As a catmom, moving to another home is probably already causing some stress to you. Moving to another home is also a stressful event for your cat. Proper planning from the old home to the new home makes the moving day more smoothly.
Some cats attach strong value to the environment (the territory). Other cats have a strong bond with their owners and are less bound to the home where they stay. For the latter group, the moving to another home will be a little less drastic because they will be able to adjust to the new location more easily as their owner will move with them.
Make sure the travel basket has a positive association.
Start this a few weeks before moving day. Put the cat’s travel basket in the living room. Put treats and toys in it. Also add a comfortable blanket so that your cat can sleep in the transport basket. Calming pheromoma-based cat sprays are also available for spraying in the basket. This will reduce stress on your cat. Amazon has many travel baskets for your cat
Is your cat chipped? Then don’t forget to give the new address to your veterinarian (are you moving a little further away? Also look for a new veterinarian in your new place of residence where you can register yourself and your cat).
The big moving day
Put your cat in a separate room, with all its stuff such as litter box, scratching post, basket, favorite toys, transport basket food and water bowls. Make sure your cat is already in this room before the moving van arrives. This is your cat’s safe place where he will stay during the moving day. (Also inform all persons involved with moving that they leave the door of the room closed. A note on the door with the text: keeping the door closed, is always a good idea). First load all other things, take your cat and his stuff with you last.
Driving with your cat to the new home
You can spray a calming pheromone spray in the basket half an hour before departure. Make the travel basket as comfortable as possible for the cat. Make sure that the travel basket is properly secured during transport (for example, click it in a seat belt). Do not place the transport basket between the removal boxes, because than you will close the ventilation options of the basket. Also, do not move the cat in the removal van. Just transport the cat in your car. Never leave a cat alone in the car, certainly not in a hot car, this can have fatal consequences for the cat.
Set up a room especially for your cat in the new home.
Make sure there are places in this room where your cat can have time for himself. Also place his food and drink bowls, his favorite toys, his scratching post and his litter box in his room. For the cat it can be nice if you stay with him when he discovers the room in the new house. Then the door can close, because it is best to let the cat get used to this new room before exploring the rest of the house. If your cat is very restless, calming cat sprays or evaporators may help.
Let your cat explore the new home at his own pace.
When the moving day is almost over and all things are in the right place, it’s time for the cat to explore the new home room by room.
Let the cat do this at its own pace. Stay with him at the beginning and reassure your cat (with his favorite food, by distracting him and playing with him). Pay particular attention in the kitchen and pantry that the cat will not hide behind the kitchen unit or a cupboard.
During this process, furthermore try to stick as much as possible to the routine that your cat had in his previous home (same meal times, etc.)
You can help your cat to mark his new environment by rubbing a cloth along his cheeks, where the scent glands are. The scent is now absorbed in the cloth and you can spread it at the height of the cat, for example along door posts. This allows your cat to feel at home. If you see that your cat is spreading its scent, you can stop this.
Keep the cat indoors for at least 2 weeks in his new home.
First let your cat get used to the garden, stay with him as he explores the new garden. Let your cat determine the pace by opening the door and not lifting him outside. Leave the door open so that your cat can always decide for himself when he goes in, for example, when he got scared.
If your cat is used to walking on a harness, you can also let him explore his new environment that way.
It is also a good idea to check if your cat’s vaccinations have not expired. If your cat is chipped, send his new address to the database. If your cat is not chipped, give him a collar with contact details. This makes it easier to find your cat when he has run away.
As a family, try to find comfortable in the new house as quickly as possible. If the family members feel calm and comfortable in the new home, the cat will also get used to it sooner.