How to make your new home the cat's meow!
January 18, 2013
How to ensure your new home is the cat’s meow
Words of advice from Cat Stanley
Inauguration Day is just around the corner, and while the First Family remains the same (although someone should really tell them that Bo would love to have a feline friend to keep him company) it got me thinking about how hard moving can be for some cats. So, to help those of you who are thinking about moving or are going to move soon, I have come up with the following list of things you can do to make the transition from one house to another as comfortable and stress free as possible for your cat.
1. Get your cat used to its carrier. Even if you are going to be in your current home forever and your cat will never have to move, I cannot tell you how much better loving my carrier has made life for me. It’s actually one of my favorite places to hang out, and the sooner you get your cat used to its carrier the better, especially if you’re moving. It will become a safe, familiar place for your cat to hang out in its new digs. For some tips, check out this video.
2. Make sure your cat has a safe, quiet place in the new house. Moving is stressful for all of us. Do your cat a favor and make sure it has a safe, quiet place to relax in your new home. Ensure all of your cat’s necessities are included in this room, including your cat’s favorite blanket or pillow to help it feel at home.
3. Proper identification is necessary. Ensure your cat’s identification is up to date with the address and phone number of your new home. I cannot tell you how many poor felines without microchips came into the shelter where I once lived. Even worse was the fate of those who had microchips, but whose owners had not updated their information when they moved or changed phone numbers--they ended up staying a lot longer than the cats whose owners kept their information current. Also, moving provides an opportunity for your cats to get loose due to all of the commotion and open doors. If your cat does wander outside, you want to be sure your contact information is up to date and readily seen.
4. Let your cat have some time to adjust. I have been known to hide for a couple of days after being introduced to a new place. I travel frequently for my job as spokescat for the CATalyst Council, and when I first get to a new city sometimes I hang out under the bed of the hotel room for a while until I get used to the sights and sounds of the locale. Your cat may need a couple of days to adjust to its new home. Make sure it knows where its litter box, food and water are and give it some space while it gets used to the new environment.
5. Find your new veterinarian. If you’re moving a long distance, ensure you know ahead of time where you will be taking your cat for its annual or semi-annual veterinary visits. Also, make sure you find out where the closest emergency veterinarian is, just in case. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has a list of cat-friendly veterinarians that can help you find the purrfect veterinarian for your cat. In addition, you can search for a veterinarian through MyVeterinarian.com.
6. Think about saving one or two of those boxes. I love boxes. I really really really love boxes. I like to hide in them, play on top of them and occasionally scratch them, and your cats probably do, too. Keep this in mind for two reasons. Firstly, your cats may try to hide in one as you are packing, so just double check to make sure your boxes are cat-free before you seal them all up. Secondly, think about keeping a couple around after you’re finished unpacking so that your cats can entertain themselves, and you, after you have unpacked.
Your cats are glad you’re bringing them along to your new house; all too often moving is the reason cited by people relinquishing their cats at a shelter. So, while your cats might be a little scared at first, they will get used to it, especially if you reward them for being so brave with extra snuggling and praise