Moving an entire household from one location to the other is often a very stressful experience. Just as we feel the intense pressure to get things done, the feline members of our households also feel the strain. It is important to make the transition for them as simple and as stress-free as possible.
Cats are creatures of habit. They, like many of us, are comfortable with routine. But interruptions in that routine are likely to cause problems if not handled with care and planned ahead. Cats will begin to understand very early in the process that something is up, especially once they see boxes all over the house. But there are ways ease them into the changes to come.
As if we didn’t have enough to do, it’s important to remember to provide assurance to our cats that everything is going to be all right. Lots of love and attention are key. Keeping them in a separate room while the actual move is taking place is a good idea. Make sure they have ready access to toys, food, water, and a litter box. They should be the last “item” loaded into the car for the drive to the new home.
But then there’s the drive.
Some cats travel with no problems. Little Man was one of those. Then again, he never gave any trouble at all in any aspect of life. When it was necessary for him to travel, he just stretched out in his kennel and napped for the entire trip without making a sound.
Others, however, will let it be known without question just how much they are displeased with the whole thing. Sunshine was one of those. She screamed from the time she was put in the car until she was let out of her kennel at the new home.
One thing that might help is medication. Before the move, talk to your veterinarian about some calming medication to give your cat a few minutes before being placed in the car for the drive. It can work wonders. However, every cat responds differently, so don’t be surprised if your furbaby screams anyway. Frequent stops with access to food, water, and the litter box may help also, so it’s important to make sure those are readily available and not packed up.
Of course, once the move is complete, there are other things to do. Just like we have to arrange for things such as a new family doctor, our cats need to be introduced to a new veterinarian. Don’t forget to have any medical records transferred once a new veterinarian has been chosen.
And get that routine going again. Find a permament spot for the litter box. Make sure your cat can find the new location for toys, water, and food.
Use the whole experience as an excuse to give your furbaby even more loving than before. Remember, they are family members, too.