Tips to manage moving day stress for your cat
For many people, moving to a new house is a stressful ordeal. There are the endless logistics, timing, packing and inevitable challenges on the actual day. If it’s stressful for us, imagine how your cat feels.
Cats don’t handle change as well as we do. They become very rooted to their environment, so even the smallest change, like moving furniture within a room can cause anxiety. Here are some tips to help you manage stress for your furry buddy during a move.
Get them used to the carrier
Bring the carrier out early, and leave it in your cat’s favourite room. This will allow them to get used to it slowly. Do the same with packing boxes and paper. Bring them out before you start to pack so your cat gets used to these strange items in their environment
Keep things familiar on moving day
On moving day, put them in their favourite room with things that smell like them, like couch cushions, a scratching post or a favourite blanket. Move these items last to help surround your cat with familiar items for as long as possible.
Moving day tips
When you are ready to move them, spray Feliway on the blanket inside the crate, and let it dissipate for about 10 minutes, then gently put your cat inside. For bonded cats, put them in one large carrier so they can comfort each other. Non-bonded cats should go in separate carriers, with the doors facing each other during the trip. Be sure to cover the carriers with a blanket or towel to minimize visibility for them.
At the new house, set up their “landing room” with the same items from the old house and bring their crates, food/water and litter box in before you start moving the rest of the house in. Open their doors and let them come out on their own, when they are ready. Have their favourite person sit with them so that they feel safe. Setting up a Feliway diffuser in the room will help as well.
One step at a time
Set up the rest of the home before letting your cat explore more, being sure to check on them every 15 minutes or so. They can stay in their landing room until they feel safe enough to explore. Do not rush this process, even if it takes a few days.
Most important, try to stay calm around them. If you’re not stressed, they will be less likely to feel stressed, too. Give lots of cuddles and love when they want it, and enjoy your new home together!
Wish to thank everyone involved
I wish to thank everyone involved in the care and rescue of animals, especially volunteers.