Here’s How To Make Moving Less Stressful On Your Cat
Calming sprays FTW!
Are you moving to a new home and are a little bit — OK, a lot-a-bit — worried about how your cat’s going to take it?
Don’t worry, all it takes is some extra planning and all will be right in your new home.
To make sure you have the best chance of a semi-smooth transition — because, you know, cats — The Dodo sought out some expert advice.
“A move can be stressful for everyone involved, but even more so when your pets are stressed!” Dr. Natalie Marks, a veterinarian at Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago and Royal Canin partner, told The Dodo.
Here are a few helpful tips to make this a smooth and happy transition for both you and your cat:
1. Make sure your cat is used to her cat carrier
If you haven’t already begun “cat carrier training,” you can start by leaving out the carrier you plan to use as if it were furniture before you move — this will help to make sure your cat isn’t surprised by it, and associates it with somewhere safe. “Leave yummy treats inside, feed your cat in it, and place a fleece blanket in the bottom so your cat feels safe and comfortable,” Dr. Marks recommended.
2. Make sure your cat has on an identification collar and/or a microchip
Sometimes animals get spooked by a move and try to escape their new home. By making sure your cat’s IDs are up-to-date, you’ll be able to find her more easily in the unlikely chance she does go missing.
3. Utilize pheromones
Pheromones are calming compounds that can help your cat handle stress better — they come in the form of sprays or wipes. Dr. Marks recommends using them in both the carrier and the car for a breezy move.
“It’s also very helpful to place these as plug-ins (one example is Feliway) in your new home to help create continuous relaxation in the new space,” Dr. Marks suggested.
4. Set up a temporary room with all her needs in the new house
According to Dr. Marks, it’s usually easier for cats to adjust to one room initially than the entire house — so have a designated room ready for her to get comfortable in, including items like her litter box, food/water, toys, bedding and other familiar items from the old house to help establish a routine.
“This also gives you time to ‘cat-proof’ your new environment,” Dr. Marks said, “looking for areas that could create accidents or danger (access to a crawl space, outlets, electrical cords, etc).”
5. This is also NOT the time to do loud remodels or have contractors or decorators stop by
“Try to do this piece either BEFORE you move, or after your cat has had time to adjust,” Dr. Marks said.
With these steps in place you’ll have a much easier time getting your cat used to her new home — and a new window perch for her to check out the local wildlife won’t hurt either.
Note: If your cat is still having a difficult time adjusting to your new home, call your veterinarian to discuss other tips and/or prescription medication options.
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