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How to move with your cat

It’s that time of the year again. College students are returning to the city for school and it’s almost the end of the summer moving season, when the best deals on new apartments are starting to wind down. Once you’ve found the perfect place, you may find yourself wondering how to move with your cat.

Preparation

If your cat isn’t used to being in a carrier, place the carrier where your kitty has access to it two weeks before your move. Gradually start feeding your kitty and placing treats near the carrier until your cat becomes accustomed to it. During the packing process, it’s important to give your cat consistent attention and keep his or her feeding schedule as close to routine as possible. Minimizing changes will help mitigate any stress that could be caused by the moving process.

You’ll also want to have your moving boxes set up a couple of weeks before you need to pack so that your cat can adjust to them, too. If packing makes your cat seem anxious, place him or her in a quiet bedroom.

Moving day

While the movers are loading boxes, place your cat in a room with the door closed, and place a note on the door so that everyone knows not to open it. Have the movers load the items in your bedroom last.

It’s important that your kitty rides in the car with you on moving day, and not in the van. Try to keep your cat as comfortable as possible by keeping treats and water handy, as well as running the air conditioner in the car. This is extremely important for cats who are used to climate controlled environment, as a drastic change in temperature can lead to heat exhaustion.

Your new home

Set up your bedroom furniture first, and place all of your cat’s most familiar items in the room, such as the food, water, and litter box. This will become your cat’s calm room for the rest of the moving process. It’s best to keep your cat in one room until they feel comfortable so that he or she isn’t overwhelmed by the vast, unfamiliar territory. It usually takes an hour or two.

Placing your cat’s most familiar items in the new room, spraying Feliway, and spreading your cat’s scent via Pam Johnson-Benett’s “sock method” are also good ways to help your cat feel comfortable in the new home.

You should do a thorough walkthrough to make sure your new home is cat proofed, too Are all of the screens in place? Any large openings like unsealed dryer vents? Are there any pest traps left behind from exterminators? Once you’re confident that your cat is comfortable and your new home is safe, you can let your cat out to explore.

For more tips on how to make your move go as smoothly as possible, check out the Pet Place’s comprehensive guide.

Are you moving to another borough? Let us know! Katie’s Kitty has pet sitters in all five boroughs of New York City. We also have sitters available in the magical “sixth borough” of Hoboken and Jersey City. Send us an email to get matched up with the perfect pet sitter.


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Douglas O’Brien on flickr

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