Pets are never very happy when it comes to moving, especially cats. The hustle and bustle of the packing, the vet’s visits, the look of frustration and panic on your face leading up to the move. They do understand something is going on, and they know that it is probably not going to be good for them.
In a matter of speaking, they are correct. While the new home may have some perks for your cats, such as more room, getting there is not as fun as you think, especially if you are moving a long distance. That kind of long drive is hard on both you and your cat, but do not worry there are some tricks to make the move across the nation easier.
How to Prepare Your Cat for the Move
Get Vet Visits Out of the Way
There is no secret that most cats hate going to the vet. Do you like going to the doctor? No one likes being poked and prodded. This will just add to the stress of packing your home. If it is possible, try to take your feline friend to the vet a couple of months before you move.
In most cases, it might not even matter, the state that you are moving to may have different vaccination requirements, so you will want to be prepared. For example, rabies vaccinations are a federally mandated inoculation, but the frequency of shots vary from state to state. There may be other vaccinations and other laws that you may need more information on. Contact your vet and ask these types of questions.
Get Pet Carriers Ahead of Time
This is an obvious item, moving across country with cats may require you to put your animal in a carrier. This is a safe spot for them from all the commotion of moving and traveling. Transferring pets into a hotel may require you to have a shelter for them, you will also need the carrier if you are deciding to fly to your destination.
If you are flying, you will want to look up the requirements with the airline. Many of the airlines have changed their policies, and now limit the number of in-cabin pets, so make sure to schedule your flights ahead of time.
Even if you are driving, you should bring out the carrier a month before. Place it in an area that your cat sees it. Let them get use to it again. This time out will also make sure that the carrier is in proper working condition. If it is not, then get a new one that will easily fit on your seat or floor of the vehicle.
Make a Cozy Environment
Just like you and me, cats are all about comfort. The right environment can make all the difference in the world for a feline that is about to undergo and upheaval, not to mention the fear of traveling on the road and the possibilities of staying in unfamiliar hotels or AirBnBs.
Making the right environment includes:
- A travel carrier that is large enough
- Place a blanket at the bottom for not just comfort, but also to catch any excrements or urine. This a natural reaction for cats when they are scared.
- Favorite toy or catnip
- Places for food and water. Make sure to remove out of the carrier while driving to avoid spillage.
If your feline is more chill while in the car, maybe all you will need is a cat harness. You can purchase a seatbelt attachment for cats that will clip to your cat’s collar. This will also help keep the cat from wandering in the car and give the protection to them in case you are in a car accident.
Introduce Pets to Travel Environment
When moving long distance, do not wait till the last minute to introduce them to their travel environment. Even if their environment will be comfortable, your cat may still be intimidated by it. Try not to put that much stress on your pet.
Leave the carrier out in a room they enjoy being in, and place blankets inside. Cats like enclosed and dark spaces. This will let them enter at their free will. If you use the carrier for vet visits, they may associate it with this. If they are staying clear of going inside, start to put their food in the carrier to show them that it is a safe area for them.
Love on Them
Moving across country with pets is not your only concern. Your move will involve many other steps. This is when a moving checklist is important to create. Every step is going to require your time, and your cat may feel unloved with all the running around and less attention. Nevertheless, take the time during the process of packing your moving boxes to show them attention and love on them. This will help reassure them that during this time of stress, you still love them. Just like your children, pets want to be reassured that you will all be together in the end, they are still family.
Moving Across Country with Cats Safely
Moving day is here, one of your top priorities is making sure that your cat does not run off with all the commotion going on around the house. Put your cat in a room that does not have to be packed right away, so that your pets stay out of the way of the movers, family, or friends that are helping. This will also keep your cat and other pets as stress-free as possible.
ID Your Cat
Go to your local pet store such as PetSmart and get an updated ID tag with your current phone number and NEW address. If you are going to be on the road for a while, use an address of a trusted family member. You will want to switch the tag out on the day of your move after the van has been packed just in case your pet decides to bolt before you are done packing. You will still have all the correct info.
Warn the Movers
Most moving companies and movers will ask if there are any pets on the premises. Let them know about each pet and if they are placed in a room, which room. You can always take your pets to a friend’s or family member’s home while packing the truck or van. Then you really do not have to worry about your pet running out the door during the packing process.
No matter how much work you put into calming and preparing your cat for the move, it is still going to be stressful on the both of you. There are many calming sprays out on the market today. Cats do respond very well to pheromones that have soothing capabilities.
Feliway is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to calming sprays. It is easy to use., all you will need to do is mist your pets’ blankets and carrier for immediate effects. DO NOT spray it on your cat. If you would like to go the natural way, there are botanical drops that can be place in your cat’s water dish or orally.
Just like you are going to pack an essentials bag for yourself and family members, you will want to pack one for your feline. Make sure their essentials bag contains the following items:
- Can opener if you feed them wet food
- Water dish and water
- Litter and temporary litter box
Pack all this items in easy reach. This will make it easy for when you need an item from withing the box or container. Try not to bury it so that you must unpack items before being able to open the box or container.
Get Stored Items Out of the Way
While you are packing, you must take in consideration that you are starting to take your cats hiding spots away. The last couple weeks are going to be the most stressful for your feline. Try to get all your big tasks out of the way early, this will give you more time to spend with them.
For any move, if you will be storing items in a storage unit you will wan to find it early. Moving items and decluttering your home will not only help your stress levels put your pet’s as well.
Moving across country is not a walk in the park with pets. But with these tips and trick at your side, you will have an easier and less stress with the relocation.