Moving is stressful on the whole family, especially pets and cats definitely can show stress in different ways when moving to a new home. Here are 5 tips to help ease the stress when moving with cats.
The cat is out of the bag… my family is moving in just 6 weeks! We’re actually just moving to a house within a few miles, but packing up and moving everything and everyone in our house is going to be quite an ordeal. We’ve lived in our home for 6 years – 6 years of memories and stuff, not to mention the 2 girls [I’ve never moved with kids before] and our 5th family member, Roxy – my 13 year old Tuxedo Cat!
This isn’t Roxy’s first move – she went with me to college and then back back home after I graduated. She’s lived through quite a few big life events for our family – marriage, 2 Kids… and now a big move. Luckily I don’t have to worry so much about the transport to the new house, since it’s so close, but the uprooting will definitely bring a share of anxiety for my fluffy friend. That’s why I’ve been reading and researching how best to make the move easy on all of us, as far as Roxy is concerned!
I’ve been preparing the girls for the move by talking about changes they’ll notice – what they get to take with them, how life will be the same, just in a slightly different location, but how can you prepare a cat?!
Well, I haven’t done a ton of preparation other than thinking about the move so far – we’re still 6 weeks out, but I have bought a few items that I know will make settling into the new house easier. One thing I’ve been sure to do is give Roxy a lot of attention, especially when we’re packing up some items. I can tell she knows something is going on, so I try to put her at ease that way.
Take favorite toys and items
While you’re packing, be sure to leave some of your cat’s favorite toys and items out of the boxes and be sure to take along any of their favorites to the new house too.
That’s a no-brainer, of course, but it’s sometimes hard to choose to take along items that might not fit into your new surroundings. Moving is all about purging, but you don’t want to purge all your cat’s things. Rob made this DIY cat tree about 5 years ago and it’s definitely seen better days, but it’s one of Roxy’s favorite places to hang out – so it will be heading to the new house for sure!
Rub your cat’s scent around the new house.
I was amazed when I read this tip, but it totally makes sense and is a great way to introduce your cat to a new home. It’s as simple as taking a cotton ball and rubbing your cat’s face and ears, then taking that same cotton ball and rubbing it along some parts of the new house… so the house will seem more familiar to your cat.
Keep your cat in small areas and inside for the first few days.
Roxy likes to go outside and she also likes to explore, but the house we’re moving to is larger than our current home and in the city, so she won’t be able to explore quite as much outside. I am also afraid that a larger house may seem overwhelming at first, so we plan to keep her confined to just a couple rooms for the first couple of days until she gets used to the new home.
Prepare the litter box
Let’s face it – whether you’re moving or not, the litter box is usually the least favorite thing about owning a cat, unless you have a Litter Robot like we do! But it’s obviously one of the most important and bathroom habits can easily get out of whack thanks to a move. Roxy is also the type that when agitated and anxious, will spray or mark her territory. That’s why when you’re moving with a cat, it’s important to keep the same type of litter box and litter that you had at your previous home.
This is also where it comes in handy to keep your cat in a smaller space when you first move into your new home. That way the litter box is nearby at all times.