How to Help Cats Adjust to Your New Home
When you decide to move a pet, it's easy to spend most of your energy preparing for the trip itself, forgetting that there's an adjustment period to attend to also. Once you've arrived to your new home, it's important to help your pets settle in, and as many of us know, cats come with their own set of quirks.
Cats may take a little while to start acting totally normal again (if they were ever normal at all), but there are things you can do to help them both feel at home and stay safe. Here are a few ways to make life a little happier on the other side of your upcoming move.
1. Try to create a normal routine as soon as possible.
Many pet owners will gradually introduce their cats to a new house (start by leaving them in one room and then slowly make the rest of the house available to them). After this, whether it's through feeding them or letting them in and out of the backyard, try to build a few regular events into their day. They may pretend like they rule the world, but cats like a predictable routine as much as anyone.
2. Pay attention.
Watch for any unusual behaviors as far as energy level and appetite, and in the chaos of unpacking, try to set aside plenty of time for playing with and petting your possibly anxious friend. Remember that hydration is extremely important, especially after a move, so make sure plenty of water is available and watch to see that your cat is drinking plenty.
3. Find a vet ASAP.
It's smart to connect with a good vet right away, even if you don't need anything. You will need to go to the doc eventually, so researching your options now will save you time and stress later on.
4. Do some research.
Does your cat eat a special brand of food? What are the rabies vaccine laws in your new area? Is there a busy street nearby? Being a great cat owner means being aware of the environment around you, from pet stores to possible hazards, so as soon as you arrive (or ideally before you move) get to know the basics about your new surroundings.
5. Set a good example.
Cats, like other animals, have a way of sensing your own mood. The calmer you are, the calmer they'll be, so do everyone a favor and take a deep breath.
Do you have any good cat travel tips to share? Let us know! Need help moving your cat or dog across country or internationally? Contact us to set up a pet travel consultation.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2011 and has been updated with new information.