A relocation is always something exciting – old camps are broken up and a new chapter in a new environment is about to begin. A change of territory often means stress for cats. We would like to give you some tips on how to make the move with your cat as harmonious and stress-free as possible.
When you move, not only does something happen on the day of the move: long before, your cat will notice that something is up. A relocation with a cat therefore needs to be well planned. Even days or weeks before, it is therefore important not to let your house cat miss out. Cuddles and play times should be at the top of your priority list. This way you can do something for the cat in advance.
When it comes to the planning of the new home, you should already think about the cat furniture and organize everything as usual. This means, for example, the positioning of food and water bowls: if they were in the bathroom before, they should be there now. If you keep the position of such objects and combine them as usual, the cat’s first step into the new home will be made much easier. It is also important to get enough food and litter for the first few days, so that you don’t miss out on the stress of moving.
The relocation with cat: The hot phase
It is clear to anyone who has ever been involved in a relocation that the final day of the journey is stressful. But how much worse is it, if you don’t know what all those boxes and strangers are doing in the apartment and causing total chaos? That’s how our cats feel when they would experience the hustle and bustle of a relocation. Therefore it is advisable to give the cat on the day of the move (or already some days before) to familiar people, where it has been on “holidays” before. This way she won’t even notice the hustle and bustle and can relax while her humans do the work.
If this is not possible, the cat should at least get its own resting place. Here everything important for the cat is accommodated, so that the cat has everything it needs during this time. The room should not be entered during the move, so that the cat is really shielded from all the chaos. Maybe even lock the door or put a sign on it for safety reasons. Many a cat has already escaped in panic from the moving location through the open front door because someone opened the door and frightened the cat with it. This accommodation in one room also has the advantage that you can put everything “necessary for the cat” into the moving truck last and unpack it again immediately at the moving destination without having to rummage through many boxes first.
Very important point when moving with cat, which should be a matter of course for loving cat owners: The cat will of course be transported in a safe transport box with you in the car and never in the rental truck or truck of the moving company. Your presence and voice will calm the cat and make the stressful car journey a bit more bearable.
Welcome to your new home
It’s time, the move with cat is done! You have all arrived safely at your new home, but what now? Again, it is important to remember that a relocation is a big stress factor for cats and every cat reacts differently to such stress. You should therefore be prepared for changes in behaviour and physical symptoms. Impurity, hair loss and drooling may well occur, but you should not punish the cat for this, but be understanding.
In general, the cat is better acclimated if old, familiar furniture is already present. Of course a move with completely new furniture is nicer, but for the cat it makes a huge difference whether there is new or old furniture. It is better to renew the furniture piece by piece. This also applies to cat utensils such as bowls, baskets, etc., which create a certain familiarity in the unfamiliar environment.
Also in the new apartment, the cat should again first come into a quiet, empty room, in which only the cat’s stuff with the litter box and cat tree is located. Here she should stay until the worst chaos is organized and all furniture is in its place. It is also not bad if this takes a few days. But then don’t forget to spend time with the cat in the “moving room”.
After everything is ready out there, the door can be opened and the cat can explore its new territory. This habituation can take different amounts of time for each cat. In any case you should leave the door to the escape room open. The cat has already got used to this room and will feel most secure there. You should not force the cat to do anything, luring is of course allowed. Most cats benefit from watching where their things are put away. Besides, this way you can get back to your house cat. Important: stay confident and calm, this also has a calming effect on the cat.
Moving with a cat
A very important point for outdoor cats: The cat should not go outside until it feels completely at home in its new home. This guarantees that the new home becomes the centre of the new territory and thus the base to which the cat returns after the walk is over. This may well take a month. Probably the cat will contact you by itself when it is ready to explore the new environment. This should be done slowly, i.e. at first only short walks outside with you.
If it is no longer possible to run free in the new home due to a busy environment or a large street, then you must be prepared for strong protest and possibly also expect accompanying symptoms such as aggression or uncleanliness. After all, the cat does not understand why it is denied daily access to exercise. In such cases one must take remedial action: Ideal is a cat-safe balcony where the cat can continue to get fresh air and overlook the area. But before doing so, make arrangements with the landlord. You can also do something in the apartment: As many climbing, sleeping and hiding places as possible are an effective remedy against boredom. The same goes for more playing and challenging with exercises or new activities. Many cats also like a bowl of cat grass or even a whole cat meadow (larger piece of cat grass).
Another alternative would be to try to get your cat used to a leash. That way, you could allow her to run free under supervision. However, getting used to the harness and leash takes time and patience!
If your cat gets sick:
Here is our The most common cat diseases A-Z Article
If you want to learn more about this topic, have a look at Moving to a New Home with a Cat