Moving is always hard to organize, especially if you are moving with your children or with your pet. Not because they are complicated, but because they don’t understand what is going on around them so you have to be very gentle.
I moved with my cat more than once and I have lived in a big house with a big yard. I haven’t hired professional moving services so the move took longer than usual. He sensed that something was wrong and he ran away a couple of days before we were supposed to move. I found him a couple of days later, hiding in a shed in the neighborhood. I decided to take him to a special cat hotel until the move is over. We moved in the next 2 days and I started preparing one room especially for him, so he can at least get a sense of comfort in the new place. I prepared his bed, toys, blankets and also I decided that will be the room where I will sleep, at least in the first month of adjusting to a new place. Everything was almost perfect, but then I received a distressing call from the pet hotel. They told me that my cat managed to get away from the hotel by opening the window and tearing the safety net that was installed on the window. Of course, we organized a rescue crew within minutes and started a search.
I went straight to my old house and started calling for him and then I heard him meowing loudly! When he heard me calling him he immediately started running and meowing towards me. That was the sweetest heart breaking moment in my life. I took him to our new home and released him to his new room. He started purring and went into his bed. He never tried to escape ever again.
Obviously, this was a very stressful experience for both of us. It all ended up well, but from that moment I was thinking to myself – Was there anything that I could have done to make it easier for him, but also for myself?
Professional moving services will pack and move you within only one day, if you don’t have a lot of stuff in your home, so it is definitely worth the money that you will pay for that service. The only job you need to do is take care of your pet and make it easy for them.
In the face of many things, your pet may seem resilient, independent and extremely calm, however, moving is one of those life events that can upset pets. Cats especially are known to attach to the territory in which they live and can resist any attempt to move out of their familiar environment. New sources of noise, odors and changes in the environment can be annoying for a cat.
However, with careful planning and a good understanding of the process of getting a cat used to a new home and information on how long to keep a cat in a new home after moving into a new home, all families can greatly facilitate the process of moving with a cat. Here are some simple helpful suggestions on what to do with your pet when moving to a new home, so that your shaggy four-legged pet gets all the necessary care and support during this important event. And it won’t be long, so he will be as thrilled with his new home as you are.
New home: looking for a house or apartment
Good planning is half the battle. If you want to organize everything on time, consider hiring professional moving services at least one month before the move date. That way you can be sure that you will have a team of professional packers and movers on your address on time, without having to hire last minute movers.
If you are buying or building your own home, moving with a pet is a minor problem. However, when it comes to a rented apartment, you need the consent of the landlord. Looking for an apartment with a pet can limit your choices. In any case, you should make sure that keeping pets is in accordance with the rental agreement. Always ask your landlord if pets are allowed. Also, when choosing a new home, pay attention to the needs of your pet. If your pet likes to spend time outdoors, look for a house or apartment on the ground level, in a low-traffic area.
If your new home is very far away, you are probably planning to move on the weekends. However, if the home is relatively close, many usually move partially, in a couple of days and transport things from the previous home to the new home within a few days. If you plan to store your things in cardboard boxes, cats will have no problem with that. On the contrary, many pets love to play in them. Be careful not to leave objects that could injure your pet’s paws. This includes wall-mounted mirrors or sewing accessories. It is best to leave the “pet furniture” in place until the day of the move and stick to the routine. This will give your pet security during this exciting time. Arrange the new apartment so that it is adapted to pets. If possible, secure the balcony with a safety net. This also requires the consent of your landlord. Pay attention to possible sources of danger. If necessary, secure the tilt window with a grille.
How to relax when moving
Relocation is always hectic, no doubt about it. Expect your pet to be nervous as well. Some will walk restlessly around the apartment and meow. Others will slam the door. Try to stay calm because if you seem tense, your pet will notice it. Some stress relievers for pets can facilitate relocation. These include, for example, pheromone sprays, sprays or tranquilizers. Consult with your vet and get the right products a few weeks before you plan to relocate. Some preparations take some time to develop their calming effect.
The move day
On the day of the move, everything you do, you will probably do it in a hurry. Many people will come and go from the apartment, and the apartment will become increasingly empty. If you have already left your pet in the care of a friend before, when you were on a vacation maybe, it might be a good idea to do it again, so your pet will not be present during the move. If you do not have that option and if the pet hotels are too expensive, you can arrange one room only for your pet. Place your pet in an empty room, where you will put a crib, blankets, pillows, scraper, catnip if necessary and bowls of food and water. Enter this room as little as possible. If the move lasts for two days, when the situation calms down, let your pet leave the room. If possible, spend the night with your pet in that room. Only when the apartment is completely emptied, pack your pet’s belongings and get into the car with your pet. For a safe ride, place your pet in the transporter box and carry it with you on the back seat.
If you simply move from apartment A to apartment B, your pet will usually get used to the new home quickly. Place your pet’s furniture like a scratcher in a similar place as before. If it used to be in the living room, put it in a similar place here in your new apartment. If you have a cat for a pet, you should know that most cats like good visibility, for example, an elevated spot or a window seat. The cat toilet should be in a quiet place. Food bowls should be kept away from the cat toilet.
If you move in with a new partner or even a partner and his family, there are many more challenges for your pet. Especially if they already have pets. In this case, and also with small children in a new home, let your pet explore one room first and spend some time there with them. Place items familiar to your pet, such as a scraper and bowls, in the room. Your pet will be happy because of the familiar furniture or toys. You should keep the pets separated in the first week of moving in together until they adjust to each other’s scent. Let them meet every day little by little. If they are not aggressive towards each other you can keep them together in the same room. If they are maybe scared and aggressive to each other at first, keep them in the same room for 1 hour a day, and gradually increase the time every day. They will eventually get used to each other, just be patient.
Time to adjust
Your pet can explore the new home step by step over the next few days. Some cats initially hide, for example, in niches in closets or under beds. Don’t pull them out, let them decide for themself when they want to explore their new environment. Older pets in particular often take more time to get used to the change. This is especially true when their senses are weakened and pets are less able to hear and see. Give your pet a lot of time, they will surely gain self-confidence soon. Young and confident pets can go on a tour shortly after moving. But don’t be surprised if they also play it safe and hide at first.
Letting the cat out in the open
Cats spending time outdoors should first get used to the new four walls. In the first few days after moving, the risk of them escaping is high. So let the cat realize that this is their new home. The danger is especially great if you have moved a few streets away from your previous home. Your pet could try to get back to their old lawn. Once the cat accepts the new home and feels comfortable, you can go for a walk together for the first time. Go to the backyard with your cat and after a short time give her something to eat. When will a cat be ready to go out after moving depends on the individual pet.
If open access is not possible in the new apartment, this can lead to behavioral problems in cats that normally spend time outside. Cats should be provided with at least a safe balcony, and the apartment should be equipped with various scrapers and toys, and take time to play every day.