Westbury Animal Hospital
713.723.3666 · 4917 S. Willow Dr. Houston, Texas 77035 

Annie's Shenanigans

Moving with your cat

Westbury Animal Hospital - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This month my human parents have moved homes. My cat companion and I have been taken to a new place to live. Now, I am really fast at adjusting to new environments and love to explore new places. The cat, however, is how do I say this nicely?.....sensitive.

When moving with a cat there are several things you need to take into consideration to keep his or her delicate nature in balance. The last thing anyone needs is a stressed out cat! Stressed out cats lead to cat urine in your bed or hours of vocalizing. Every time.

Before the Move:

Keep in mind that the stress of moving begins well before the actual move. Make sure you keep the cat area the same as much as possible before moving. For example, dont decide to move the litterbox into a different room as you are packing to suit your needs. 

Stick as close as possible to their normal feeding schedule.

Start laying our boxes for moving weeks in advance. These can be fun for some cats and allows them time to adjust to new smells. 

Set out the cat carrier at least a week in advance so they are not startled into hiding just when you are ready to catch them.

If you are moving your cat via airplane and especially if you are moving out of country, discuss your move with your vet weeks to months in advance. Some countries require special testing up to 6 months prior to moving.

During the Move:

Consider where you will keep your cat while the move is happening. A friends house or a boarding facility are both safe options to prevent lose cats and minimize stress as much as possible. 

If your move is long, only open the carrier when absolutely necessary in a secure location. Avoid opening the door to soothe your pet if they are in a location easy for them to escape. 

After the Move:

Cat proof your home. Tuck away all cords and hazardous substances.

Set up a room in your new home with the cat litter box, food, and water and allow your cat a day or two alone in this new room to settle down and feel secure. Spend time in this room performing low key activities such as reading.

Once your cat becomes curious and starts to explore, you can start to open your home up room by room to allow your cat to explore the new area. 

As necessary with cat ownership in general, make sure your pet has plenty of areas to hide and climb. Cats feel the most secure when they are high up and can survey their surroundings alone. Set up your cat tree or other perch items in advance. 

Be sure to offer your cat plenty of affection if they desire your interactions and try not to change too many other variables (their food choice or litter type). 


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