for your cat. With that in mind, there are a few things you need to do before the move:
- Keep your cat’s everyday routine – In the days leading up to the relocation, try to maintain your cat’s usual routine. Cats can be stressed by the sudden appearance of new people and moving materials, as well as the disappearance of favorite furniture or objects. Introduce boxes into the home before you begin packing to reduce stress. This helps your cat see the moving boxes as a part of the everyday landscape of your home. It also helps reduce the number of new stressors on the day of the move.
- Introduce to its carrier – It can help to introduce your cat to a suitable pet carrier a few weeks before the move. Choose a carrier that is safe, comfortable, and well-designed for travel. Before you begin packing, place the carrier in a safe, quiet corner of your current residence. To create positive associations with the carrier, you should put your cat’s treats, a favorite blanket, and familiar toys in it. As packing and moving activities become more hectic, placing the carrier in a quiet area will encourage the kitty to seek refuge there.
Moving with the Cat
During the moving day, it’s best to always keep your cat in a carrier. Even if your feline despises being in it, it is still a haven for them. It may be tempting, but don’t open your carrier to comfort your kitty. This increases the likelihood of your cat making a break for it in unfamiliar territory. For more help on moving day, you can always hire professional movers that will make relocation less stressful for your cat as well as for you. Keep your cat calm during and after the move to help them adjust to a new home more easily.
Settling Your Kitty into the New Home
Once you’ve arrived at your new home, keep your kitty in a safe carrier while you cat-proof the place. Close all windows and doors and hide any electrical cords where your cat could get tangled.
Introduce Cat to One Room at A Time
Instead of immediately allowing the kitty to roam free in your new home, select one room in which they can begin to settle in. Any room with a door will suffice, but an office or bedroom with familiar furniture is ideal. Fill the litter box and place it in the room. Put out food and a water bowl on the other side of the room. Moreover, add some toys and a scratcher, so your cat doesn’t get bored. While keeping the room door closed, open their carrier and allow your cat to step out when they are ready. The key is to let your cat acclimate to a small area of the house first, so they can become acquainted with the new smells before venturing further. You can keep your kitty in the room for a few hours or up to a week, depending on how they’re doing.
Don’t Leave Your Cat Alone
While they are pretty independent beings, cats need daily visits and someone to keep them company from time to time. It would help if you didn’t leave them alone for too long, especially in a new, unknown environment. In the days following the move, you should frequently check in on your kitty and give them lots of love and attention. When helping your cat adjust to a new home and feel more at ease, set aside time to spend with them in their designated room.
If you have other obligations that are keeping you from spending enough time with your cat, you can always hire pet sitting services. That way, you can still take care of everything you have to, and your cat will have someone to keep them company.
Let Cat Explore the New Space
Once your kitty has gotten comfortable, you can allow them to start exploring the rest of the house more freely. It would be best if you left the litter box in the same room for the time being. However, you can relocate your cat’s food and water bowls to their new permanent spots in the house.
Check Up on Your Cat
Keep a close eye on your cat during the first few weeks after the move. If you notice signs of stress, consider taking a step back and limiting their territory rather than expanding it. There’s nothing wrong with returning your kitty into that first room for a day or two if they’re in pain; just make sure to bring their food and water with them.
If your cat appears to be adjusting well and acting normally, you should be good to go! At this point, you can decide on a permanent location for their litter box. There are plenty of ways you can hide litter boxes around your home in plain sight. Don’t forget to show your cat where you moved it, so they know where to look for it later.
After the move, give your cat at least a week to get used to their new surroundings before allowing them to go outside. Some cats adapt quickly to their new surroundings, while others require more time. It can be hugely beneficial if you can spend quality time with them in the first few days. This, along with patience, is the best way of helping your cat adjust to a new home. Don’t rush anything. Allow your kitty as much time as they need to adjust to the sounds and smells of their new surroundings.