Moving with Cat Cross Country - Tips and Advice
Planning a cross country move with your cat? Then you are probably worried about how your feline friend will take to moving such a long distance. Cats bond strongly with their home and can feel vulnerable when taken away from their territory. This is why both you and your cat need to be prepared while travelling or settling into a new home. Here are a few moving tips which can help you to successfully relocate your cat with minimum stress.
- Choose a carrier which is the right size for your cat. It shouldn't be too small so that they are unable to move at all, neither should it be too big that they can get bumped around during the move.
- Introduce your cat to the carrier early so that they can get used to it. Keep the door open and let them go inside it and explore. Place their favorite blankets and toys inside, so that they will feel more at home.
- Plan your route and work out all the stopping places, where you can let your kitty out of the carrier for short breaks. This will allow them to stretch their legs and use a litter box.
- Familiarise your kitty with a harness and lead. This will add a little extra safety and make sure you can take your cat out of the car at rest stops.
- If possible, get your cat micro-chipped. Failing that, place a snap-type safety collar with a tag that contains both your new and old addresses and contact numbers.
Safety on Moving DayMoving day is full of chaos and you certainly don't want your beloved feline friend to get hurt accidentally during all the hustle and bustle. So, follow these tips to protect your cat.
- Put your cat in one room. Make sure all the doors and windows of this room are closed so that you know that your cat is safe.
- Pop a sign on the door, so even your movers will know not to disturb that room.
- If securing them in a separate room is not possible, then consider booking them into a cattery for one or two days.
- To avoid any case of illness during the journey, make sure to feed your kitty in the morning but not too close to moving time.
During the Cross Country MoveWith proper planning and considerations, your feline friend can travel with you by car, plane, or train! If you’re making a road trip in your car, then here are a few cat moving tips.
- Don't use cardboard carriers as your cat may escape from them easily. Use a robust and properly constructed cat basket or carrier to move them.
- While travelling, make sure the carrier in the car is properly secured with a seat belt or it is wedged safely at the back so it cannot move around. Do not allow your kitty to prowl around freely in the car while you are driving, this is dangerous as it can distract the driver and cause an accident.
- Travelling can be dehydrating, so make sure your cat has access to plenty of water. Since moving across the country is long distance, make sure your cat has the chance to go to the toilet and have access to food.
- If you are using professional long distance movers to move your belongings, then never consider moving your cat in the moving truck, nor should you put them in your boot.
- Never leave your cat alone in the car. If you want to let them out of the carrier while taking a short break, make sure to keep all doors and windows closed, so that your cat can't escape.
- If you are moving during summer, then remember how quickly your car can heat up if the sun is on it, so make sure not to leave your cat inside a hot car. The best way is to use a cat harness and lead so that you can take them out of the carrier for a little stroll during your breaks.
- If your car is a poor traveller, then while moving cross country, you can even consider sedating them. However, seek advice from your vet and make sure your cat is healthy, before choosing this solution.
Once you Arrive at your New HomeEven when you have reached your destination safely with your cat, your job isn't done. Use the following tips to introduce them to your new home.
- Prepare a safe area for your cat in your new home, by using familiar items such as their bed, scratching post and toys. Also place their litter tray, food and water bowls in this room. If this room isn't ready on arrival, consider keeping your kitty in a basket.
- Make sure the door and windows of this room are kept closed, so they can stay secure in one room.
- After a day or two, let the cat out to explore a little of your new home, so they don't get overwhelmed.
- If your cat is timid, consider using a friendly cattery, until everything is unpacked and settled in your new home. To speed up and systemize your unpacking, then check out our guide to unpack after the move.
Help your Cat Settle in the New Location
- Cats rely on smell which increases their feelings of security, which your new home certainly lacks. So pick up their personal scent by taking a soft cotton cloth and rubbing it gently around your cat’s face. Then dab this cloth around your new home at cat height. Repeat this daily to build up their scent and allow them outside.
- Use regular routines for feeding the cat which will help them relax and heightens their feeling of wellbeing.
When to Let your Cat OutsideYou need to give your cat adequate time to get used to their new territory. As to when to let them outside, actually depends on your cat. If your cat is confident and easily frustrated by being indoors then let them out after confining them for a few days. And if your cat is scared, then keep them in and let them feel really comfortable in their new surrounding before letting them out.
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