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Moving? How To Help Your Cat Adjust To Your New Home


Much of the time it will be inevitable that your cat will have to make at least one move to a new house in his or her lifetime.  Everyone who has a cat (or cats) knows that a stressed out cat means bad news for her humans and their need for sleep.  Cats don’t like change.  You can’t change the fact that there will be change, but you can ease your furry friend into the idea and, perhaps, save yourself a little bit of grief in the long run with these cat tips.

Before the Move

In the weeks leading up to the move, place some empty boxes around the house so your cat will get used to them.  Do the same with your cat’s crate.  Put it near where he eats and put some toys or a blanket inside with the door open.  Place some treats inside near the door to coax him in.  Do the same with his food.  Gradually move the treats and food farther inside slowly to get him used to being in the crate with the door open.  Most cats do not like the carrier very much.

Moving Day

The day of the move, make sure to confine your cat to a room the movers will not be entering, such as a bathroom, with his food, water and litter box.  You can include a few favorite toys too.  After the movers are finished in your house, place your cat in his carrier and put him in the car.  It is best to place the crate in the back seat with a family member in sight to keep him calm.

Once you arrive at your new house, set up a “safe zone” for your cat where he can stay for a few days.  Choose a room that doesn’t get a lot of traffic to cut down on commotion in the beginning.  Put your cat’s food, water and litter along with some toys, favorite blanket or bed all in this one room.  It is sometimes helpful to include an article of clothing that smells like you, such as a tee shirt.  This way your cat will be able to smell you even when you are not around and this can be calming.  The familiarity of all these things helps to offset some of the stress of such a huge change.

Be prepared for your cat to be very nervous in the beginning.  Spend as much time with your cat in this safe zoneas you can.  You can pet him gently, quietly read or watch TV, just something low key to start with.  After a few days in the safe zone, begin to expand your cat’s new territory.  Close off whatever rooms you can and allow your cat into one new room at a time.  Be sure to offer treats and praise as he becomes bolder about exploring.

If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, let him outdoors gradually by starting with small amounts of time and working up.  In the beginning, do not leave him alone outside.  There is a good chance he will run or wander off and being lost in an unfamiliar environment is dangerous. At the very least he will be stressed out, as will you.

Some cats adjust quicker than others, so follow your cat’s lead and let him set his own pace.  In no time at all, both of you will be enjoying your new space.



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