Moving home can be a stressful experience on your own, but with the added responsibility of taking a cat with you, you might think that it will be a nightmare. While there are quite a few things that you need to consider before making the move with your kitty, they can be easily managed if you think ahead and find out exactly what you need to do. That’s why we’ve put together these five handy tips that will help you to make your cat’s moving experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Speak to your vet
There are several things that you will need to discuss with your vet before your moving date. If your cat needs any special care, you should have a chat about how the moving experience may affect him or her and to see if your vet has any recommendations for the trip. Make sure that they are up to date with any due vaccinations and that you have a good supply of any medication that they need, especially if you are moving to a new area as it may take a while to get to find a new vet.
You can make this process easier by asking your vet if they have any colleagues that they can recommend in your new location — they might not, but a referral is always handy if you can get one. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has a handy Find a Vet tool that you can use to search for practices in your area, but only if you are moving within the UK.
Prepare for escapees
Being a cat owner, you will be very aware of how independent cats are as well as how skittish they can get at the first sign of a disturbance, such as a troop of movers entering your home to pack up your belongings. You may think that you know your kitty pretty well, but moving day can be a stressful experience for him or her and it is always best to take precautions.
Make sure that your cat is micro-chipped and their record is updated with the latest information, including your new contact details. You can do this without much hassle through one of the UK’s pet microchip databases, and if you know your pet’s microchip number it is pretty straightforward. You can use Check-A-Chip to easily search through all of the UK’s compliant pet databases.
When you are loading up the moving van, make sure you have confined your cat to one room and that all possible escape routes are closed, as it is likely your front and back door will be open for extended periods of time. Consider clearing out one room before moving day to keep your cat in, so that they won’t be disturbed by any of the comings and goings.
Make sure they are comfortable on the road
An essential bit of kit that you will need to make sure you have before the move is a specialised pet container to keep your furry friend safe and secure when you’re on the road. You should ensure that it is the correct size, with enough room to sit, lie down and turn around. It should also contain a source of water and a litter tray, as you should try to keep your cat in the container as much as possible while on the road. This is because they can get panicked when let loose in a moving vehicle, which is the last thing you need.
Find a secure location in your vehicle to hold your kitty’s container in place in the event that you need to brake sharply. Good locations are behind on of the front seats or attached to one of the back seatbelts, but you should avoid the front passenger seat due to the risk of the airbag being deployed, causing injury to your cat. Make sure they have a good airflow and they are not hidden away by layers of luggage.
Consider a professional pet mover if going abroad
If you are emigrating to another country with your cat, there is a lot more that you have to prepare for, especially if you plan to do so by plane. Many countries have strict regulations when it comes to bringing animals over their borders, for example Australia and New Zealand have quarantine laws to protect their unique indigenous species from invasive species and foreign diseases.
You can minimise the stress to both your cat and yourself when emigrating by using a professional pet moving service from a company like Pickfords. These companies use their specialist knowledge to make the process of emigrating your pet as smooth as possible, taking care of everything from the pet carrier for the flight to the paperwork for your pet’s arrival.
Help them to adjust
When you get to your new home, leave your cat in the car and head inside to do a quick sweep of the house, looking for anything that isn’t so kitty-friendly like exposed wiring or broken glass. You can then let your cat explore their environment bit-by-bit, taking extra care not to let them outside as they will not have had a chance to adjust yet.
Lay out some items from the old house, such as their bed and toys. They will immediately begin to associate the area with these items, which will in turn provide a source of familiarity and comfort. Even if you have an outdoor cat, you should make sure that they stay inside for two weeks after the move so they recognise this new house as the place they live.
Follow these essential tips and you and your kitty will be able to enjoy a fabulous life together in your new home.
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