Moving is a big undertaking. This is a major change for anyone. Cats are not fond of change. If they could choose, they would prefer to stay where they’re already comfortable and settled in. When cats feel in control they will mark their home by rubbing their face and releasing a pheromone. This helps the cat structure its territory by marking it as a safe and secure space. At some point in their lives, most cats must move on to a new location. Making the transition as stress-free as possible for your cat can have big benefits, including reducing the risk of house soiling, hiding, and escape attempts.
Most likely your cat will be traveling to your new home in a cat carrier. Whether relocating a long distance with a cat or a short distance, making sure your cat is comfortable in the cat carrier is the first step. Leave it sitting out with the door open and a comfy bed inside. Occasionally leave a couple of cat treats in it so your cat can find them on his own. Start feeding your cat in the carrier. If your cat is reluctant to enter the carrier to eat, start by just placing his dish next to it. After a few days, put the dish just inside the carrier, right near the opening. Then, over a week or two, gradually move the dish toward the back of the carrier so your cat has to step a little further inside each day. Eventually, place the dish at the very back of the carrier to your cat must go all the way into it to eat.
Every day spray the inside of the carrier with FELIWAY® spray. This signals to the cat the carrier is a safe place.
Put out your moving boxes a couple weeks before you need to start packing so your cat has time to get used to their presence. If your cat is nervous while you’re packing, he’ll probably be happier closed in a quiet room, away from the activity and noise. It’s also a good idea to confine your cat if you think he might try to hide in one of the boxes.
Try to keep your cat’s daily routine as stable as possible.
If possible, plug a FELIWAY® Diffuser in at your new home at least 48 hours prior to your arrival, if possible. Plug it in the room where your cat will be staying.
To prevent your cat from running out the door, shut your cat into a room that has been cleared of household items. Leave food, water, bedding, a litter tray, and the cat carrier (open) in the room. Tape a sign to the door to let your movers know the door must remain closed to keep your cat(s) safe.
Offer your cat a small amount of food on moving day to help prevent vomiting during the car ride.
Use FELIWAY® spray in the cat carrier about 10 minutes prior to placing the cat in the carrier. FELIWAY® spray has been shown to significantly decrease the episodes of vomiting, peeing/pooping, drooling, and agitation cats experience while traveling in a cat carrier.* *data on file
For the car ride, place the cat carrier on the floor behind the front seat of the car. This helps prevent motion sickness and is a safer place for the carrier in case of a car accident. The flat surface of the floor is also more comforting to the cat than being in a carrier that is tilted because of being on a car seat.
Carry an extra towel, in case the one in the carrier gets soiled. Carry a roll of tape in case the carrier needs emergency repairs while moving.
At your new home, pick a "dedicated cat room" you'll put your cat in for the duration of the move. If you haven’t already, plug in a FELIWAY® diffuser to make your cat feel more comfortable in the new place.
Move your cat to the "dedicated cat room" along with food, water, litter box tray and the cat carrier (open). Your cat will need time to rest and recover from the car journey while you sort out the rest of the house.
When you are ready to let your cat out to explore the new home, choose a time when you are at home and let him out. Just before meal time is best, with additional food and water bowls in their new location.
Spray doorways, new furniture, curtains, etc. with FELIWAY® spray to let your cat know that these are familiar, safe objects. This will help reduce or prevent your cat's need to mark the new territory through scratching or urine spraying. The spray is alcohol based and won't stain materials (however as a precaution, always test a small, inconspicuous area before applying more broadly).
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