Are you about to make a move? Cats have a reputation as fickle and difficult creatures to move with, prone to sending you into a panic attack as they trek kilometres back to their old home over dangerous roadways. The process needn’t be arduous, however, if you prepare your kitty the right way- and Ou Kaapse Vet is here to help you make your move as easy for kitty as it can possibly be.
Preparation is key to moving with your cat
The key to a successful move with your cat is to keep it as stress-free for them as possible. Cats definitely do form an attachment to their homes, so you want to make the overall process as smooth as possible. Cats hate disruption, so make sure kitty is kept well away from the areas you are packing in. This will only make them tense and nervous- and there’s always the chance they climb into one of the boxes for a nap without your knowledge too. You’re going to need a proper, secure carrier for the move, too, and it’s best to let them get familiarised with it a good few weeks before the move so they don’t get scared. Place it down near where they sleep and let them explore it in their own time so it can become associated with rest and good memories instead of trips to the vet.
If you have an outdoor kitty, you’re going to need to start confining them inside more and more often over a slow period of weeks so they can become accustomed to it.
What to do on moving day
Make sure kitty is locked up securely in their crate before the movers arrive- again, we want to keep stress to a minimum. If at all possible, get a family member to drive them down separately to any other loads you are taking, so the journey can be calm and free of the panic of packing items.
Arriving at the new house
Make sure kitty remains firmly constrained in their safe space until all visitors and movers have left the premises and some calm has returned. Take the time to check all of the windows and doors in the house, and then pick a room to let kitty get acquainted for a few days. If the house has a chimney, make sure it is screened too so kitty can’t hide up there if they get scared.
Bring out all their possessions- litter box, toys and dishes- and set the room up to be their home base while you settle and unpack the rest of the new house. Allow them to explore their room while you sit quietly with them. They will get thoroughly settled in this room over the next week or so before you let them explore the rest of the house. Taking it slowly a room at a time is often the best plan. Slowly, your cat will come to view the new place as their very own, and everything will go back to normal.
If kitty is used to being an outside cat, you are still going to need to keep them in at the new place for a while. It’s critical that they come to view their new digs as home before they have the opportunity to bolt back to their old territory. Be aware that there may be some territorial spats with their new kitty neighbours as they claim your new garden as their own. Now may even be the perfect time to convert them to an inside kitty for the added safety and longevity it gives them!
If you notice your kitty is having any extended stress or difficulty with the move, please don’t hesitate to contact the Ou Kaapse Vet team- we’ll be happy to help you all get settled at this exciting time.