Many people get a great deal of joy from their soft and cuddly cat and since they don’t have to be taken for walks they are ideal pets for people who find walking difficult. But when you have to move house, it is important to ensure your moggie survives the move without any trauma – or at least, not too much.
While cats and dogs love their people it is in their nature to bond to their environment as well. Cats will often return to an old address months after they moved, unless you take care to ensure they bond to the new one. It is not always enough just to keep them inside the house for a day or two.
Most cat-owners know that their pet will disappear under the bed or to some other private place when they have visitors, especially if those visitors are strangers. They don’t like people rushing around making loud noises unless they’ve grown up in such an environment. What does all this mean for you when you are moving?
For a start, your cat will be likely to run and hide when the moving truck arrives, so you’ll need to pop him into pet carrier before that happens. If your moggie likes to spend the morning under his favourite bush in the garden, get him caged before then, otherwise you may not see him again for several hours.
Your cat will need to travel in the car with you – in the pet carrier, of course. If the journey is a long one, make sure you offer water and food to the animal on the way. Put his special blanket or toy into the carrier with him so there will be something familiar close by. If the cat seems distressed, moving around or meowing, cover the carrier with a dark cloth.
If your cat hates travelling, ask the vet for something to calm him down or make him sleep for the distance.
Once you get to the new house, keep the cat in the carrier in a quiet room until all the furniture is in and the removalists have gone. Keep the cat in that same room for the night, even when you let him out of the carrier. Placing his cat box and dinner bowl close by will ensure he has everything he wants.
After about 24 hours, let the cat out into the rest of the house, but if he doesn’t want to come, leave him to make his own way when he’s ready. Keep him inside for three or more days until he seems to have settled down. Then it is time to introduce him to the new outside.
Don’t carry him to the other end of the garden and put him down there. Allow him to take his time getting acquainted from the back door, so he’ll know how to find his way back inside if anything frightens him.