Moving Home With Your Cat
Moving home is stressful for us humans but for a cat, it can be traumatic. A home is a sanctuary for a cat so moving home can feel like they are moving away from safety. We discuss a few things you can do to help your feline friend and hopefully reduce the associated stress!
What should I do during the move?
To help your cat remain calm and comfortable in your current home, dedicate one room where they can stay. This will help keep the sights and sounds of the movers and moving equipment minimised. The room should contain everything your cat would need during this time, such as food, bedding, toys and a litter box. Leaving their cat carrier in the room will help them explore and investigate it prior to the move.
What should I do when we arrive at our new house?
Identify a room where you can leave your cat with all their essentials and try to keep them in this in this room, and this room only, for the first few days without access to the rest of the house. This may seem restrictive, but they will feel safe within a confined space and it will give them the opportunity to slowly familiarise themselves with the new sounds and smells. It also gives them a room of their own to use later as a refuge.
If you have access to the new home a few days before the big move, we would recommend plugging in a Feliway diffuser in the room where your cat will stay for the first days. If you don’t have access to the new house prior, plug in the diffuser as soon as you arrive.
As soon as your cat seems comfortable in their first room, you may open the door and allow them to explore their new pad.
What can I do to make sure my cat settles in comfortably?
Knowing your cat and their personality — confident, social or shy — will help you determine what their individual needs are.
Some cats will settle quickly into their new home and saunter around confidently within the first few days. Others may take a bit longer to become accustomed to their new surroundings.
But there are a few things you can do to help your cat after the move:
- Cats use their acute sense of smell to figure out whether something is safe or not. Placing their favourite blanket or a piece of your clothing in the room will mean it immediately smells familiar and will remind them of cuddly times with you.
- In addition to this, provide multiple litter boxes, food & water bowls, toys, scratching post, bedding around the house. When your cat is ready to investigate, these will help them feel at home in any location.
- Let them explore on their own and in their own time. If they decide to hide under the bed, let them be. They’ll eventually come out when they feel it’s safe.
- And of course, even if you’re very busy organising your new home, do not forget to spend time with your cat. Daily play and cuddle sessions should continue — nothing should change from their perspective
Most importantly, give them plenty of time to adjust, it will be just as big a change for them as it is for you! But with these simple suggestions if can be a much more pleasant experience for everyone!