It’s a well known fact that cats are creatures of comfort & tend not to handle new environments or changes to their current environments very well. So we thought we’d help by giving you a few hints & tips that we’ve picked up over the years to help soothe your stressed out kitties!
Moving house can be extremely scary for cats. For starters they are packed up into the dreaded box of doom that usually leads to a visit with the vet & then into an even bigger box on wheels that makes funny motions & noises. Then when they are finally released from the box of doom, they aren’t released into their usual familiar home but instead a strange environment that smells nothing like home & possibly even like other animals. So it’s completely instinctual for your cat to want to hide in a dark hiding spot until they feel it’s safe to come out to assess their new unfamiliar surroundings. It’s how you handle the cat prior to & after the move that will either help or hinder their adjustment to the new environment.
- Even though your home prior to the move will be in a state of complete chaos with all your belongings being packed away; it’s important to keep your cat’s routines as close to normal as possible & leave their belongings (if you can) in the locations they are used to.
- On the day of the move clear one room completely & keep your cat shut in this room along with their bedding, litter tray, food, water, scratching posts & toys.
- Place a notice on the outside of the door to let family members, helpers or removal men know that they must not go into the room & the door must be kept shut at all times to prevent the cat escaping & possibly going missing.
- Plan ahead & allocate a room in the new house where your cat can be kept while the rest of your belongings are unloaded. Make sure their bedding, litter tray, food, water, scratching posts & toys are already in the new room prior to letting them out, just so they have some familiar smells in the new environment.
- Once your all moved in & ready for your cat to explore their new home it’s important that you stay calm, let them walk around freely smelling their way around & getting the feel for their new home.
- Although it is usually recommended that a cat is kept in for a period of 2-3 weeks following a house move, the actual amount of time is usually determined by your cat’s character. If you’ve got a confident, outdoor-loving cat it might be difficult to keep them in!
- When you do finally let your cat out to explore for the first time it’s as good idea to do this at a weekend or when you have more time. Letting them out just before a mealtime will also help to provide them with the encouragement to come back in for food!
- In the eventuality that your cat does decide to wander a little too far when exploring the new territory, ensure your cat is microchipped & if you begin to get worried about the period of time they’ve been gone, a great tip is to empty the contents of your hoover out in the garden. The smell of home will waft around the neighbourhood guiding your cat back.
Another HUGE tip is to invest in Pet Remedy spray or plug ins!! Pet Remedy works with your pet’s own natural calming mechanisms by mimicking GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) which is a natural calming agent present in all mammals, reptiles, and birds. The formulation is predominantly Valerian oil based with small inclusions of Vetiver, Sweet Basil & Clary Sage essential oils. Honestly this stuff is incredible & has saved my cats & clients cats from stressful situations countless times. Yes it may leave your home smelling a little earthy, but wow does this stull work!
We hope the above has helped to keep your fretting felines calm & wish you all the luck in your new homes!