Your leaky roof is just one of the many items on your ever-growing home improvement list. After thoughtful consideration and recurring visions of contractors taking up semi-permanent residence at your house, you’ve decided it’s time to sell the old place and look for something newer that’s “move in ready.”
You’ve hired a realtor recommended by friends and family. It’s time to start touring open houses and checking out individual listings. You mentioned your plans to one of your friends, and she asks you about your cat, Oscar. “How do you think Oscar will handle the move? I hope he likes your new place.”
As much as you love your grey Persian, it has never even occurred to you how the move would affect him. After all, you show him plenty of love, and he has plenty of catnip and his own bed. Your friend even suggested hiring a cat sitter to spend time with Oscar while you are out house hunting.
Before Your Move
If you’re gone more often or at different times than your cat is accustomed to, your friendly feline may become afraid and experience anxiety. The idea of a cat sitter isn’t too far-fetched. According to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), it’s important to take hiring a pet sitter seriously. Keep in mind that the person you select will not only be caring for your cat but will have access to your home as well.
It may be good to take your cat with you to visit the place before you finalize that mortgage agreement. Walk around the neighborhood to make sure it seems safe and look out for neighborhood dogs that seem aggressive.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) experts agree that you’ll need plenty of room in your dwelling to build vertically so you can create shelving of sorts for kitty blocks on top of furniture. Also, if you’re moving into an apartment or condominium, make sure you understand the rules about pet ownership. Start preparing your cat for a travel carrier a few weeks before your move. Your feline may not like it at first. However, he’ll get used to it, and you’ll have an easier time getting him into it on moving day.
Managing Moving Day
While you and the movers haul every item out of your home, keep your cat in a quiet secure room, feed him a small meal a few hours before the move, and keep his routine as normal as you can.
Settling in After the Move
According to the Humane Society, moving to a new home can be very stressful for your cat. Similarly, cats can become afraid in a strange environment. Your cat may hide for a few days after you move. If he’s otherwise healthy, leave him alone. Your cat will come out when he’s ready. Just make sure you clean his litter box and that he has plenty to eat and drink.
Allow your feline several weeks to adapt. Keep him securely indoors, perhaps even in just a few rooms during this time so he can get used to his new surroundings. Be sure that all windows and doors are kept closed and that all screens are secure. PAWS reminds owners that scared cats can easily get out of high open windows.
Don’t be surprised if your cat displays behavior problems during the first days in your new home. You may see an otherwise laid-back cat bolt under furniture. He may spend hours or even days hiding. Spend time talking quietly to him, even if he is under your wingback chair. If you just can’t handle him living under that chair, take your cat out of his hiding place and gently carry him to a quiet, protected area where he will feel secure. Keep the water and litter box close by.
While moving is typically a stressful time, don’t forget about your cat. There are many things you can do before, during, and after the move to make him as comfortable as possible so he’ll be enjoying his new home in no time.
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