Moving With Cats: All the In-FUR-mation You’ll Need

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Moving is a time of transition that involves chaos, confusion and a bit of time getting used to a new environment… and that’s just from your cat’s perspective. New giant squares that look like monsters, not being able to find a favorite squeaky mouse, and loud, unfamiliar noises can cause a lot of stress for your playful fur baby when you’re moving with cats. Moving with a cat doesn’t have to cause trauma to either one of you, though. Here are some tips and tricks from Dolly’s cat-loving crew on how to  successfully move a cat to a new home.

Crate Comfort is Key When Moving with Cats

Source: Wish for Pets

Crate Your Cat (Properly) For Moving

Give your cat something that smells like them to go into the crate for comfort. Consider using a favorite toy or blanket.

Don’t force your cat into the crate–a struggle is just going to elevate both of your stress levels. Leave the crate open and in a common room for several days or even a couple of weeks before your move. You can put a bowl of food near the open carrier and then work your way towards putting the food in the the carrier itself at meal time. They’ll soon realize it’s not something to be scared of and that it’s a safe place.

Cover your cat’s crate with a blanket, towel, or sheet during transportation so that they’ll feel protected in their own small, cozy space. Lights, strange noises, and being in a car will stress them out, so keep them contained for their safety and yours. However, make sure that you check in every so often to see how they’re doing and to let them know you’re nearby.

Use Feliway Spray When Moving With Cats

Some experts recommend using a spray in your crate called Feliway that contains synthetic feline facial pheromones (scent chemicals) to make their crate even more comfortable. This particular scent is associated with security and comfort for a cat, and you can easily find it at your local pet store or online. A little touch like this can make moving with cats much easier for both you and your feline companion.

Preparing Your Cat for the Move

Source: Pet Bucket

Bring Your Outdoor Cat In

If your cat is an outdoor cat, bring them inside to a cleared out room for about a week before the move. The commotion of packing and having large trucks in front of the house may scare them away from the home for a few days, and it would be awful not to be able to locate them on moving day.

Update Your Cat’s ID Tag

If your cat’s ID tag has a landline phone number or home address on it, get a new one with your cell phone number or your new address. If anything happens during the move, you’ll have your current information on your cat. 

Hold Onto Your Vet Records

If you’re moving far enough away that you need to change veterinarians, be sure to get a copy of your cat’s records so you can have them ready when you meet your new vet.

Give the Cat Its Own Space on Moving Day

On moving day, sequester your cat to an empty room, lock the door, and put a sign up that says “Cat Inside: Do Not Enter.” This will give them a closed space to get used to the new home, and let any mover or Helpers know that the room is an area to avoid. This will also shield them from much of the commotion that comes from moving with cats: they won’t be able to hear the cluster of outside noises and new people, and won’t feel their space is being invaded. 

Letting Your Cat Explore Their New Home

Source: Pinterest

When you’re moving a cat to a new home, either bring everything over first and then bring your cat, or bring your cat first and lock them in the bathroom with the litter box and then move everything in. Keeping them separate from the move itself will ease their stress and ensure they don’t get forgotten in the chaos. And remember, when everything settles down, make sure to show your cat where their litter box and food will be.

Look Out for Non-Cat Friendly Items

One of the biggest hazards of moving with cats is that some spare bits from moving–nails, holes in the wall, open doors–can be a minefield for your kitty. Do a walkthrough of your new home to search out anything that might harm your cat like loose wires, poisonous mouse traps or bug poison, or small spaces where they could hide or get stuck. If you see a potential hazard, fix it before you let your cat out to explore. 

Make the Bathroom Your Cat’s Safe Zone

Keep your kitty in the bathroom for at least one night. The cat is likely to sniff everything so she can figure out their surroundings and too much too soon can be overwhelming for them.

Source: One of our Our Own Dolly Cats, Marmite

When Moving With Cats, Let Them Explore On Their Own

Let them explore on their terms. Some cats will be okay immediately after moving into the new place, and others will need more time to adjust, so just let your cat be themselves and don’t try to force things either way.

Keep Doors Closed for Outdoor Cats (At First)

If your cat is an indoor cat, make sure the doors are ALL CLOSED. If you’ll have movers or delivery crews coming into the house after moving day, make sure to communicate with them that they can’t leave the door open (or put your cat in the bathroom again if you absolutely need to).

Make Your New Home Comfortable for Your Cat

Remember that Feliway spray we mentioned earlier? You can spray it in the new home, too. These hormones are located on the face (which is why your cat rubs their face on everything), so spray this at areas close to the floor where they might rub on, like a stairway spindle or corner of a cabinet, to make your cat’s move-in more comfortable. 

Set up a special place for your cat’s toys, tree and blankets. This sense of the familiarity will help make the new place feel more like home after you’re done moving with your cat.

At Dolly, we’re pet lovers, too, and want to do everything we can to make moving with cats easy for felines and their humans. Our Helpers can load and unload all of your boxes and furniture so that you can focus on your furry friend while we do the heavy lifting.  

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