Moving houses can often be a stressful experience, even without pets! Pet owners, particularly those with cats, will need to consider the impact on their animals, and plan ahead if they want to make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Dogs are relatively easy – they will generally be happy to go wherever their owner is.
Most cats, on the other hand, will find moving to a new house somewhat traumatic.
This is because of the concept of territory. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know that territory is of utmost importance to a cat. Much of their day is spent patrolling, marking and defending their small piece of the world. It is where they are comfortable, and all of their resources (food, water, litter, other animals, humans, scratching posts, cat trees etc) are found.
Moving a highly territorial animal from their territory is an undeniably stressful experience for them. However, there are definitely things you can do to make this stress as minimal as possible. We will go through them now.
When moving to a new house with cat(s), you need to think of it in 3 stages:
Some things may be a little different depending on where and how far you’re moving. For example, moving across a few suburbs will require less planning than flying across states. I’ll discuss these differences as they come up.
Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and will know that something is up when you start packing! This can create uncertainty for them.
What you need to do is begin the process as early as possible to slowly acclimate them to the changes.
This part will be different, depending on how far and by what method you are moving.
For those moving only a few minutes or even a few hours away, the job is fairly simple:
If you are moving a longer distance away:
When you arrive at your new place, hopefully you’ll have your cat(s) with you, as well as some things that smell like them (towels, bedding, kitty litter etc), and even a cat tree or some of their furniture.
There you go, the steps and considerations for moving house with a cat. It may sound like a lot, but these actions will make the process a whole lot easier for both you and your pet.