How to Make Moving with Your Cat Less Stressful
June 21, 2022 | Family Life
Moving into a new home with a pet is an exciting time when you’re looking forward to new beginnings. Whether you have a cat, a dog, or a pet rabbit, you’ll want to keep everyone happy and healthy along the way. Thankfully, there are specific things you can do to make moving with your cat less stressful.
Packing and sorting through life’s belongings is time consuming and stressful, which is when our furry family members come to the rescue with their snuggles and companionship. So keep in mind to return the favor by not overlooking how difficult change is for cats.
Here are a few tips to help your feline friend make a smooth transition into your new home together.
Keep Your Cat’s Routine the Same
One of the most challenging things about moving with any pet is keeping their routine the same. Cats by nature are sensitive creatures who dislike change, which makes moving one of the most stressful events in their lives.
As a result, relocation stress can have a negative impact on your cat’s health and behavior. Fortunately, there are proven-ways to reduce your cat’s stress before, during, and after your move.
For example, even though your dinners may be delayed while you’re packing, feeding your cat at the regular times will keep him on his schedule. Also, be sure to leave all of your cat’s things—litter box, bed, food and water bowls—in place until right before you move.
It’s widely believed that cat-specific music benefits our feline friends by decreasing stress levels in trying situations. As a result, you can now find a wide selection of cat-calming music. For example, type “relax my cat music” in your preferred browser and you’ll find dozens of playlists. Who knows, the music may help keep you both calm.
How Pheromones Can Help Ease Cat Stress
If you have a female cat, you’ve probably observed how she rubs her cheeks against you and other objects in the house. She leaves her scent to let other cats (even though there may only be one cat in your family) know her territory.
Felines have scent glands on their cheeks and paws, which is why they like to rub their faces on people and things and probably why they like kneading their humans. Besides marking territory, cheek rubbing allows your cat to scent objects around the home to make her feel comforted.
You can help this process in your new home by taking a soft cloth or handkerchief and gently rubbing your cat’s cheeks to transfer the pheromones. Placing these clothes in her cat carrier and her bed once you’ve moved will make moving less stressful for her.
Make Your Cat’s Travel Carrier Welcoming
Preparing your cat before moving to a new home can be challenging. At least you can explain things when you’re moving with your kids. A few weeks before the big day, set out your cat’s travel carrier. Most likely, you only bring out your cat’s travel carrier for trips to the veterinarian or long car rides. Not a positive association for your feline friend.
Put some special treats and toys inside to make the travel box more attractive. Doing this will help your cat get a more positive association with its carrier, which will be helpful when you transport him to your new home.
By creating positive interaction with his carrier, your cat will have one less thing to be stressed about during the move. Be sure to place one of the pheromone clothes inside the carrier too.
Do You Have an Indoor or Outdoor Cat?
The first thing to be aware of during this transition is that it’s not uncommon for cats to return to their old homes after moving. This can be especially alarming whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.
If you’re going to allow your cat to roam outdoors, contain your furry friend indoors for at least two weeks. And don’t fall for the myth that putting butter on your pet’s paws will keep them from trying to return to your former residence. The scent of your former home will remain in your cat’s fur, not just his paws.
So as soon as possible after you’ve settled in, plan a scented bubble bath with cat-specific products designed to cleanse, detangle, and soothe your feline’s coat. Doing this will wash away old scents and help him forget the smells associated with the previous home.
If your kitty is used to roaming outdoors, consider investing in a GPS cat collar. These work for indoor cats too. It’s too easy for them to escape through an open door during a move or remodel. GPS cat collars allow you to set a “safe zone” for your cat, including your house or radius around your neighborhood.
If your cat wanders outside the zone, you’ll receive a notification via your smartphone app, text, or email.
Why Do Cats Love Moving Boxes?
Yes, it’s true, cats love cardboard. Moving boxes provide a perfect place for your feline friend to hide and play, which supports their prey instinct. The sounds created when playing with a favorite toy inside a box also creates an interactive experience.
But especially helpful during a move, according to cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett,
“The ability to be invisible by having a convenient hiding place is a valuable coping mechanism when it comes to stress.”
Pet experts all agree that creating a safe room on moving day where you can place your kitty with her litter, water, food, and toys is advisable. Be sure to put a moving box or two in the room. Your cat will be more comfortable chilling out in a box and avoiding the household chaos on moving day.
Here at Metro, we understand, moving is stressful for everyone involved–especially for our furry friends. By following these tips moving with your cat will be a little less stressful for everyone.
Simplify Your Move with Metro
Finding a secure and convenient storage solution for your household belongings can help ease the stress of moving to a new home with your pet. Metro Self Storage facilities offer modern features including easy online reservations, bill-pay options, extended customer service hours, and more!
Our friendly, professionally trained storage teams are available to take you on a guided tour of your local Metro facility and answer all of your questions. In addition to our inviting retail storage offices, you’ll find a wide selection of moving boxes and packing supplies, so you can experience the convenience of one-stop shopping. Give us a call or reserve your unit online today!