Moving is a major project and can leave you feeling unsettled. This is even more true for cats who are creatures of habit and don’t like to change their routines.
They exist by scent and when familiar smells and routines are changed with the process of packing, they can become agitated.
They also require patience as they adapt to their new home, full of strange new sounds and odors.
How Should You Prepare Before Moving Day?
There are several steps you can take to help make the big move safe and sane as possible for you and your feline fur babies.
1. Consider boarding your cat.
Moving is stressful for both humans and felines. Perhaps boarding your cats for the actual moving may be advisable.
This eliminates the risk of your cats escaping and running away through doors that are either left open or opened dozens of times during the truck loading process.
Also, if your move isn’t taking you too far from your former residence, you can set up the new home and have it ready for your cats to explore the new layout without the chaos of setting up.
2. Use a pet carrier.
Have a carrier for each of your cats, open and accessible for several weeks in advance of the move.
Let them get used to the smell and size of the carriers so they are familiar with them before moving day.
Never open a carrier when the vehicle door is open, and make sure to use a seat belt on the carrier in case of accident or sudden stops.
Visit the Vet.
Before you move your cats, make sure that their vaccinations are all up to date. This is also a good time to get your pets microchipped if they aren’t already.
This will give your pet the greatest probability of being reunited with you in case of accidental separation. Without a microchip, chances of recovering your cat are slim to none.
While you are at the vet’s, make sure to obtain copies of your pets health records including vaccination records, and any prescriptions your pet has had or is currently taking.
Also, have your pet’s prescriptions refills prepared as it could take a while to find a vet after your move.
Also, if you are concerned about how your cats will respond to the chaos of packing and moving, ask your vet about pheromone treatments, or using Feliway.
Pheromone treatments should be started at the very beginning of the moving process.
Most vets recommend using the pheromones from when you first start packing until you are settled in your new home.
4. Keep to your cats’ normal routines as much as possible.
Preparation for a move will keep you busy, but your cats like to have their routine as stable as possible.
While you are busy packing or unpacking, try to keep your cats’ daily routine intact by having playtime and feeding time on a consistent schedule.
5. Check your travel arrangements.
If you are traveling by plane, make sure to check their pet policies well in advance of your moving date. Be sure to clarify what types of carriers are allowed on the plane.
Some airlines allow pets in the cabin as long as the carrier fits under the seat in front of you. It is also helpful to take a direct flight to your destination if possible.
Traveling by car is the most common method of moving with pets, however. Before loading up your vehicle, clean it to avoid any toxins that could make your cats sick. Be sure to remove any small objects that could possibly cause choking.
Remove food and water several hours before leaving to help prevent motion sickness in your cats. Make so to provide plenty of water after traveling to help them to re-hydrate.
What should you do after the move?
Getting there is only half the battle. Your pet cats may need more coddling to help them acclimate to their new environment.
Cats love stability and routine, so don’t take it personally if your pet felines seem a little put out during and after a move.
1. Make sure your new home is ready for your cats.
Check for screens on all doors and windows. Also, go to your new home looking for any hiding spots where your cats could get stuck and make them inaccessible.
It is also a good idea to treat your new home for flea and ticks before moving in.
Also, check for any electrical cords that could be a problem and tuck them away so your cats can’t chew on them.
2. Take it slow.
Allow only limited access to your new home. Begin with a relatively quiet room. Put a temporary litter box in that room.
Spend time with your cats in the room to help them feel at home. Open up a new room every few days for your cats to explore.
Place a second litter box in its permanent location and when the cats have discovered it, remove the temporary litter box.
Cats can get overwhelmed with all the new smells and sounds in different environments. While your cats are exploring, scatter some of their toys around.
They will have a familiar smell and will help to provide a sense of familiarity and security for your cats.
Playing with your cats in each new area of your home will also help to get your cats to relax in their new environment. Once the chaos of unpacking subsides, they will be able to settle in quickly.
Moving with multiple cats takes planning and patience. In this video, are several of the tips mentioned, plus more, about moving with multiple cats.
From getting them used to carriers, microchip insertions, to settling in the new house, this video will help you plan your move.
With careful planning, you and your cats will adapt as quickly as possible to your new home.