How to move house with cats
Moving house is a stressful time for not only you but also your cat. It’s a known fact, that cats like to wander and if the new house is not far from the old one, you may worry that your cat will try to return to your old haunts. But don’t worry, prior planning can successfully relocate your cat with minimum stress.
Moving day comes along quicker than you may expect. On the morning of it’s best to put your cat in one room with the doors and windows closed so that you know they’re safe and can be collected when it’s time to go. Maybe put a sign on the door so that everyone helping with the move, knows to keep the door closed!
Feeding your cat before moving is probably a good idea too. Morning time would be best but not too close to moving time in case they get sick during the journey. If you’re really worried about your cat during the moving process, it might be best to consider booking them into a cattery for one or two days.
We recommend keeping your cat in a basket upon arrival at your new home! There may not be a ‘safe area’ in your house when you’ve only just got the keys and you may need to wait for a free room to come available. Filling that room with familiar items is also good practice for keeping your cat relaxed. Scratching posts, toys, and their bed should be within their reach as well as a litter tray, food and their water bowl. It’s also a nice idea to provide your cat with an item of clothing that smells like you and your old home to make sure they feel secure in unfamiliar surroundings.
Once you’ve moved most of your furniture and belongings into the new house, and everyone involved in the removing process is gone home, we suggest letting your cat out to explore the new house a little. It’s a good idea to confine the exploration to one or two rooms at first, to not overwhelm your pet and you know exactly where they can be found.
You can make your cat feel at home by furnishing the new house with its scent. We recommend taking a soft cotton cloth and rubbing it gently around your cat’s face to pick up their personal scent. Dab this around the rooms (at cat height) where the cat will be kept at first so that they begin to feel at home. This will also help them to bond with the territory.
Repeat this daily to get the best results, building up your cat’s scent within the house before eventually letting them outside.
A regular feeding routine will also help your cat settle in. Small frequent meals will give you more contact initially and help to reassure your cat that everything's okay. Feeding your cat in a routine will ensure your cat can anticipate the meal rather than worry about it.
When to let your cat outside
The most important question we get asked about moving house with your cat is when to let your cat outside? Your cat must stay confined to the house for at least two weeks after you’ve moved in as this will allow them time to get used to their new territory. If your cat gets nervous easily, then you may want to keep them inside for much longer, until they feel really comfortable in their new surroundings. However, if your cat is confident or you feel they are getting frustrated at being kept indoors then you should consider letting them out a bit earlier, but only by a few days!
Our top tip, a few days before you let your cat out, sprinkle some of their used litter around the perimeter of your new garden! This will help your cat feel more comfortable and when they go outside for the first time, their garden will now smell familiar. Plus neighbouring cats will know that there is a new cat in the area.
We hope this blog has helped make your moving process much smoother and your cat less stressed! Visit our website today to learn more about moving and read another one of our amazing blogs.