Moving house can be a very stressful time for your cat. Here are a few tips to follow when moving to help your cat adjust to their new home.
1. When you first arrive at your new home do not release your cat until all visitors and removalists have left. Ensure that all doors, windows and possible hidey holes (like open fire places) are closed.
2. Introduce them to the house slowly by keeping them confined to one room for a few days. Put all their familiar things in that room including their bed, blanket, toys, scratching post, litter tray, food and water. This will allow them to become accustomed to their new surroundings, smells and sounds while feeling safe with their own familiar things.
3. Let them explore the new house at their own pace and when they are ready.
4. If they are going to be an outside cat it is best to keep them inside for at least two weeks until they have settled and recognised that this is their new home. Then allow them to go outside, when supervised, for short periods. Each day increase the time spent outside until the cat feels safe and secure in the new surroundings.
5. A product that can help cats in stressful situations, like moving, is Feliway. Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromones that cats use to mark objects in their environment. By mimicking the facial pheromones it helps comfort the cat, giving them a sense of familiarity, making them feel safe and secure.
6. Keep in mind that cats have a very strong homing instinct and have been know to walk hundreds of kilometres to return to what was their old home. Make sure that your cat is wearing a collar, with your correct and current phone number and/or address on it. It is also best if they are micro-chipped and be sure to update your contact details with the Australasian Animal Registry.
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Autumn 2016.
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