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Move House with Your Cat – Stress Free!

 by danielle on 24 Jul 2014 |
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Cats tend not to be keen on strangers in the house, new environments or hustle and bustle, making the general craziness of a house move a kind of feline nightmare. But with planning and sensitivity to your kitty’s fears and needs, it is possible to engineer a cat-move that is almost stress-free.
 
Here are our suggestions on how to turn kitty’s journey into an adventure rather than a nightmare.
 
On moving day, create a cat cave

A cat left to wander the house or roam outside during a move is liable not only to get frightened by all the unexpected activity but also possibly get under the feet of removalists carrying heavy furniture – not a happy prospect! The best solution is to find an area in your house to lock your cat, such as the bathroom or laundry, fitted out with food and water bowls, a litter tray and toys.

 

A sign on the door of this safe haven warning others that the cat is relaxing inside should mean your cat is sheltered from much of the strange noises and sights as their current home is packed up and moved out.
 

The car trip itself…

 
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Wait until everything has been fully packed up before disturbing your cat. Place them in their crate and in the car, covering it with a towel to make it dark and extra relaxing if your cat starts to become stressed.
 
Depending on how far away your new house is, you may need to stop to give your cat some water. We recommend climbing in the back seat with your cat and shutting the car before you open the cage, to prevent your cat shooting past and out into an unfamiliar environment where you may not be able to find them again.  
 

When you arrive, take it slow
 
It is best when releasing your cat into your new house to introduce each room one at a time rather than possibly overwhelming them with the experience of a vast alien environment. Cats are naturally territorial, meaning they attach very strongly to their established home range and are highly suspicious of new places where other cats may, in their minds, be present waiting to attack, not to mention other unknown threats that may exist.

 

It is best to find a room, like the laundry or bathroom, to act as their ‘home base’. Gradually expand their range as they become comfortable with each new area. Pheromone diffusers or old bedding that smells like your cat not only relaxes and comforts your kitty but is a useful way to get them to adjust to each new room your introduce them to.
 
If your cat lived outdoors previously, we recommend not letting them outside for some time when you first move in, as they may be inclined to roam, searching for their old range and become lost. After at least two weeks you can release them, making sure they have a collar with a tag as well as a microchip in case they find themselves unable to remember their way back to their family.
 
With a bit of time and care, your cat should be just as pleased with their new home as you are!

 
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