Moving house can be stressful for humans, but it’s even more so for a cat. Cats are territorial by nature and don’t like change very much. They mark their territory by rubbing their scent inside and out of their home, and a new environment can be confusing and scary. On top of that, the clamour of packing and having unfamiliar people tramping in and out can be quite traumatic for poor puss – particularly as they have no idea why it’s all happening!
In consequence, cats can be at risk of going into hiding before you move, and of running away once you’ve reached the new house. So if you’re moving house with a cat, you’ll need to do a few extra things to ensure they remain as calm as possible throughout the whole moving period.
Preparing Your Cat Before Moving House
Make sure you have an individual cat cage for every cat you own. The cage should be sturdy, have plenty of ventilation and a secure base.
- Lock your cat inside before your move, especially on the days you are packing and moving, to ensure the cat doesn’t get spooked and run away. You can confine your cat to one room with their food, litter tray and water, and possibly their cat cage to provide a place to hide. Put a note on the door and let removalists know not to open this door until you are ready.
- When you are ready to empty this room, place your cat in it’s cage and put it in your car or another calm, safe place.
- Alternatively, consider boarding your puss at a cattery for the duration of the moving process.
- If you have a cat that is particularly anxious or very unsettled in the car, talk to your vet about the possibility of using a mild sedative for the journey.
- Ensure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date, and it has been micro chipped, in case they do run away. Check requirements in your new council area (and interstate restrictions if you are crossing borders) to ensure you understand any vaccination, micro chipping or quarantine requirements, along with any cat curfews that may apply.
- If you are not moving far from your old house, consider leaving a note and your contact details with for the people moving in, in case your cat does make their way back to their old home.
- If you are moving into a house where another cat has been living and, you have the opportunity, give it a thorough clean before introducing your own cat, to remove any lingering scent from the last animal.
To minimise the time and noise of packing, you may want to engage packing professionals. If you’re in Melbourne, Pinder Tower Movers can get the job done quickly and safely for you.
Transporting Your Cat
Try to avoid transporting your cat in the hottest part of the day. Make sure you keep cool fresh air flowing through the vehicle, and never leave your cat unattended in the car, as temperatures inside a car can heat up extremely quickly.
- Ensure the cat’s carrier is well secured inside your car – use a seat belt or objects to safely wedge it in. Don’t transport your cat in the car boot or a cargo space in a truck or van.
- Try not to travel too soon after your cat’s mealtime, to avoid the cat being sick in the car. For a long journey, take a break and check if your cat needs water or a toilet stop.
Settling Into Your New House
- Cats are very sensitive to their environment and will feel disoriented before they get used to their new home. They have a very good sense of direction and may try to wander back to their old home. Because of this, it is important to keep your cat inside for a week or more before letting them out alone.
- While you’re unpacking, keep your cat in one room again, with the door and windows shut and a sign on the door, to prevent them escaping. Once things are calm, allow them to explore inside the new house – ensuring again that doors and windows are closed. Your cat may choose to hide for a while. This is normal, and they will come out when they are ready.
- Maintain familiar routines and timetables for your cat. Bring along the old food bowls, toys and bedding instead of introducing new things at this time.
- When your cat is more settled, allow time outside while being fully supervised to ensure they don’t run away. After a week of supervision you can allow the cat outside on their own. Don’t forget that microchip, and possibly a collar with contact details, in case kitty still runs off!
By taking a softly-softly approach to moving, eventually your cat will become happy in their new environment, and start scenting their territory to make it their own. Soon enough, you will all be able to your new house together.
Reduce the stress and time it takes to move by engaging professional removalists. Pinder Tower Movers offer top notch service in household and furniture removals across Melbourne and interstate.