7 Steps to an Easy Move With Cats

Cut stress and increase peace by following a few tips for moving cats to a new home.

By Anastasia Thrift | Posted: July 13, 2012, 2 p.m. EST

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Ragdoll Cat in Carrier -- 7 Steps to an Easy Move With Your Cat
Find a safe and comfortable carrier for your cat to use however you move,. For airplane travel, pick one that meets your airline's needs.
Moving can be stressful, for people and pets alike. How can you make a safe and easy move with your cat? Start with plenty of preparation and keep cats calm along the way. Follow these tips to make moving with cats go smoothly.

1. Go Slowly. Cats love consistency, and a disruption in their routine can send stress skyrocketing. Stick to your cat's feeding schedule, play with him when you normally would and keep up the petting during the packing and moving process.

2. Check with Your Vet. Get a clean bill of health from your vet and learn about your cat's health care options in your new home. Gather up all your cat's health records and keep them for the next vet. Research new vets via a web search or by conferring with your current vet.

3. Know the Laws. Does your cat need an entry permit? Often, cats need licenses for entry into new states. Check with your state's pet regulatory agency or click this link to state import regulations and requirements

4. Stay Calm. Cats pick up on our moods. Staying relaxed is good for the pack.

“Remaining calm yourself probably helps,” says cat owner Mary Mahoney of Georgia. “My vet agrees that cats pick up on your body language and demeanor, so giving off calm and confident vibes is helpful.”

5. Prepare the Carrier. Buy a cat carrier big enough for your cat to stand up and turn around in comfortably. For air travel, make sure your carrier meets airline requirements. Secure cats in cars, too.

“The carrier should be in the back seat attached to the seat belt,” says cat owner Sandy Coser of California. “Cover the carrier with a towel, if the sun hits it, to keep the carrier cool.”

6. Hit the Road Ready. Often, the actual moving is the toughest part of the move for cats to a new home. Prepare for the little inevitabilities along the way.

“Cats can ‘hold it' for about seven hours,” Coser says. “Plan your driving day around that.” Plan pit stops at hotels or houses where you can settle in every 7 or so hours and set up a litterbox.

7. Settle in Securely. Create a welcoming area in your new home for your cat. Bring her favorite bedding, set up food and water and keep a clean litterbox in a room that will see little traffic during the move. Let your cat relax around her creature comforts until you, too, are settled in. Then, your cat can explore her new home to her heart's content.

“Having objects with a familiar odor in the new home gives the cat a sense of comfort,” Mahoney says. Provide a towel your cat napped on, a personal cat bed, a few favorite toys, etc. “Articles of clothing (such as T-shirts or pajamas) from owners can be comforting for kitties, as well.”
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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

7/16/2012 11:13:19 PM

Good to remember.

Jennifer    Norfolk, VA

7/16/2012 6:17:27 PM

Good article.

Samantha    Mission, BC

7/16/2012 5:36:11 PM

Good advice!

Anon    City, CA

7/16/2012 6:23:38 AM

Good article

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