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Moving home with your cat

Moving home can be a stressful time for us humans but imagine the traumatic effect it can have on our household pets – especially for our cats.

Cats are particularly sensitive to change being such strong creatures of habit. They are best suited to a calm and peaceful lifestyle. They thrive on routine and get to know their territory inside out. So a sudden change can have a big impact on their lives.

It is quite common for a cat to even try and make its way back to their old home to reunite with the territory, sounds and smells that were once familiar.

So what can you do to lessen the impact that a move can have on your cat’s life and help to keep them safe in the process?

Here are 3 tips to help you.

  1. Firstly, plan in advance. Over the period of the move, consider if you are going to put your cat in a cattery or keep him or her with you?  If you decide to keep your cat with you during the packing and moving out phase, try to allocate a room with their bed, food, water, toys and litter tray to help create a sanctuary. If you can, keep this room as undisturbed as much as possible. When you arrive at your new home, try to repeat the process of allocating a separate room for your cat with all its familiar items whilst all the furniture and packing boxes are being moved in and settled into place.

  2. Secondly, for at least the first few weeks, try to keep your cat inside. Allowing them time to get used to their new home surroundings from the safety of indoors will help create confidence. Then when you decide to allow them outside, do so for short periods of time at first. You can either leave the door open so your cat can quickly run back inside if startled, or stand outside with them to help in the trust building process.

  3. Finally, microchip your cat, but make sure the address on record is that of your new home. Cats need to build up their scent profile and they do this by rubbing their pheromones throughout their territory. This acts as an invisible map to help guide them home. However, if they do decide to roam outside of their new territory and get taken in by someone who then decides to check if your cat is micro-chipped, this will help to ensure you are reunited with your feline friend in the shortest possible time.

Taking the time to think through the move, including from your cats’ point of view, will help you all through the stresses and excitement of moving!

Published: 09 October 2019