Curiosity might not kill the cat, but curiosity can make your cat a bit of a problem when you move house. There will be multiple open boxes (ideal for exploring); there will be strangers wandering into their home and carrying away everything inside (probably while leaving the door open), and there will be an entirely new (and unfamiliar) place to live. It can be difficult enough for humans to cope with, so how can you avoid stressing your cat when you need to move house?
The whole process is going to be far more straightforward without your cat there at all. A few days before you move (essentially the day you plan to start packing), move your feline to a cat boarding facility. Make sure you book this well ahead of time so that there's definitely going to be room at your preferred cattery. Your cat is safe, comfortable and out of the way, and this allows you to get on with the task at hand without worrying that your cat is freaking out. Pick up your cat after you've moved in and done most of the unpacking at your new home, so they can immediately become acquainted with their new territory. It also buys you a bit of time to ensure your cat's transition to their new home is as smooth as possible.
Things to Prepare
What do you need to have ready before you collect your cat?
- Make sure your cat's microchip is updated with your new address.
- If your cat is a wanderer, consider purchasing a GPS collar that allows you to track them if they should attempt to escape (perhaps trying to find their way back to their old home).
- If that old home is in the same town, leave a note for the new residents of your former residence, asking them to contact you if your cat should unexpectedly turn up.
Your Cat's New Home
Once you collect your cat from the boarding facility, you'll want to encourage their sense of territorialism with their new home. Place them in a room with closed doors and windows, and leave their carrier open. Leave their water dish in this room, and you can feed them in here too, at least at first. They will leave their carrier and begin to explore the space, but they should have the option of returning to their carrier if they should feel uneasy. As they become more comfortable, give them access to additional rooms, until they have the run of the house. If yours is an outdoor cat, you might want to invest in a cat leash so that you can allow your cat to get used to their new backyard in a controlled manner.
The last thing you want to happen is for your cat to have a meltdown on moving day, so it's best that they're not around for it, and can be taken straight from the cattery to their new home.
Contact a cat boarding facility for more information.