Moving With Your Cat: Tips for Making it Less Stressful


Whether you’re a free rider or a house cat: velvet paws love their territory. They make their daily rounds here, defend it against intruders if necessary and make themselves comfortable in their favourite places. When cat owners are about to move, the question arises: How do you get along without a hangover? We give tips!

The new home: house and flat search

Well planned is half the battle: If you know you’re moving, plan ahead for your cat. If you buy or build your own house, this is a smaller problem. However, if it’s a rental property, you need the landlord’s consent. Looking for a home with an animal companion can narrow down the choice somewhat. In any case, you should make sure that cat keeping is allowed according to the rental agreement. If you are on a day off, it is best to look for a ground floor apartment in a low-traffic area. This planning is of course not necessary if you move to your partner’s apartment or house, for example. However, even then, you must ask the landlord if the velvet paws are allowed.

The right preparation

If the apartment is far away, you are probably planning a big moving weekend. However, if it is only a short distance away, many people tend to move in small stages and commute back and forth for a while. If you put your personal belongings in boxes, cats won’t have a problem with the many cardboard containers. On the contrary: many love to play in them. Be careful not to leave anything where the cat can get hurt. This includes mirrors leaning against the wall or sewing utensils that are usually in the cupboard. It is best to leave the “cat furniture” until the day of the move and keep all rituals as usual. This gives your velvet paw security in an exciting time. Furnish your new home in a cat-friendly way: If available, secure the balcony with a cat protection net – this also requires the consent of your landlord. Pay attention to possible sources of danger and get a tilting window protection if necessary. If you move in with someone who has a cat, you can already have “odours exchanged” by replacing used blankets.

Helpers for more relaxation when moving

A move brings with it a lot of hectic anyway, no question. Be prepared that your cat will be nervous – some will walk up and down restlessly and meow. Others scratch at doors. Try to be calm and relaxed. Because if you seem tense, your velvet paw will know it. Some anti-stress helpers for cats can make the moving time easier. These include pheromone vaporisers for the socket, environment sprays or Cylkene. Special dry food, Bach Flowers for cats and anti-stress pastes can also make the move and the first time in your new home easier. Get the respective products a few weeks before the planned move, because some of them need some time to develop their calming effect.

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The day of the move

The day of the move will probably be hectic: People moving in and out, the apartment getting emptier. Maybe there will be loud drilling and screwing. If the cat has a holiday home to which it usually moves during your absence, you can put it there that day. Otherwise you lock the velvet paw into a room that is as empty as possible, where you put her blanket, if possible the scratching post, a cat toilet and bowls. This room should be as little frequented as possible. If the move takes two days, you can have the velvet paw change the room in between. Then, if possible, stay overnight there yourself. Only when the old domicile has been emptied, cat utensils and the cat itself will get into the car. Use a safe transport box for this and do not put them in the loading space of a removal van. It calms your velvet paw when you are in its immediate vicinity.

After the move

If you simply move from A to B with your household, the cat usually gets used to its new home quickly. Make sure to place cat furniture like the scratching post in a similar place as before. If it was in the living room, it should also find a place in the new home. Most cats like a good view, for example at the window. Toilets for cats should be in a quiet place, not right next to loudspeakers. The bowls should be at some distance from the litter box, and it is best to place at least two water bowls in different places.

If you move in with a new partner or even a partner and his family, the challenge for your velvet paw is greater. The same applies if pets are already living in the new apartment. In this case – and also with small children in the new home – let the velvet paw first explore a room and then come to rest here. This is also the best solution for fundamentally shy cats. Your animal companion is happy about familiar furniture or carpets, because they smell familiar. Therefore, equip the “first meeting room” with as many such objects as possible.

Step by step the velvet paw can then explore the new domicile in the next few days. Some cats hide for a few days – for example in a cupboard niche or under the bed. Do not drag them out, but let them decide for themselves when they want to discover their new surroundings. Senior cats in particular often need longer for the changeover. This is especially true when their senses deteriorate and cats hear and see less well. Give the velvet paw a lot of time – it will certainly soon gain confidence. Young and self-confident cats may go directly on a discovery tour in the whole apartment. But don’t be surprised if they also play it safe and retreat first.

katze liegt am boden

Allow free access to the outside

Freedom-makers should first get used to their new home before they roam their future territory. Because the danger of the cat running away is very high in the first days after the move. It is particularly high if you have only moved a few streets away. Its velvet paw might try to return to its old territory. Once the cat has accepted its new home and feels comfortable, you can take your first walks outside together. Go with her at the beginning and call indoors for feeding after a short time. When the cat is ready to go outside after the move is individually different. Not every cat is equally bound to its old territory. After one month most velvet paws should be ready for the first explorations.

If it is not possible to go outdoors in the new flat, this can lead to behavioural problems with people who are outdoors. You should at least provide your cat with a secured balcony. Furnish the apartment in a varied way from a velvet paw point of view and take the time to play together every day. Clicker training can also provide a welcome balance.

Tips for moving with your cat

  • Retreat space during the move
  • Transport cat last in car to new home
  • give plenty of time to settle in
  • Helpers like Cylkene or pheromone sprays can have a calming effect
  • Don’t let people out of their new home for several weeks
  • Slowly merging with new roommates
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