Is your cat an adventurous animal who likes to explore, or a rather grumpy character? Whatever the answer may be, prepare yourself for a whirlwind of mood swings in case you’re moving with cats. They are creatures of habit who love their territory more than anything and will go to great lengths to protect it. So, if you try to move them, you’ll probably face some fierce resistance. Yes, moving with pets can be messy, but we can help you address some pressing issues and turn your relocation into a breeze.
How to Prepare Your Cat for the Moving Day
As the moving day approaches, remember that you won’t be the only one fretting about it. Amazing animals as they are, cats can sense your stress, and once they notice you are packing and removing stuff, they will know that something is going on. Just like you don’t tell your friends you are moving a day before you board the plane, you can’t leave your cat in the dark.
If you plan to hire professionals and use their moving services, there will be a lot of new people coming in and out of the house and taking out boxes, which can stress your pet out. You can prepare the territory in advance by placing some boxes around the house, moving them, etc. Let the cat explore, play, and get used to them.
Since the animal will travel for hours either in your car or in a plane, make sure to introduce it to the carrier. Arm yourself with patience and carry out this process step by step. Start by placing your cat’s favorite food and toys in the carrier a few weeks before the actual trip. Repeat this until the animal is feeling comfortable in and around this strange object.
Don’t forget to visit your vet. You have to make sure your pet is healthy and capable of handling a long journey in a car or a plane. A vet will give you a bunch of useful advice and vaccines for your pet if needed, depending on where you are relocating. If your little friend doesn’t have a microchip, don’t forget to use a collar with your contact information, just in case it tries to run away.
How to Handle Long-Distance Travels With Your Pet
If your cat hasn’t lived a life well-traveled, long-distance relocation might be a challenge. First, make sure you have all the paperwork. Depending on the state you are relocating to, check the regulations for the import of live animals.
Also, don’t forget to check airline requirements and terms for transporting animals. It also depends on the airline whether or not your pet has to travel in the luggage area or with you. Either way, a carrier is mandatory, and whatever happens, do not open the door because your feline could try to run away.
Bring your pet’s favorite toys and try soothing it without opening the carrier. Bring treats, water, and food, but don’t be too generous with them, because it can affect the animal’s stomach during the trip. Your vet can also prescribe anti-anxiety meds for pets, but don’t resort to them without consulting your vet first.
Will My Cat Like Our New Home?
In the beginning, probably not so much. Cats are curious but cautious, so they will explore the space slowly until they conquer it entirely. Make sure you maintain the same routine when it comes to their food and nap schedules. Bring all the old toys and blankets. It will reassure your furry friend that they are where they need to be.
Once you arrive, don’t open the carrier immediately. Make sure that the new home is safe because your four-legged friend will probably try to run away from that carrier as soon and as far as possible. Find a room where you will place water, the littler box, and treats, and then open the door and let the pet out. Perhaps you should wait until you unpack everything to show the rest of the home to your little friend.
Carefully monitor how your pet is behaving. If you notice any signs of depression, stress, or perhaps aggression, it is all likely a consequence of relocation and unfamiliar environment. It can all be considered normal in the beginning, but if the kitten is refusing food or acts hostile for an extended period, contact a local vet to check if everything is okay. Don’t forget to update the address and phone number on the microchip or collar.
The Bottom Line
Our furry friends are like members of our family, and just like you have to pack your stuff, deal with relocation stress, and long haul flights, so do they. But hey, at least you know what’s going on. And in case you have more than one pet, things can get tricky. So take a deep breath and follow these steps. You can even create a checklist of all the things you need to do, from visiting a vet to dealing with airlines and paperwork. It will reassure you that you are on the right track, and you’ll know you didn’t forget a single thing.