Moving with cats is not easy you guys. Cats *do not* like changes in their routine or interruptions to their daily patterns. Mess their schedule and they can hide, meow incessantly, get sick, go on a hunger strike, and/or just turn into brats.
We knew leaving our apartment and moving into a house was going to be a big deal for Punkin. He was going from city cat on the 9th floor to suburbia cat with ground-floor views of birds, squirrels, people, and cars. That’s a big change for our little guy! Not to mention steps! He still hasn’t figured those out.
We wanted to make this transition as easy as possible for him (and for us!). To do so, we read a lot and met with our vet to help us prepare. We’re so happy to say we’ve successfully come out the other side.
Here are our top five tips for moving and introducing your cat to a new home.
1. Drug your cat
This was our vets number one recommendation and hands down the best thing we did. Punkin got a prescription for some kitty chill pills that kept him loopy and sleepy the week prior to and after the move. This helped to settle him in and zonk him out while there were lots of loud noises and strangers in his space.
2. Confine him to one room in your new house for a week
Cats love to be independent but they really need time to get to know a new area. And introducing them to your entire new space all at once can be a recipe for disaster. Punkin has been living in our new bedroom, master bath, and closet for the last week. At first, he was all out of sorts, cried a lot, and hunkered down mostly on the bed or under it. Now he’s thoroughly scoped out the whole area, is acting like he owns the place, and trying to dart out the door every time we open it. Him acting like the king of his jungle is how we know he’s acclimated to the room and ready to explore the rest of his new house.
3. Get a cat pheromone diffuser
This was another vet recommendation we highly recommend. Feliway is a kitty diffuser you plug into your wall that helps spread pheromones around your space and calm your cat.
4. Bring his litter and water and food bowls
You may think because you’re moving it’s time to ditch the litter and food and water bowls and start fresh. Wrong! Bringing his existing litter box (with litter in it!) can actually help your cat use it sooner and get acclimated to the new space better. Same goes for food and water bowls. This is not the time to be making any other big changes in his life. With his whole world out of wack the best thing you can do is make everything else as consistent and normal as possible.
5. Surround him with his favorite toys, scents, and comfort objects
Cats need love and comfort just like humans do! Set out his favorite toys, blankets, and comfort objects around the room you’re keeping him in. While he may not use them at first when he’s all out of sorts about the new space, within a few days he’ll be playing and acting like his old self with his old stuff.
Questions of the Day: Have you moved with cats before? What are your best tips?