In itself, moving house is stressful. What about moving house with a cat? You guessed it. It can be downright frustrating. Cats, just like dogs, are quite territorial. They are attached to the familiar and rarely embrace new routines.
Thus, moving house can be pretty stressful to your feline as it will have to familiarise with the new environment, smells and sounds that it was previously not used to. You also risk losing your cat if the anxiety goes overboard, and it runs away.
For these reasons, we’ve put together top tips to help you move house with a cat easily and make them feel comfortable quickly in the new environment.
Before Moving House
This is the time to prepare your cat for the move. It is the least stressful period among the three stages as the cat is still in its usual environment. All you need to do is get them prepared for the nuances of the move. The steps below highlight exactly how you can get your cat prepared and ready for the move.
Maintain Usual Routine
As the tasks build-up towards the moving day, you might find it increasingly challenging to maintain your cat’s routine. Nonetheless, strive to maintain its playtime, cuddles and meals. Actively maintain the cat’s daily activities up until the moving day.
Make Your Cat Comfortable with the Carrier
Often, cats dislike the carrier because they associate it with a visit to the vet. Since you’ll use the carrier on the moving day, it will help to ensure your cat is comfortable.
Way before the move, start helping your cat ease their dislike for the carrier. You can leave the carrier open in a room that your cat visits the most and let it get used to it. Better yet, place its favourite toy in the carrier. If the cat is still resistant, start feeding it around and inside the carrier. The goal is to help your cat disassociate the carrier with fear and instead link it to treats, meals and toys.
There’ll be a lot going on on the moving day. Unfamiliar smells and sounds, doors opening and closing, and constant movements. These are all things that could overwhelm your cat. Your priority on this day is to ensure your cat is safe. With a little attention, you can make this day a little less stressful.
Cut Back on the Meal
Like humans, some cats get car sick during travels. You can help reduce the chances of vomiting by cutting down the cat’s meal on the moving day. Even better, don’t feed them an hour before the move.
However, if you are travelling long distance, water and perhaps food will make your cat comfortable throughout the journey.
Contain Your Cat in a Room
Since there’ll be many activities on the moving day, it will be best to keep your cat in a quiet room as movers upload your stuff in the moving van. Keep your cat comfortable with toys, food, water, beddings, and litter tray in the safe zone. You can put a tag at the door with the label “cat inside” to minimise the risk of a mover or anyone opening the door.
Load the Cat in the Carrier
You should load the cat into the carrier right before you get into the car yourself. If you notice your cat isn’t happy in the carrier during the move, resist the urge to remove it.
Cats can pick your body language. So, try to relax throughout the journey. Only remove the cat from the carrier once you are in your new house and everything has been taken inside.
After the Move
You’ve managed a huge chunk of the task. It’s now time for your cat to ease into the new environment.
Gradually Introduce the Cat to Your New Environment
Take time to introduce your cat to the new environment gradually. You can let the cat in a few rooms and slowly increase their territory as they ease into the new home. When doing this, ensure the doors and window are closed; otherwise, you risk the cat venturing outside. Make time to interact and play with your cat during this transition period.
Set Up a Litter Box
Since this is a new environment, it will take a bit of time for your cat to get used to the new litter box spot. To make this easier, have two litter boxes. One in the cat’s home-base room and another at a designated location which will be the litter box’s permanent location. Ensure in both spots they can be easily noticed. Once the cat gets used to where the litter boxes are located, remove the litter box in the room and only leave the permanent one.
Keep your cat inside for 2-3 weeks as it explores the home and familiarise with the new smells. When it’s time to let it out, go out with your cat. You can maintain a little distance but keep watch.
The common practice is to let them out before you feed them so that hunger can bring them back.
Start by letting your cat out for a short period and slowly increase its time outside as it becomes more familiar with the new environment.
Don’ts When Moving into a New House With a Cat
Don’t let your cat out into the garden without checking if the walls and the fences are secure. You must look for any gaps along your garden’s perimeter fencing.
Don’t leave your cat unattended in the first days of releasing it in the garden. Cats may take a long time to ease into a new environment. Be patient.
Don’t shout at or scold your cat in the first days of moving if they chew the furniture or other materials. In the new environment, house training can take some time because of the anxiety and stress the cat might be going through.
Don’t change the cat’s routine in the new house. Maintaining the same schedule will help the cat cope better.
Let’s Make Your Move Easier
We hope this guide will help you move into your new home with your feline with ease. We can also help you make this move easier with our affordable house removal services. As professionals with extensive experience in house removals, we’ll help you move house with your cat without breaking your budget. Get in touch!