Moving House with a Cat: How to Make Your Feline Friend Feel at Home
Moving can be a stressful experience for all members of your family, including your pets. Dogs are pack animals, and while they might be unsettled by a change of environment, they will quickly adjust due to the fact that they're with their pack (you and your family). Cats are entirely different, and they require a specific way to help them adjust to their new surroundings. So what can you do to ensure that your feline friend quickly accepts their new home?
During the moving process, it can be best if your cat is not present. The cat can become stressed as you move through your home, removing boxes and furniture, and it's not as though a cat can be tied up outside like a dog. Consider asking a friend or family member to take care of your cat for the day. The cat can then be delivered straight to your new home.
To expedite the moving process, consider hiring professional furniture removalists from a company like U Help Removals. Putting someone else in charge of the actual moving process will allow you to focus more on keeping your feline friend comfortable.
Travelling in Comfort
Cats do not enjoy travelling in the same way that a dog does. If you don't already have one, buy or borrow a cat transportation cage for the journey. You should put the cat's bedding inside the cage so the familiar smell will soothe them. If the journey is a long one, a cat leash will also be necessary so that you can stop and allow the cat to stretch its legs.
The First Day
Only allow your cat to explore its new home once the furniture has been moved in. On the first day, your cat should be confined to a single room, which is ideally the room it will sleep in. Feed your cat in this room and sit with it, so it begins to associate you with these new surroundings. This speeds up the process of the cat becoming comfortable with its new home.
The First Week
Over the next week, allow your cat to explore the other rooms of the house. Cats are territorial, and knowing the layout of the new house will make the cat feel like this is their new territory, making the cat less likely to try to escape.
The Great Outdoors
If your cat was previously allowed outdoors, you need to reintroduce this in stages. Allow your cat outside for supervised small portions of time. Your cat will explore the backyard and will gradually begin to think of this area as its new territory. You should do this for at least two weeks before allowing your cat to remain outdoors on its own.
The Great Escape
Despite your best efforts, your cat might attempt to run away and make its way back to its previous territory (your former home). If you have moved to a new part of the same city, notify the new residents of your former home, just in case the cat shows up. Microchipping your cat is a good idea so that it can easily be found if it happens to go missing. If your cat has already been microchipped, ensure that your contact details have been updated with the Australian Animal Registry.
With a little effort, your cat will soon feel at home in its new surroundings… and hopefully you will too!