Billings_Leon_iStock_000057478694_LargeMaybe you’ve had it with your upstairs neighbor moving furniture at all hours of the night. Or, maybe that big promotion at work finally came through… in Omaha. Whatever the precipice, one thing is clear: moving is in your future.

But have you thought about how best to move your cat? Sure, cats love boxes, but change is not the feline’s forte. From keeping your kitty safe while you pack, to physically transporting him from Point A to Point B, to helping him settle into your new digs, there is a lot to consider.

From Frisky to Fidgety

Before you even bring home the first box, it’s likely your cat knows something is about to change. Maybe it’s that you’ve started washing clothes that haven’t seen the light of day since 2012. Or maybe your feline has just picked up on the fact that something has changed with you. Cats are spooky like that.

You, in turn, have probably noticed that your cat’s a little more freaky than usual. Maybe he’s getting the 2 a.m. crazies more often than not, or maybe she’s staked her claim under the couch and isn’t budging.

Whatever the case may be, you need to remember that cats are not hip to change. Remember when you rearranged your living room and your cat bounced off the walls for weeks? Well times that by, like, infinity. Regardless of how your kitty handles the upcoming move, it’s your responsibility to help him or her through it.

Planning Ahead

In a perfect world, you have already crate trained your cat and have set up the crate (lined in cozy fabrics that smell of home) in a quiet area that will remain stable as long as possible.

If you haven’t crate trained your kitty, there’s no time like the present. The crate will be necessary for safe transport no matter how far you are moving, and your cat will likely appreciate a stable refuge from the chaos of packing.

That said, don’t worry if your cat prefers one of the many boxes and bags you’re using to pack. Cat’s are just as curious as they are annoyed by change.

Beyond creating a safe space for kitty, you’ll also want to consider a few other things…

  • Keep your cat’s food, water, and litter boxes in a stable and stress-free area. If these necessities normally live somewhere you’ll be actively packing and staging your move, relocate them to somewhere calmer as soon as you can and give your cat some time to adapt to that change.
  • Don’t be surprised if there are some litter box “issues” during the move. Please be patient and understanding of this, as it’s just an instinctual tactic to mark his or her territory during times of uncertainty. Plus, it may be because she’s scared, too.
  • When moving day(s) arrives, consider boarding your pet until it’s time to actually take your kitty to your new home. This will reduce the chances of escape or extended hiding, and may even help the transition from one place to another be a little smoother.
  • While you’re packing, take the opportunity to gather your cat’s medical records and come current on any outstanding vaccinations or preventatives.
  • Your cat should wear his or her tags throughout the process (even if he’s an indoor only cat). You’ll also want to update your pet’s microchip info.
  • Home Sweet (New) Home

    Once the move is complete, you may want to consider the following:

  • Don’t bring your cat “home” until the big stuff is settled and it feels at least a little familiar. Be sure that there are plenty of familiar smells in the places your cat is likely to hide.
  • Let your cat pick where he or she would like to set up camp while getting comfortable. If you’re using a crate, put it somewhere you think it would be awesome to be a cat.
  • Move food, water, and the litter box close to where your cat has camped out. Slowly move them further away as your cat begins to feel safe and venture out, eventually placing them in their permanent positions.
  • Take the opportunity to cat proof while you’re unpacking. If your cat’s ever going to show you how he or she can get into stuff, it’s now.
  • Be sure to move your cat’s familiar scratching posts with you. You can get new ones later. Your couches will thank you.
  • If your cat will be an indoor / outdoor kitty, wait as long as possible before letting him out to explore. Be certain that your cat’s comfortable with her new home and will know that this is the place to come home too.
  • If your cat’s really freaking out, consider strategically employing some Feliway (and catnip) to calm his or her nerves and relax.
  • Moving Your Cat Is Stressful

    Moving is stressful for all of us, but it may be doubly-so for your cat. If there is anything we can do to help you both during your move, please let us know. And if you’re leaving the area, please let us know. We’d love to say good-bye and get your kitty’s medical records in order for your new vet. Maybe we can even make a referral.

    Good luck!