As a cat owner, maybe you already know that cats—well, most of them—don’t like change. They like being in comfortable and familiar spaces, and anything new gives them anxiety. However, at some points in your life, you would probably have to move homes. When this happens, it is crucial that you prepare your cat for the relocation so it will be a stress-free move for him:
Before the Move
- Give your cat the opportunity to be familiar with his carrier so he won’t make a fuss when you put him in it on the actual moving day. Leave it open and place a bed for your cat in it. You may also leave a few treats in it in order to entice your cat inside the carrier. Gradually introduce the habit of feeding your cat inside his carrier. For instance, you may start by placing his food dish near the carrier at first and slowly work your way inside.
- While you’re packing, enclose your cat inside a quiet room far from all the noise and activity, which could possibly make him anxious. It might also be be a good idea to get him familiar with your moving boxes.
- Even while you’re busy with all the packing, try not to change your cat’s routine too much. Keep to his regular feeding and playing schedule. Give him the same amount of attention. You can use a feeder with a timer functionality to make sure that he eats at regular times.
On the Day of the Move
- Moving day is a busy day, and your family members and the moving crew will be going in and out of the house. To prevent your cat from getting anxious and dashing outside during this busy time, you can enclose him in a small, quiet space such as a bathroom with his bed, litter box, water, and food. Make sure you put a sign informing everyone to keep the door shut and to be silent as they pass that area to ensure that he really stays inside.
- While you are traveling, your cat is sure to get very anxious and scared. However, try to resist opening his carrier in order to comfort him as he might dash out. You should only open his carrier when you arrive at your destination.
After the Move
- Take your cat right away to a relatively quiet room inside your new house. Set up his food and water containers as well as his bed and litter box. Make this his home base for a few days while you and your family are busy unpacking. Keeping him in this quiet space for a few days will allow him to get used to the new environment gradually.
- When you are done with the unpacking and you and your family are mostly settled in your new house, begin to introduce your cat to your new home. Supervise him closely while he is exploring this unfamiliar environment.
You should make the relocation as stress-free as possible for your pet. Otherwise, you risk having your cat meow constantly and loudly, cry, hide, show aggression, and even attempt to escape from his new habitat.