How to Safely Move With Cats
Goodbye Tuscaloosa, Hello Chicagoland. The Branton Felines Are on the Move
For months, my husband and I had been planning out every detail of our move northward. The both of us were originally from Chicagoland; now the Brantons were finally coming back. I was instantly nervous about the long haul with our cats.
A little research helped allay my fears and helped make the move for them as comfortable as possible.
Find the Right Carrier to Suit the Cats' Needs
Our pet children consists of one kitten and two senior cats. Carriers should be hard sided if possible, as well as sturdy with a locking door. The size we purchased were for a cat, or roughly up to a 15-pound dog. Cats should have enough room to turn around, but they are more comfortable in a tighter space.
In the weeks before, get your cat used to going in the carrier. If their only exposure to being in the carrier or in the car is going to the vets office, you might experience some crabby kitties. If possible, get them used to entering the carrier on their own.
Placing familiar objects in the carrier or practicing feeding your pet inside could lessen their anxiety. If you can get the cat in the carrier, practice taking short rides around the block or on small errands to get them used to being in the carrier inside a moving car.
Be sure to have a collar with an updated name tag and any vet documents you might need for a new landlord.
On Moving Day
Put your pet in their carrier in a safe and secure section of the car. We put the carriers behind the driver and passenger seats on the floor so they couldn't tip or be moved about on turns and were out of the way if airbags were to deploy.
Do not feed on the morning of the trip if you think your pet might experience nausea. Do put a small amount of water in the carrier if possible or when safely stopped for the night. Be careful not to open the carrier for any reason. A loose cat in the car is dangerous for your furry friend or a potential escape risk.
Keep your composure even if your pet is loudly protesting and singing the song of his people at the top of their lungs. Your pet will feed off your reaction and if you stay calm, they will be calmer. They will probably still be very upset, especially in our case of an all day drive, but they will be calmer.
When Arriving at the New Home
- Resist the immediate reaction to let your pet out of the carrier. We in fact left the cats in the carriers with supervised time out for about a day after moving in.
- Make all the doors to the outside are closed and window screens are secure. Our vet recommended starting the cats off in a small area and slowly expanding their territory.
- After securing a safe room, fill it with their familiar sights and smells before letting the cats out. We set out some of our clothing, set up the bed, and had saved some of their old litter which we put in their litter box. While under supervision, we let the cats out for a bit to explore.
- Keep the cats in the same room for several days if they are stressed out or frightened. It will depend on your cat when they are ready to be exposed to more of the home. By the end of the week, our kitten was comfortable following us into every room of the house, whereas our 13-year old cat finally came out of his hiding place in a walk in closet after about three weeks.
You know your pet best and when they are ready.
Update Microchip to the New Address
Do this if you haven't already updated your pets microchip and tags to reflect your current address.
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Jennifer B