Moving house is one of the most stressful events in anybody’s life but it can be 10 times worse for the family pet! Most owners worry how their cat or dog will cope with the new environment and cat owners in particular fear their feline will wander off and get lost. But there are steps you can take to make the big move a stress free event for your beloved pet:-
Preparation starts days before the house removal. Cats should be given to a neighbour or friend for a few days to keep them out of the way of the noise and disruption. They should only be picked up when the peace has been restored in the new home. Dogs should be kept out of the way, preferably in a quiet room or in the garden. Alternatively, consider using the catteries or kennels.
If you have “small and furries” like hamsters or guinea pigs, make sure there are no heavy objects in the cage during transportation – they could get crushed during the drive.
If it is a long journey, you should stop and give the animals water from time to time.
Once you are in your new home, you should put all pets into a quiet room. Provide water and a little food. Provide a litter tray for cats. When everything has calmed down introduce your cats to new rooms one at a time – a whole house may be difficult to take-in in one go.
Dogs do not usually take as long to settle in because they are not as attached to their territory as cats. So long as dogs are with the family – they are happy! Most cats take about a week to settle in but it does vary from cat to cat. During this time they should be kept indoors with a litter tray. Once they are settled in, you can let the cat out into the garden. It is better to let them out hungry, as they are more likely to return to the house when the familiar plate tapping signifies dinner! Moving over a short distance, maybe a few streets, can be very confusing for a cat, it will simply return “home” to find it different. You should tell the new occupiers of your old home to discourage the cat if it turns up.
When at the new home, give the cat as much love, attention and food as it wants – make it feel welcome. If all else fails, put the cat in a cattery for a few weeks to fade its memory of the old home.