Most cats are not big fans of change. If they had a choice, they would rather stay where they already are comfortable and stay forever. But, at some point in life, you may have to move with your cat to go to a new home.
Making the transition to the new home as stress-free as possible for your feline companion can have great benefits: You will reduce the risk that your cat will be afraid of you , meows, excessive crying, escape attempts and aggressiveness .
Cats are territorial animals , although they are closely linked to you, on many occasions they will prefer places over people, so no matter how attached they are to you, a home move will stress them out. In extreme cases, cats run away from their new home after the move, so it is convenient to acclimate them to their new home gradually.
Separating from their owners is also stressful, but often less than losing their “territory.” It depends on how intense the bond between the cat and its owner is and on its personality.
In my case, I have never moved, but when we travel for a few days we have always decided to leave my cat at “her house”, when we return at most she “scolds” us for a while with her meows, but everything remains at that.
When we say that cats are territorial, it must be borne in mind that if we have to move, all the things that we carry with us are also part of the cat’s “territory.” So my bed, his favorite chair, his litter box, his food and water bowls, and all the other furniture in the home are familiar to him. All those objects that we carry with us will facilitate the adaptation of the cat to the new home.
By the way, when you move take some time to carefully decide where the litter box should be as cats get quite upset when their litter box is moved so if you can make that change just once it will be less stressful for you. cat. Give him a lot of love and affection and I am sure that his transfer will go well …
Moving your cat to a new home involves three basics: pre-move preparations, the move itself, and installation in the new home.
1. Preparation for the move with your cat
- Get your cat used to it and calm down when it has to be put in its carrier.
- Set up the moving boxes a couple of weeks in advanceso your cat has time to get used to their presence, and gradually begin to fill them.
- To prevent the cat from becoming restless, with the movements and noises that we cause, you can place it in the bathroom. This is the quietest, quietest and least busy room in the house as it is unfurnished.
- Try to keep your cat’s daily routine as stable as possible. In all aspects of your cat’s life and environment, try to maintain the routine as always: feeding times and places, playtime, bedtime, etc. The routine is comforting for cats, so be sure to stick with it.
- If your cat is very skittish, nervous, or easily stressed, talk to your vet about using anti-anxiety medications to make the move easier.
- Make sure your g ato have collars with identification tags . Cats can run away while carriers carry boxes in and out of the new home. Make sure that your cat does not get lost in the chaos of the transfer by having him wear a reflective collar with identification tags, it would be important that he had a microchip.
2. The day of moving home with your cat arrived
- Feed your cat a very small breakfast on move-in day to reduce stomach upset.
- If you have to travel a long distance, bring all your food, water, medicine, even the litter box.
- While you’re on the go, resist the urge to open your cat’s carrier to calm him down. A scared cat may try to run away. Only open the conveyor in a safe area and when absolutely necessary.
- Do not allow the cat to move in the moving caror allow children to excite it Don’t leave the cat unattended in the car or stop to visit friends, go shopping, etc.
Tips that you should take into account for the trip in the car I indicate them in this article , on how to prepare a “quiet trip” with your cat.
3. Settling in and getting your cat used to the new house
- If you are lucky enough to be able to make the move in a single day, put your cat in a bathroom in the house you leave, and then in the new house once you have arrived. Wait until the move has been made and you are alone in the new house to let your cat roam the new home. The fewer non-family members around, the better for the cat.
- If, on the other hand, the move takes a few days, make the cat the last thing you take from the old home. Keep him in the bathroom in another quiet room while the furniture and boxes are moved, and the non-family members are pacing.
- Spend time with your cat in that room, initially doing low-key activities like reading or watching television. When he begins to explore, offer your cat attention, treats, and playtime.
- Then check that the new house is cat-proof. Save electrical cords, cover corners where a cat can get stuck, make sure all windows have secure screens, remove any toxic plants for cats.
- Before opening the transporter, make sure his litter box, toys, blanket, bed, dishes, scraper, and anything else that is “his property” are ready to use. Place some cat treats around the room to encourage your cat to explore.
- Gradually let him access the rest of the house, one room at a time. If it is not possible to close the doors to limit their access, carefully supervise your cat during short exploration sessions.
- Your cat needs to be able to smell its scent everywhere. The more your new home smells like the old, the faster it will adjust. A trick that can help you is to spread the smell of the cat in the new house by rubbing a blanket or towel on its cheeks, tail, etc. Don’t wash any of her things before the move, not even her litter box, and don’t give her new replacement items.
Despite all these efforts, your cat may want to escape and return home, so check that exterior doors and windows are closed. And don’t be surprised if your cat stops eating, and spends most of its time hiding. Don’t burden him by comforting him, or tempting him to eat.
They may not want your attention and feel harassed. Instead, let him go to you once he feels the need for your safety.
How long does it take for a cat to adjust to a new home?
It all depends on the character of your cat and if he has had frustrating experiences with people, so it would be normal for him to have reluctance and make it more difficult for him to feel safe.
Generally, a cat that is not traumatized and without socialization problems may require a week or week and a half to adjust to its new home. Some shy cats may require a little more time, but by following the recommendations that I have indicated you can be successful even with felines that have gone through traumatic experiences.
Depressed cat from moving house
Moving into a new home is reason enough for your cat to get depressed.
If you notice major changes in your pet’s behavior, you may be dealing with a classic case of cat depression after moving.
To diagnose it accurately, you must know the typical symptoms of depression that your cat can present after relocation:
- Cat doesn’t eat after I move.
- Lack of enthusiasm.
- Atypical aggressiveness.
- Lack of cleanliness.
- Excessive hours sleeping.
- Long periods of isolation.
The above symptoms of feline depression serve as guidelines, but the best answer to the question: is my cat depressed due to change of house ?, corresponds to a veterinarian. A veterinarian is the only person who can confirm your cat’s diagnosis of behavioral depression and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
In the meantime, learn what you can do to cure or prevent feline depression in your cat:
- Pay more attention to your cat and schedule at least half an hour a day for play. Even having a quiet moment while stroking and brushing him will help regain a reassuring sense of security and a sense of connectedness with you.
- Whenever you are not home during the day, consider providing your cat with a companion.
It goes without saying that the most essential thing when moving house with a cat is to be proactive and plan everything so that your cat is exposed to as little stress as possible. Cats tend to be very vulnerable when taken out of their familiar world where everything makes sense and placed in very unfamiliar environments where nothing makes sense anymore .
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