When You Move, Don’t Put Your Puss In Boots

Moving catMoving with a cat isn’t easy. Your cat should be the last thing you “pack up,” and if you’re only moving a short distance, you should have the furniture in place at the new house before she arrives.

If you’re moving further away, her carrier should be roomy and tall enough so she can stand up and turn around. It will also help her if you put something in with her that has a familiar smell – the towel from her basket, for example.

If she is going to be in the car for several hours, a litterbox, food and water are essential . And whatever you do, don’t put the carrier in the boot; people have done this! Keep your cat with you in the car.

When she arrives at the new house, put her in a quiet, safe room, out of traffic, and keep the door closed until everything’s arranged. Do check on her regularly, talking to and stroking her each time, and make sure she has the essentials – litterbox, food, water, and a comfy place to sleep.

Ensure that there is no way she can get outside, she may try to “go home” if a door is open for her. Even after you’ve settled in, make sure she is perfectly comfortable and happy with the house, which may take several days at least, before you open the door for her.

Some cats are perfectly comfortable exploring a whole new house all at once; others will head for the room where you are or a hiding place and will venture out very slowly.

Generally speaking, once the furniture is in place so the smells are familiar, she should adjust quite quickly. But it is a stressful time for her, as it is for you, so be sure to stroke her and talk to her frequently, to reinforce that this is a good thing and not some frightening punishment.

If your cat is easily stressed, your vet can provide you with a mild tranquilizer to help her cope