Moving to another home can be an exciting experience but it can also be a stressful one, especially if you are moving with a cat. This is because there are additional steps that you’ll need to keep in mind in order to make the move stress-free for your cat.
In the entire chaos of packing, moving, and making sure that all your valuables are safely transported, you will need to consider how the long-distance move will affect your cat as well. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to make the relocation easy and less stressful for your furry friend.
The following are some tips that will help make your long-distance go more smoothly for you and your cat:
Prepare for the Move
Getting organized and preparing in advance is the first step in any move. Just as you would make an inventory list before packing, you will need to use the same strategy when you are moving with your cat.
You’ll want to get moving boxes as well as other supplies you will need, including your cats essentials. Grab the crate, pet carrier and your other cats necessities.
Designate a moving box for the ‘must-have’ items for your furry friend, e.g. kitty litter, plenty of water, favorite blankets and toys, food, etc. Don’t forget to update your cat’s microchip and tag in a timely manner.
Choose the Right Carrier
Buy a comfy carrier for your cat to travel in throughout the move. Make sure that it is the right size for your cat – not too big for him to get bumped around and feel exposed, and not too small so that he is unable to move at all.
Introduce Your Cat to His Carrier Early
Make sure your cat gets used to his carrier before your long-distance move. Introduce him to it days before the moving day and keep the door open to encourage him to go inside and explore. Placing his favorite toys and blankets inside the carrier is also a good idea as it will make your cat feel more at home, and happy to be in the carrier when it’s time to move.
Keep a Consistent Routine
Even though you are busy planning for your move and busy packing, make sure to keep your cat’s bedtime, playtimes, and mealtimes consistent. This will significantly help to reduce your cat’s anxiety.
Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian for One Last Checkup
It is likely that you will change veterinarians after your long-distance move. So, it would be a good idea to let your cat have one final visit in a familiar veterinarian office. This will also help you make sure that your cat is healthy before the move.
It is also recommended that you get a copy of the medical records of your cat to transfer to the new veterinarian. Also, don’t forget to ask about anti-anxiety medication for your cat as it can prove to be very helpful during a long-distance move.
Use a Harness and Leash for Extra Safety
With a harness and leash, you can make sure that your cat is extra secure during the move. This is particularly important for travel on public transport as it will ensure that your cat won’t be able to escape his carrier if you reach in to reassure him. If you are in a car, a leash will let you take your cat out of it at rest stops to stretch his legs. Keep in mind that not all cats like leashes or harnesses, so make sure to familiarize your cat before the move.
Look for Pet-Friendly Hotels
For a long-distance move, it is very important to seek out pet-friendly hotels. You might need to stay overnight with your pet at some point during the move, and it would prove to be very helpful if you already have lodging in place that is cat-friendly.
Don’t Feed Your Cat as You Leave
Don’t feed your cat for 5-6 hours before you leave. This will help to prevent motion sickness and ensure that the journey is not unpleasant for everyone.
A long-distance move with your cat might seem daunting at first, but so long as you follow the above-listed tips, you will find it much less stressful than expected.
Once you arrive at your new home, make sure to help your cat settle in. Start by keeping him indoors for the first couple of weeks. This will give him time to explore the new environment.
In the meantime, maintain your cat’s routines just like you did in your old home, for playing, feeding, and everything else. This will help your cat become familiar with the new environment a lot faster and soon, he will feel right at home.