Moving home is one of the most stressful events that you will experience in your lifetime, Therefore, when you are undertaking this massively demanding task, the last thing you need to be worrying about is your beautiful furry, feline friend – your cat!
However, you most likely already are.
You may be concerned that your cat will get lost during the move itself, might try and return to your previous property or simply struggle to cope with their new environment.
Fortunately, there are ways in which you can ensure that moving home with your cat is as seamless and stress-free as possible, for yourself and your much loved pet.
In the run up to moving day when you are packing up your home, try not to disrupt your cat’s daily routine too much. Obviously, this may be tricky as you are trying to organise all your belongings ahead of the big move, but it is important that you try and stick to a routine so that your cat feels safe and secure.
Try to carry on feeding your cat at the same time, in the same place, and spend time with them as you usually would on a day-to-day basis.
Introduce the cat box
As a cat owner, you will know only too well that cats often fear their travelling box! Normally because they associate it with having to leave their safe and familiar surroundings and often they will be placed in it to travel to the local vets – definitely a place they prefer not to visit! Therefore, it is a good idea to leave the cat box out for a few days before you move home so that your cat feels more comfortable around it.
Register with your local vet
Once you have made the move to your new home, your cat will be more vulnerable to accidents or becoming lost, simply because the area is unfamiliar. This is why it is crucial that you are registered with a new vet before you move. You should also ensure that your cat’s microchip details are up to date so that if your cat does wander off or suffer an injury, you know you will be able to locate your pet.
Preparing your new home is vitally important if you want your cat to feel comfortable and relaxed in their new surroundings as soon as possible. You can prepare your new home for your cat by ensuring that it is thoroughly cleaned before moving day, especially if the previous owners had their own pet. Cats have very sensitive noses – around fourteen times as sensitive as humans’ sense of smell – and will sniff out other pet smells immediately!
Consider using a cattery
When it comes to the big day itself, you may feel more comfortable putting your cat in a cattery for the day, so that you can move without having to worry about them. This also has the added benefit of your cat being able to experience your new home for the first time when you are calm and settled, with familiar items around you, rather than preoccupied and stressed.
If you do choose to take your cat with you on moving day, then you must ensure that they are safe and secure for the journey. Always use an enclosed carrier with no faults and ensure that the carrier is safely secured in your vehicle with a seat belt.
Make sure that your cat has access to fresh water, especially if your journey to your new home is long, and keep them out of direct sunlight or they could become overheated and dehydrated.
Before you bring your cat into your new property, first bring in their belongings, even if it is just their preferred blanket, their food and water bowls. Set these items up in a secure room and then bring your cat in. The familiarity of their belongings will help them to settle by offering reassurance during this confusing time.
Gradually allow more freedom
Depending on your cat’s personality, they may be keen to explore the rest of your new home, or they may simply want to sit quietly in one room until they feel more relaxed in their new environment.
If they are keen to roam, make sure you let them explore your new home at their own pace, and keep all the windows and doors closed at first. It’s important to let them outside in time too, especially if they’re used to being outdoors.
Generally you should ensure you keep your cat indoors for at least two weeks so that they familiarise themselves with your new home. After two weeks, venture outside with your cat and let them explore for ten minutes or so. Then take them back inside.
Every day you should increase the time spent outside until your cat feels safe and knows the area better.
It’s important to remember that your cat may feel stressed in their new surroundings, so make sure you give them extra attention to help them relax and build a bond.
For impartial moving home and property advice, contact our expert team at Chartsedge on 01803 505115 and we will be delighted to assist.