Relocating with your kitty: How to reduce your cat’s stress
Reduce your feline’s stress when you relocate to a new home with these simple tips and tricks!
4 September 2018
Moving cats to a new home can be challenging as most cats aren’t generally too fond of changes!
Even small alterations to their daily routine can cause protest and behavioural changes.
This is why having to move their cats often causes cat owners to worry: Will kitty be alright? The good news is: Yes! It might take some time and effort, but with the following tips, cats will settle into their new homes very well!
Moving Cats to a New Home: 8 tips for the first encounter
Experts recommend to slowly introduce your cat to its new home one room at a time. Start out with a room that your cat will also have access to in the future and make it kitty-ready beforehand. How to proceed when you arrive at your new home with kitty:
- Start exploring the new home with one room
- Provide food and water
- Get some of your feline’s favorite toys
- Put its basket or blanket (or towel or favourite box) in the room
- Place the carrier in one corner of the room, open it and let your cat start exploring.
- Don’t remove the carrier just yet: Your cat might want to use it as a hiding place during the first couple of days.
- To let your cat know that everything is alright, find yourself a comfortable place to sit and stay in the room.
- Try not to stare but still keep an eye out for it.
Important: Just because you start in one room, doesn’t mean you should confine your cat to this room.
Don’t close the door! In the beginning, your cat will be too busy sniffing around and discovering the first new room to even notice that there is a door and more to explore.
New Outdoors? 3 Must-Do’s to protect your kitty
Does your new home come with a garden? Introduce your cat to it just as you would with the inside of your home: bit by bit.
Pro-tip: Experts suggest keeping your cat inside for about 3 weeks before letting it go outside once you moved to a new home since many cats get lost if they are being let outside too soon.
Three important things to do before your cat goes outside are the following:
- Put its collar on
- Open the door slowly
- Stay close
Keep in mind: At the beginning, you should keep trips outside brief and allow your kitty time to get used with the new surroundings. On your cat’s first trips outside, she will take her time to sniff around.
Interesting fact: Cats are known to follow new smells or find shelter somewhere hidden when they feel scared.
Wait a few weeks until kitty is truly comfortable in her new place. Moreover, habits and routines also require time until they have re-established themselves. But rest assured: no matter how much there will be to explore, your cat will want to come back to her new home after every outdoor excursion.
Good to know: Due to their exceptional sense of direction, cats will most of the time find their way back home. Some cats were even able to find their way home years after they got lost.
How should kitty discover the new home
Once your feline has sufficiently discovered room number one, she will carefully make her way to the next room and so on. Here’s what you can do to help your cat from the very start to get accustomed to her new home:
- Find a place to sit or stand in each room and let your cat do her thing. If there are places it is not supposed to go, like surfaces it’s not allowed to jump, this is a good time to carefully introduce them.
- Give your cat a little nudge or a determined “No!” where necessary, but don’t be too harsh the first time around. There will be plenty of time to enforce those rules later. As for now, just let your feline know that they exist and make sure it has a good time exploring.
- Maybe at some point during its excursion, your cat will get scared by some new sound or unexpected movement. If that happens, it will most likely run back to the first room because this room will smell most familiar. Therefore, always keep the way back clear in case kitty needs a hasty retreat.
Moving cats to a new home requires good timing
Once you start packing your old home into boxes, your cat knows that something’s up.
The most cat-friendly way to plan your relocation is to keep the changing period as short as possible.
Pick a weekend, ask friends to help in exchange for free pizza and get started. Remember: Cats multiply existing chaos. Open boxes and half-built furniture will make them uneasy.
Important: Try to have your new home as ready as you can before you first bring kitty there.
Relocating with your cat made easy: Summarized tips
This short video will make a summary of all the above mentioned tips and tricks for reducing your feline’s stress when relocating. Enjoy!
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