We all know a lot of cats can be incredibly sensitive to change, they are home loving animals which quickly establish their home and surrounding territories, so naturally some cats finding moving home stressful. Not only do they have reestablish their safe area, there are new smells to discover, new noises and if they are outdoor, new cats to contend with. But also, luckily for everyone, cats learn to adapt, but there are things you can do to help this process move more quickly and simply.
Before the move
As much as possible try to keep your cat’s routine as normal as possible and try to leave packing up their things – bed, blankets until the last-minute. You may want to invest in a synthetic pheromone diffuser such as Feliway a few weeks before moving day and if you have access to your new home, try to plug on in there a few days before, this will help your new home smell welcoming to your cat.
On the day, if possible, contain your cat to one room to help prevent them escaping outside, however make sure they have their food and litter tray in the room as well, to help make them feel comfortable. It may also help to place a note on the outside of the door to prevent people accidentally opening the door and letting your cat out.
Once everything else has been packed away, place your cat securely in their cat carrier and ensure they travel in the car with you. If you are planning a long journey, you may need to plan safe stops to give your cat a chance to use their litter tray, as well as offer water. If you are moving on a hot day, ensure your car is well ventilated to prevent over heating.
When you reach your new home, again have a safe room your cat can be secured in with all their things. If possible, have someone sit with your cat while they get used to the new surroundings, it is essential this person remains quiet and calm, to reassure your cat that they are in a safe environment.
Ensure your cat’s microchip contact details have been updated as soon as they reach the new home.
Continue to use the Feliway diffuser for the first few weeks in your new home. It is advised that you keep your cat indoors for at least two weeks after the move, to allow them to get completely used to their new surroundings and allow them to feel safe, however it is important to remember this process may take longer for some cats.
Adopt the same routines for your cat as they had in their old home and similar furniture will help your cat adjust to the transition.
When you have decided it is time for your cat to discover their new outdoor surroundings, make sure it is on a bright, dry morning and it is often advised to not give them too much food before hand, so that they decide to find their way back when they are hungry.
Don’t carry your cat outside, allow them to venture outside at their own pace, and leave a door open when they first go outside so they can quickly come back if scared.
It is important to remember that all cats are different and all adjust to new environments at varying speeds, be sure to be patient with your cat and allow them to settle in their own time. You may even be lucky enough to find your cat does not feel fussed by a move, but it is important as cat owners that we do everything we can to help support them.