Moving house is a super exciting but equally stressful time for everyone involved, and can be an all too regular experience if you’re a renter. Add your furbag to the mix then all you’re thinking about is whether they’ll settle in ok to their new den and if you’ve remembered to pack every last speck of catnip; that’s when anxiety levels really can go through the roof. Cats are super sensitive to their environment and routine, so upping and leaving is a pretty big deal for the little guys.
But moving doesn’t need to feel this stressful. There are simple little things you can do to help both you and your cat on your new journey. From the pre-move build up, to dealing with the moving company, to finally settling down and eating a takeaway on the floor of your new living room, here’s what we’ve found to be super helpful when switching habitats, to make sure things run smoothly for you and your favourite furry housemate.
Before the big day
- We know that you know that they know. As soon as they see the cat carrier, panic ensues. But simply getting your cat used to their transportation bag of choice is essential to keeping them cool. Instead of shock tactics, why not pop their box out a few weeks in advance of your move. Fill with treats, toys and positive reinforcement and voila, that cat carrier can only mean good stuff.
- Creating a cat safe zone in your current residence will help to keep your kitty cool. Slowly shifting their food/water bowls, bed and litter tray into a quiet corner or spare room in your home will keep them away from the chaos once boxes are being stacked and you’re on your way out. Keep their own zone as serene as you can right up until moving moment, so they can be blissfully unaware of what’s going on on the other side of their door.
- We’ve discussed before how the fuzzy ones are suckers for routine. And this doesn’t stop when it comes to moving. Keeping as close to their daily agenda as possible is key to a calm kitten. Let’s be honest, most of their scheduled appointments will be for 3 hour naps, so as long as their Republic dinner is on the table on time, they’ll feel safe and in control of their usual routine.
- Pheromones can also be a super useful tool to maintain chill. Ever wondered why your cat enjoys rubbing their face up against all your surfaces? They’re spreading their feline pheromones, which help them identify their own scent at home and feel super secure in your four walls. As an added mood booster, why not purchase an extra plug in diffuser to use at least 24 hours before the action starts (that includes packing) – it’ll boost the place with extra pheromones and make for a calm kitten.
- Pre-house checks at your new abode are essential before rolling out the red carpet for the fluff royalty. Updating your cat’s microchip details, cat proofing the new digs (especially any outside space) and deep cleaning are top of the list, especially if previous owners were also cat people. Our little tigers are super prone to scent, so if they smell competition from a previous fur-tenant it could make them a little more wary of the new space.
- You’ve got your safe zone, now it’s time to put it to good use. Make sure your cat has everything they need in their cosy space before securing them in their spot – this should be your first port of call before anything else. It’s often advised to drop your cat off at a cattery on moving day so they are out of the way, but we know all too well that this can be all the more stressful for the furbabies, so just make the right call for your cat.
- Stick to the schedule, yet again. We know we might sound like taskmasters but it really does help your cat keep their sense of safety. Although their day is likely to be a little disrupted, regular check-ins to their safe spot and perfectly timed meals will help to keep them calm and collected until it’s time to leave.
- When it’s go-time, make sure your cat is securely enclosed in their carrier and travel as you usually would. Some cats cope better than others on the move, some sing the song of their people for the entire journey – do your best to reassure them, but sometimes you just gotta ride it out to the backing track of melancholy meows.
- Always unpack their little kitty belongings first. This gets their scent in there straight away and gives them some familiarity in a strange new indoor jungle. It’s best to do this in one room, kind of like mirroring your actions, so they can rest assured all their favourite toys and scratchers are accounted for and start investigating.
- You might have that new house energy where you want to buy all new everything but we recommend not doing this when it comes to the cat. Starting afresh can be awesome, but your cat finds comfort in their fuzzy old blanket that smells like home. Another top tip is getting a cloth and soft rubbing it on your cat’s face. You can then take the cloth and rub it onto corners, surface and furnishings at a perfect cat height to start the scenting process for your cat.
- Exploring their new environment one room at a time is best – slowly does it. You can accompany them on a house tour and get them used to each new space so they don’t get overwhelmed.
Post move and settling in
- Most vets recommend keeping cats indoors for 2-3 weeks after the move until everyone is acclimated to the new surroundings. Our favourite pals can be easily disorientated by different surroundings, so this 2-3 week grace period lets them really know where to call home. This can be a big adjustment, especially for those used to roaming the outdoors. Set up a litter tray but don’t lose your cool if you discover the odd accident. Be patient, use our Republic rocks and be sure to keep litter trays pristine for the toilet Kings and Queens to encourage them to use their box.
- Despite initial disorientation, some cats have huge pulls to old hangouts and may even attempt a quest back to their favourite haunts. It’s always a good idea to give your details to whoever moves into your old space just in case your floofy adventurer decides to take a trip down memory lane.
We know it might seem like an extensive list, but our fur children are sensitive souls and change, though for the good, can be a huge deal in their tiny cat world. Making sure they feel safe and loved is always our number one priority, so put them first in your house move and everything should be pretty smooth sailing. Each purr machine will deal with things differently so be patient, kind and ready to deliver endless chin rubs until normality is restored. x