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Making moving less stressful for your cat

 by lucy on 12 Jan 2017 |
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Moving is stressful even under the best circumstances and cats can become especially anxious when moving house. Making the transition as stress-free as possible for your feline has major benefits, however, from decreased risk of aggression to lower chances of escape attempts, house soiling and excessive meowing or crying.
 
When considering moving your cat to a new household, it’s helpful to break planning down into three phases: pre-move preparations, the relocation itself and settling Kitty into his new home. Preparing your cat for the big day starts with helping him adjust to the changes that come before he ever steps foot in the new house. Start putting out moving boxes several weeks before packing, for example, to help him adjust to their presence. If your cat becomes nervous during packing, move him to a quieter room away from the action. Start introducing your pet to his cat carrier early, too, leaving it open on the floor for Kitty to explore at his own pace. Equipping the carrier with a soft bed and tasty treats will encourage your cat to enter, although placing his food dish by the carrier will also encourage exploration if your pet is reluctant to enter the carrier on his own. This will help your cat form positive associations with his carrier, making move-in day less traumatic.
 
Leading up to your move, keep Kitty’s daily routine as regular as possible by feeding him at the same time each day. When to big day day finally comes, feed your pet a smaller breakfast to reduce the chances he gets an upset stomach. Keep his carrier closed while in transit to avoid any escape attempts and keep an eye on your cat at both the old and new houses to be sure he doesn’t dash out the door.
 
Once in his new home, your cat will likely feel overwhelmed. To help settle his anxiety, introduce him to a quiet room equipped with food, water, a litter box and a bed. Plant treats around the room to help Kitty feel more at home and encourage him to explore his new room. Ideally, keep your cat confined to this one room for the first few days in his new home to allow him to adjust to new the sights and smells gradually. Spend time with your cat in the room and, when the chaos of unpacking is over, gradually give your pet access to the entire house. At this point, you can place a second litter box in the spot where you want to keep one permanently, only removing the original box after your pet has had time to adjust to the new location. Alternately, you can inch the original litter box slowly toward the desired location over several days.
 
Moving with a pet can be stressful, but with adequate planning and preparation, you can reduce your cat’s anxiety, leading to a smoother move-in day for both you can your feline friend.

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