Keeping Your Cat Safe When Moving Home
Moving home is a very stressful experience for everyone and this includes your cats! It is well known that cats not only form an emotional bond with their owners (I believe that cats prefer to use the term slaves) but they also form and attachment to the homes they live in.
Following the steps below will make the whole experience far easier for both you and your cats.
Keeping your cat confined before and during moving day is essential if you want to make sure your cat is ready to leave home when you are. Failing to keep your cat confined can result in a couple of undesirable scenarios. Your cat either escapes while your furniture is being moved or indeed is allowed out or is nowhere to be seen come the time to hit the road.
Keeping your cat indoors and safe from escape before the removals start is essential to ensure your cat is ready to leave when you are. Of course when you arrive at your new home the same applies here, keep your cat confined in a safe room of your new home to make sure they do not escape in the new and unfamiliar area that your new house resides in.
Sedating Your Cat
Please do not sedate your cat without veterinary supervision. There are products available that are not harmful such as Zylkene or Rescue Remedy and these are safe to use. Please do not use any tranquilisers or sedatives; if you really do believe you need to use them it is vital that you consult your vet.
Safely Move Your Cat to Your New Home
The first thing to consider is using a pet carrier, believe me using a lead or harness with a cat in a car is a bad idea. It is always far safer for you, your family, other road users and of course your cat to use a pet carrier. The last thing you want is your cat causing an accident in the vehicle.
Whatever you do please do not allow your cat to be transported by the removal company. More often than not the removal van has no temperature control and the removal workers have no experience with moving animals. Always move your cat in the family car along with your family. This way you have complete control.
Re-establish a Routine
As soon as you have finished unpacking and you are ready to let your cat out of the safe room it is a good idea to re-establish a routine starting with the basics such as litter tray locations, feeding times and locations.
Routine will help settle your cat into your new home and will help your cat establish their new territory and reduce the risk in time of your cat escaping and becoming lost.
Introducing Your Cat to the Outdoors
Some people prefer to let their cats free roam or at least be able to go outside. It is a very bad idea to let your cat outside until they have established themselves and formed an attachment to your new home. After about a month, yes a month, you can introduce your cat to your back garden. You may wish to use a lead or harness to prevent escape. You can do this over the space of a week but eventually if you let your cats out you are going to have to take your chances.
Don’t Forget to Change the Details of Your Cats Microchip
It is a good idea to get your cat micro-chipped in any circumstances. If you already have your cat micro-chipped then it is a very good idea to update the database details to include your new address and phone number. You would be surprised how many people don’t do this and how many pets including cats do not find their way home to their owners. Rescue organisations and vets always routinely scan strays and injured animals in an effort to reunite them with their owners.
Remember that moving home is very stressful for every member of a family and in my opinion especially so for our cats. Extra consideration should be given when planning a house move for our pets. With some forward planning and a common sense attitude it is possible to vastly reduce the stress levels for your cat and also yourself.
Ross Davies is a breeder of Siamese Cats and is a regular contributor to various cat related websites and blogs including the popular Siamese Cat Breeder website.