Moving is an exciting time for many people but preparing your cat to move into a new home can be tricky.
The joys of a new environment, fresh scenery, and best of all, a new beginning in a new place! Moving may be exciting, but you can’t talk about moving without admitting that it can be just as stressful as it is fun.
As fun as unpacking, organizing, finding a new home for everything, and getting to use out the old in with the new as an excuse and a fresh start is, getting there isn’t always such a smooth transition. Moving can be hard on everyone in your household, not just us, but our pets are much more affected by moving than we may be.
Animals do have a harder time with moving than us since they don’t get the luxury of being able to mentally prepare as we do for something as big as moving to a new home.
You want to try and make a move as easy as possible for your feline friend, who can be particularly sensitive when it comes to moving. The best thing you can do is start by thinking ahead. Sometimes we don’t always get to plan everything, but moving with animals, when possible, the earlier you get yourself and your pets ready, the easier it will be on everyone.
We want to try and keep our pets in mind a couple of weeks before the moving day if that’s possible in your situation.
Packing up your house can be hard on your cat, so you want to get them used to the process early. Luckily, this can also be fun for your pet with your help. We all know that as soon as there’s an empty box, cats will be in it or trying to be. After all, the saying goes, “if I fit, I sit, right”?
Let them have some fun by leaving a couple of empty boxes around where you are packing, so it gets them used to the action and it gives them something to play with. You get bonus points if you want to cut holes in the sides of the boxes to really provide them with something to have fun with.
Something that you can do to get your cat ready for moving out is to have a dedicated kitty-corner set up for them a couple of weeks in advance, so they already have a safe space when moving day comes.
The key thing to remember is that the transition can only go as smoothly as you help make it. With a bit of preparation and thinking ahead, you can help make this transition as smooth as possible for your cat.
Getting The Old Place Ready
If it is possible, it’s best to have an area or a room set up for your cat that is comfortable and will be packed last. Set this area up with stuff for your cat to help make moving easier on them. This should include their kennel, bed, food, water, litter box, cat furniture, and toys.
This gives them a safe and comfortable spot to be away from the stress of moving. You want to set this room up a few weeks in advance and keep it accessible to your cat, so when you must keep them in there on moving day, they will be able to be comfortable and hopefully happy to spend some time in there.
If a cozy cat room isn’t an option, then you can still prepare by getting the carrier you’re going to be moving them in, setting up a couple of weeks ahead of time, and giving them a little section of the house with their kennel, toys, food, and litter. This gives your cat a safe spot to go to when things around them are being packed and moved and gets them comfortable with the idea of being in their carrier when it comes time for them to be in it.
Getting The New Place Ready
Moving out is one thing to consider, but it’s important to make sure you take just as much care with making your kitty comfortable with the new place as it is moving out of the old one.
A new environment can be a lot for anyone to take in, especially our animals. You want to make sure that they will feel comfortable in their new home. If you can, it’s best to set up a safe area at the new place, too, and take your cat over there to explore the empty house first. This makes it a little less stressful having to spend some time in there while you do the heavy lifting and unpacking.
This would preferably be a room or section of the house or apartment that you can move your cat into with its comfort items and will be set up for its actual use last. Keep your kitty comfy in this area while you set up the house.
Let them Explore
When you are ready to let your cat explore their newly set up environment, make sure you hold off on taking apart the moving room and try to keep their safe space available for the first little while until they are more comfortable in the new place.
Things to include in the room:
You pretty much want to include whatever you had set up at the old place or to include the same kind of items that you have set up at the old place. You can move the stuff you already have set up if you are moving the cat there for good and just re-set that up in the kitty corner at the new place until you’re done moving in.
Food, Treats & Water
If new toys and furniture are in your cat’s future to go along with the new house, it always provides a good distraction to throw some new things in the safe space to let them get used to everything, and it helps keep them excited and distracted, along with some of their old stuff, so they still feel familiar and safe.
Even indoor cats can get out, and even in an apartment or condo, it’s essential to have your up-to-date address and phone number on their ID tag on their collar in case they ever do get out and lost, even if it is most likely they just walk down the hall. If they do get out, you’ll want whoever they might meet to be able to bring them back to the right place.
Remember that moving is a lot on your cat, so don’t be surprised if your cat is more vocal during the moving process until they are settled in the new place. They also will probably spend a lot of time testing out new hiding spots until they feel at home.
Try to be encouraging of your cat to come out and explore if it seems like they have been hiding a lot but be careful not to make them feel like they are being pulled out of their new hiding spots, especially while they are still trusting the new place.
If you noticed they don’t seem to be coming out very much, try persuading them with some play and treats, and they should start warming up to the new place in no time.
Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of planning, you will feel ready when the day comes, and the transition will go as easy as you make it for you and your cat. It may take your fur friend time to warm up, come out and get back to normal, but don’t worry, your cat will feel right at home, which probably means acting like they own the place in no time.