Cats are one of the most territorial pets you can have. They are well-known for their resistance to new routines as they love to stay in a familiar environment. However, every once in a while, it’s time to move households, and our feline friends must come with us. Moving with a cat can be stressful, especially for your pet. To minimize the hassles that come with moving, here are things you need to know!
What To Expect When Moving With A Cat
When moving with your kitty, expect to deal with some messes and escape attempts. They may even become grumpy and try to hiss or paw at you. This is normal behavior because cats tend to go back to where they used to live. When outside of your new home, they will keep on stomping the ground or pursuing the things that remind them of their old territory.
To help get your cat used to your new home, keep it inside as it tries to familiarize itself with the new environment. Introduce your cat to the outside world little by little instead of all at once. Your cat may also be a bit more withdrawn or grump than usual. This is because they are stressed by their new environment and quite frankly, a bit scared.
They don’t know what to expect, so their instincts tell them to be on their guard. If you find your cat hiding from you, refusing to come out at meal times, or even acting aggressively towards people they usually wouldn’t be, rest assured it’s part of the process. Once they transition and adjust to their new home, this behavior should subside.
How Does Moving Affect Cats?
Moving makes your cat feel scared, overwhelmed and stressed. They lose their old routine and have to adjust to a whole new environment. Cats are sensitive creatures. They are known to be territorial and love to leave their mark wherever they go. Leaving behind their scent sets boundaries for themselves. When cats can’t find the traces they’ve left behind, they can become aggressive and stressed.
What you need to do as an owner is to understand that their messy behavior is natural. Do your best to remain calm and patient. This behavior will subside once they get used to their new environment.
Preparing To Move Your Cat Before You Relocate
Planning ahead of time is always the key to a smooth and successful move. Below are some important preparatory steps you can make before the relocation day.
Deep Clean Your New Place
Thoroughly cleaning your new place is crucial, especially if the previous person who lived there owned pets. A good cleaning will remove the traces and smells of these animals. Your feline friend has powerful senses, and they may feel like they’re in another cat’s territory if they smell those traces.
Deep clean and vacuum each carpet to remove any fur. Bleach and scented cleaners can help wipe that “pet smell” off tables, surfaces, and countertops.
Crate Training & Keeping Your Cat Secure
Before the move, train your cat to be comfortable in its crate. We all know how irritable cats can be when they’re put in crates for vet trips. It is important to keep your kitty secure and comfortable before the moving day to prevent anxiety.
You can train your pet by putting it in the crate for an hour or so a few weeks before the big day. Let it play with its favorite toys on the crate and give it treats. If your cat still dislikes its crate, bring its meals (or some catnip!) next to the crate. This habit will get your kitty to associate its crate with yummy food.
How To Move With A Cat
So, the moving day is about to arrive, and you are worried about the stress your cat may feel. Traveling from the old home to the new one is indeed difficult for any cat. It may affect its mental health as it is not used to new routines. But, there are a lot of ways you can keep your feline friend secured in your new home.
Keep Your Routine
The way to help your cat adjust to its new environment is to keep your normal routine. Do you feed it at 8 in the morning? Do you play with it before lunchtime? No matter how busy you are packing or loading things for the new home, keep this routine so that your cat feels secure and confident with you and the new place.
Give Your Cat Its Own Space
Introduce your cat to the new space while you are still in the old home. Ideally, this space would be similar to the one you plan to keep your cat in the new home. This will help it adapt to the new environment quicker. Allow your cat to move around in its new space so it can easily get used to its surroundings.
Feed Them In Small Portions
Your cat can feel stress and exhaustion just like a human. Like people, cats may lose their appetite during the stress of moving day. Don’t force it to eat its usual meal as this may cause an upset stomach or vomiting. Feed small portions instead, and allow your kitty to drink lots of water.
Try CBD For Cats
If you are worried about your cat’s high level of stress and anxiety, you can try CBD. Most pet owners use CBD when their cats are nervous, about to travel, or moving to a new home. You can use CBD to reduce their fear in these situations. If you are unfamiliar with CBD feel free to take a look at our easy-to-use CBD dosage chart for pets for more information.
Avoid Leaving Your Cat In Hot Cars For Extended Periods
The best way to get your cat to settle down in the car on moving day is to give it plenty of experience. Once your cat is accustomed to riding or sitting in the car, he is less likely to be stressed for long travel hours. However, please don’t leave your kitty in hot cars for a long period. Warm temperatures for cats feel like they are inside an oven. They may suffer heatstroke or heat exhaustion.
Give Them A Chance To Play In The Moving Boxes
Cats love big boxes, and allowing them to play with boxes is a great idea to make them comfortable when moving. While you are packing, let your cat explore and have fun. This is better than seeing it get stressed out while everyone is busy preparing for the move.
Let Your Cat Take The Lead
Once you get your cat into the new home, allow it to let off some of that nervous energy it’s been building up. Your feline friend might run around the apartment, explore every corner, and even try to escape again. Keep your cat contained and protect any furniture or objects that could be damaged.
We all know that cats are extremely independent, and letting them take the lead will give a sense of comfort and confidence in their new setting. You can also make them feel more at ease by petting and cuddling with them. No matter how messy it gets, just be patient, as this is how cats cope with the stressful event of moving. Just be sure not to leave out any priceless vases until your cat calms down.
Final Thoughts: Moving With A Cat
Some cats can settle easily in a new home, while others cannot. No matter how moody your kitty gets, be patient as this behavior is normal. It will take time for it to adjust, but one thing is certain: he will soon get back to his sweet and loving mood and learn to love your new digs!