If you’re like many people, you’re a pet parent – and that means you have special considerations when you move. We’re not going to sugar-coat it: Moving with a pet is stressful on everyone involved. But there are a few things you can do to make the whole process less stressful (and safer for your four-legged family member, too).
3 Tips to Make Moving With a Cat Less Stressful (on You AND the Cat)
Your cat is part of your family, so naturally, you want him or her to experience as little stress as possible during your move – and hopefully, you want the same for yourself. These three tips can help make moving with a cat less stressful for all of you:
- Get your feline friend comfortable with her carrier.
- Stick to the routine he’s used to.
- Let your cat’s stress level guide you in your new home.
Here’s a closer look at each.
Tip #1 for Moving With a Cat: Get Your Feline Friend Comfortable With Her Carrier
On moving day, your cat will spend plenty of time in her carrier – it’s safest for you and for her. However, if she’s not already used to it (or if she’s definitely not a fan), it’s a good idea to get her comfortable in and around it well in advance of the big day.
- Keeping the door open at all times.
- Placing the cat carrier near her food and water bowls so she gets used to it.
- Putting her favorite toy inside so she ventures in on her own.
- Placing food and water inside the carrier (but only if your cat doesn’t despise the whole setup). It’s okay if she hates it now; she’ll get used to it and eventually, you can move her food and water bowls in there as she becomes more comfortable.
- Giving her treats as soon as she gets into the carrier so she learns to associate it with good things.
Tip #2 for Moving With a Cat: Stick to the Routine He’s Used To
Try to stick to your routines involving meals, playtime and cuddles leading up to the move. Cats aren’t known for their willingness to adapt to change, which means you should keep things as normal as possible for him. The bottom line is that when you move, your cat’s environment and his routine will change; both of those things are stressful, so minimizing the amount of change he has to experience will make things easier on both of you.
Tip #3 for Moving With a Cat: Let Your Cat’s Stress Level Guide You in Your New Home
If your cat is extremely stressed when you arrive at your new home, you’ll want to let her explore gradually. Leave the doors to some rooms closed until she gets more comfortable in the spaces where you spend the most time.
You can tell if your cat is stressed by watching for these signs:
- Flat ears
- Whiskers pointed forward
- Hesitating near the litter tray
- Less tolerance for people and attention
- Becoming withdrawn
- Sleep disturbances
- Pacing or circling
- Soiling in the house
Related: Moving tips from the pros