We’re moving in a couple of months and we want to make the transition a bit easier for our already-skittish cat. Any advice for minimizing the stress on her during and after the move?
Moving on Up in Garden Oaks
Dear Moving on Up,
Congratulations on the move! (And we sincerely hope that you’re staying in one of the neighborhoods served by The Leader … or, that you continue to read online!) Moving households can be very stressful for most pets. Imagine all of the new smells and sights that must bombard your pet! The good news is that with a little care and forethought, you can make your move as easy as possible for your pets.
Watch for signs of stress
Cats are very territorial, so their home is their castle and, quite honestly, they’d be perfectly content to never leave it! But, moves are inevitable and your kitty doesn’t have to suffer. Be on high alert for behavior changes in your cat during and after the move. Watch for signs of stress in your cat, such as:
– Always hiding
– Not using the litter box
– Lack of appetite
If your cat shows these behaviors for longer than a few days following the move, head to the vet to rule out any other conditions. But, after a few days, your kitty should get more comfortable exploring the new house and making it her own.
Planning a long-distance move?
If you’re planning a long-distance move–including a long car or plane trip–it’s important to get your cat acclimated to her pet carrier sooner rather than later, since they’ll be spending lots of time in it during the move. A few weeks ahead of the move, get the carrier out, fill it with a fluffy towel or blanket and encourage kitty to hang out in it (with the door open, of course) as much as she likes. This way, when it’s moving day and time to load her into her carrier, it will be a more pleasant experience for you all.
Try to keep schedules in place
If possible, try to keep life before, during and after the move as “normal” as possible for kitty. Continue to feed her on her usual schedule, using her usual bowls. Make sure that her litter box is somewhere easily accessible and in a location that feels safe and quiet.
This move will likely be stressful for you–but imagine how stressful it will be for your cat, so be patient with her! Let her warm up to the new house on her own terms, in her own time. Continue offering her love and treats as needed to make her feel more at home. Because, really, all your pet wants is to be with you and, if you’re there at the new house, she’ll quickly learn that she is home, too!
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