Cats can be extremely sensitive to moving so both you and your feline friend can experience a lot of stress if you don’t plan the move properly. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to make the whole relocation process easier on your cats. Since felines can get nervous even during the packing stage, and especially so after you arrive at your new home, you’ll have to think about helping them cope with change through all the stages of relocation. Let’s face it, with time cats become a part of family, and all family members require certain consideration when moving. But worry not, because we have some simple guidelines for moving with cats, which should help you organize a stress-free move for you and your felines.
1. Have a game plan
The first thing to do when you’re moving with cats is to have a game plan. In order to make a plan that’ll work, you must consider your feline friend’s specific needs and work around that – for example, most cats are pretty sensitive when it comes to change of space or routine, but yours may be less affected by it, so keep your cats’ personality and habits in mind when making a moving plan.
2. Introduce the carrier
Now before you move, you must make sure you introduce the cat carrier in advance. This makes the best option for transporting your furry friend from your current home, so go ahead and find a suitable carrier – you can purchase one but you could also borrow it from a friend and bring it back after you move. Give your cat or cats enough time to get familiar with a carrier they will travel in and choose one that’s well-secured and cozy. At this point, you’ll also want to prepare an identity collar with your cat’s info, just in case.
3. Contact the property manager
There’s one important thing all feline parents must do before moving to their new home and that’s contacting the property manager and checking whether their policy allows for pets. Needless to say, you should do this way in advance because it can affect your moving date in case you need to find another home that welcomes cats. Your next obligation as a pet owner is also to see if local regulations call for registering your cat in case you’re moving to another state. Some states require you to do so while others don’t, so it’s best to check on this before you move so you would be well prepared and act according to law. Then you will also need your cats’ medical records, proof of vaccination, or any other paperwork regarding your felines.
4. See a vet
Another preparation step to make before you move is to see a vet so schedule an appointment for a checkup. This will give you peace of mind knowing your cats are ok to travel, especially if you’re moving far away and they have to spend a while in their carriers. A vet will confirm that medical records are up to date, as well as provide any potential vaccines, shots, medications, or certificates proving your cat’s health condition. And since you’ll be moving and won’t be able to visit the same vet anymore, you can also ask them if they can recommend another vet in your new area.
A word of recommendation from a trusted doc goes a long way but you can find other ways to connect with reliable vets as well. So, don’t worry if you’re moving too far. You can connect with other feline owners online or research for yourself and find a new vet.
5. Do your homework
At this point, your preparation phase is still not done as there are a couple more things you must take care of before moving. One of them is transportation since you must figure out the best way to move with your pet. Usually, small carriers can be taken with you in the cabin but keep in mind that all airlines have different policies regarding almost everything, and that includes their pet policies. Do your homework and find a pet-friendly airline so you wouldn’t bring unnecessary stress upon yourself.
While this is important for long-distance moves and sometimes for local ones, you may want to look for an alternative. It’s a pretty good idea to ask a close friend or a family member to look after your cat on moving day since you won’t have to worry about travel and you’ll be able to transport them in your car after the relocation is done. It’s still advisable you use a pet carrier, simply because it’s the easiest way for your cat to travel but you’ll want to make sure that the carrier is secured in a back seat and that it’s covered with a blanket during the car ride.
6. Bring snacks
Now who’s traveling without snacks? For sure nobody should, and especially not felines. We could all use a nice snack during a stressful day so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t treat your cat to some delicious snacks. Have their favorite food on hand and don’t forget their toys as well – any of their special items can provide a bit of comfort needed during this transition period.
7. Pack an essential bag
You can also pack a separate essentials bag for your pets with items we just mentioned and include any medicines they use, their grooming tools, and other personal items. This will help you once you move in because you’ll have everything in one place and you’ll be able to help your cat feel comfortable as soon as you arrive rather than going through all the boxes looking for that silly toy. Speaking of the move-in day, all feline friends are familiar with the fact that they’re pretty territorial, so naturally, changing their surroundings is not exactly pleasant. Now some cats are stressed about moving more than others but don’t be surprised if your cat acts a bit weird once you arrive at your new home. Felines can react differently but regardless of their level of stress, you should create a safe and calm environment.
8. Help with adjusting
They’ll certainly need some time to adjust and that’s just fine, but it’s up to you to help them learn that this new surrounding is as safe and as fun as the previous one. Keep in mind that, just like moving with kids, moving with pets has different stages so they’ll need to go through them until finally accepting new space and feeling at home.
9. Stick to the routine
In order to get to the final stage, try not to change the regular routine and stick to the schedule your cat had before moving. Their routine should be consistent so follow their usual times for playing, feeding, and other activities. You will also want to make sure you allow exploring and let them get acquainted with the new home at their own time and at their own pace. You can recreate some features or situations from your previous home in order to reduce the negative effects of relocation and provide some familiar comfort to your felines.
Helping your cat adjust after a household move also includes spending time with them. It’s simple, your pet is much more likely to accept the new space if you’re around for the first couple of days. By being present, you’ll also be able to observe your cats and see how they respond emotionally, giving you a chance to recognize behavioral changes that could be a result of a move.
Eventually, you don’t have to do everything alone! You can also contact pet relocation specialists trained to handle all types of moves with cats.
Hopefully, our simple guide will help you move with cats smoothly. Remember to like this video if you enjoyed it and subscribe for more moving content. Thank you so much for watching the Dumbo Moving YouTube channel and hope to see you in the next video!