While cats can be a loving and playful addition to the family, they can also be territorial and stubborn when it comes to change. Cats feel most comfortable in a space that they are familiar with, causing moving to be a difficult endeavor. There are however steps that you can take to lessen the stress. Below are some best practices for moving with a cat.
1. Bring out the Carriers
Cats enjoy being in dark, covered spaces making carriers their ideal place to relax or take a nap. However, they can also be a sign of unpleasant memories such as going to the vet’s office. Due to this, take all of your cat carriers out of storage and place them throughout the home where your feline friend will have access to it and become acclimated. Once the moving day has arrived, they will be comfortable enough in their carrier to be transported.
2. Use Natural Scents
Cats can often develop motion sickness during transportation. Consider taking a trip to your local pet supplies store and purchasing “Travel Spray for Cats”. These sprays are a natural alternative to harsh medicines and will calm or put the cat to sleep.
3. Give Your Cat Space
Given that you live with a cat, you already know that cats don’t crave a lot of attention the way that dogs do. Cats will come to you if they want something, then walk away shortly after once they are fulfilled. You may be tempted to cuddle your cat or give them loads of attention, however its best to leave them alone until they are adequately acclimated to their new surrounding.
4. Keep Doors Closed
Given the stress of a new home, all their belongings moved, as well as unknown people in and out, your cat may feel the need to escape and run away. Notify all of your movers that you own a cat to make sure they are careful with windows and entrances. Keep your carrier on hand until everything is put in place. It may be best to keep your cat in their carrier until you have officially completed.
5. Don’t Forget the Cat Litter
For moves across the country that require a long car ride, its necessary to purchase a small travel-sized cat little box. Use the same type of litter that you would at home to keep as much consistency as possible. Invest in dog bags to remove the waste and keep the litter fresh at all times.
6. Hydration is Key
Cats need to stay hydrated at all times to stay healthy. Use a small bowl and keep a fresh supply of water on hand. During rest stops, spoon wet cat food into their food bowl which will supply an extra amount of water.
7. Keep Music Down
It’s a known trick that the soft humming of driving can put babies at ease, and it’s no different for cats. Keep loud music at bay and let your cat ease themselves into their temporary surroundings.
8. Avoid Direct Sunlight
Be conscious of where your cat is placed within the car. You may need to purchase sun-blocking screens for the windows for protection. While they may enjoy a few minutes of sunlight at home, it can be damaging to their eyes and cause excess heat in the car.
9. Be Aware of Plants
Keep toxic plants such as aloe and palm trees away from their crate. While you may be able to keep these away from your cat within the home, having these plants near your cat while traveling can cause serious illness.
10. Be Gentle
Overall, try to understand your cat’s personality and tune into their needs. Pack their favorite blanket or toy with them for comfort and speak softly to them.
Once you are settled and completely moved into your new home, open the door to your cat’s crate, and allow them to get acclimated one room at a time. Place their bed and litter box in a nearby location to keep consistency.
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