Moving House with Cats, Our Advice
If you own a cat, you will know how temperamental and independent these animals can be. And these characteristics are often heightened when moving to a new home as, just like many of us, cats do not like change. So, it’s understandable you feel slight trepidation at the thought of moving house with cats.
In this article, we are going to share our tips for settling cats into their new home environments, helping make the transition as stress-free as possible for everyone involved – including you!
The Start of the Packing Process
As soon as the packing process is underway, your cat will already be feeling nervous about the sudden change, likely wondering why you’re filling boxes with your things, emptying rooms in the house, and moving everything around. Cats dislike disruption in their household more than anything and may become stressed during all the confusion.
So, it is best to move your cat bed, toys, and food into another room and shut the door. This will allow you to get on with the packing without interruption and mean your cat is safe, has everything he needs, and is not able to escape suddenly out the front door. What’s more, shutting your cat in a bedroom will prevent him climbing in and out of packing boxes, sitting on items of furniture, or even crawling into the moving van and being shipped off with all the household goods.
Transport Your Cat Safely to the New Property
Most cats hate car journeys, either due to sickness or being shut in a small space without the freedom to run around. Many cats can become frightened or frustrated on car journeys and attempt to escape, so it is important you do everything you can to transport your cat safely.
Make sure your cat is safely placed in a sturdy carrier that is strapped into the car. If you’re expecting a long journey, ensure your cat has all the food and water he needs, in addition to a place where he can go to the toilet. Keep your car well-ventilated and ensure your cat is not kept in direct sunlight throughout the drive by covering his basket with a light blanket.
Extra precaution: if your cat is particularly skittish, it would be worth putting a safety collar on him with your previous and new addresses, as well as your contact telephone number. This means that if your cat runs away, he can easily be traced back to you.
Releasing Your Cat at Your New Home
The most important thing to do is only release your cat once all the removal professionals, helpers, and visitors have left and your home is quiet. You want this new environment to feel as calm, peaceful, and familiar to your cat as possible. Also ensure all windows and doors are closed and any open fireplaces are covered, as there have been frightened cats who have hidden in chimneys before!
If you can, we would recommend dedicating one room of your home to your cat for a few days. This will become a safe haven for your cat until things start to settle down. Place everything your cat needs in this space, including food and water bowls, litter tray, bed, and toys. Spend as much time as you possibly can with your cat, reassuring him he is safe and letting him claim this new home as his own.
How to Settle Outside Cats
Some cats are not so much domestic as they are independent outside cats. The difficulty with outside cats is that you cannot restrict them to one room and instead must get them used to the outdoors without having them run away.
If your cat is an outside cat, introduce him to your garden slowly by letting him out for short periods of time and staying with him. Alternatively, you could consider an outside cat enclosure, if you’re particularly concerned about your cat running away. Do this for a few weeks so that your cat has had time to explore his new home, mark his territory, and familiarise himself with new smells etc. Once you feel confident he is happy, you can let him out for longer periods of time.
Settling Your Cat Takes Time
Settling your cat takes time and even if you follow all the right steps, it can take a lot of patience. However, if your cat is finding it particularly difficult to settle into your new home and you just don’t know what else to do, it is best to call your vet. Veterinarians have lots of experience settling cats into new homes and can advise you on medications or house accessories that should help your cat relax.
Get Help Moving Today
If you need help moving into your new property, our team at Simply Removals are here for you. We have a team of professional and fully-trained movers who can help move everything into your home efficiently, carefully, and without causing too much disruption to your cats!