Moving to a new home can be an exciting yet stressful time, particularly if you’re preparing for a long-distance move. Cats are typically territorial, so moving them out of a familiar environment to somewhere new can cause anxiety. To simplify the process and keep your cat happy, take a look at these five ways to take the stress out of moving with a cat:
1. Start Using a Carrier Now
When you move, your cat is going to be spending a relatively large amount of time in its carrier. By getting them used to it now, you can reduce the amount of stress they experience during the journey itself. Begin by leaving the carrier in a familiar place and give your cat the chance to explore it in their own time. Similarly, add familiar items to the carrier so that your cat associates it with his or her favorite things.
2. Start Packing Boxes Early
Last-minute packing can be stressful in its own right, but packing earlier will ease your anxiety, as well as your cats! Fortunately, most cats are big fans of cardboard boxes, so you can let them get involved in the process. Again, leaving a couple of empty packing boxes around your home weeks before you move will help to ensure that your cat isn’t startled by the sight of them as the moving day approaches.
3. Hire Professional Movers
Once you’re ready to start loading boxes into a van or shipping furniture to your new location, it’s important to simplify the process as much as possible. When you hire a professional long distance moving company, you can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to pack up your belongings and get them on the road. In fact, you might want to use a cattery for a day or two to keep your cat safe while you get the bulk of the work done. This gives you peace of mind that your cat is safe and minimizes the amount of stress they’re exposed to.
4. Use a GPS-Enabled Collar
If your cat tends to do a disappearing act when they’re anxious, it’s vital to keep tabs on them while you’re preparing to move. After all, you don’t want to delay your departure because your cat is unaccounted for! What’s more – a GPS-enabled collar will enable you to keep track of your cat once you arrive at your new home and they’re exploring their new neighborhood.
5. Keep to Your Usual Routine
Your cat will feel calmer if their routine carries on as normal, so try to feed them at regular times and spend time interacting with them as you normally would. Moving house inevitably involves changing the cat’s environment but you don’t have to drastically alter their routine too. By keeping to your usual routine, you can alleviate your cat’s anxiety and provide them with the reassurance they need.
Keeping Your Cat Calm
Once you’re on the road, take steps to minimize stress by keeping your cat contained and engaging with them regularly. Access to water is essential but small meals at regular times can help too. If you’re worried that your cat will experience high levels of stress due to a house move, it’s well worth talking to your vet in advance.