Dogs tend to be amicable, adventurous animals. They’re happy to go wherever their food dish and favorite toys wind up, and most dogs handle a change of address with relatively little stress. Cats are another story. While there are those felines that go with the flow, a fair share of cats abandon their old home only reluctantly and view their new domicile with contempt, or fear, or most often, both.
How can you make a move easier for your cat? Part of the answer may be letting them know about the move in advance by discussing it with them. Experts estimate that the typical cat can understand around 35 words; people who live with cats report believing that number to be higher. Either way, it can’t hurt to tell your cat that you’re going to be moving, and what that will mean for them.
Try to highlight the benefits of your new address from your cat’s point of view: is there a wide, sunny windowsill they’ll love sleeping on? Great tall countertops that make jumping up extremely challenging and thrilling? This type of information could be a game changer for your cat. Of course, they may have no idea what you’re talking about, but as long as you keep petting them, they’ll be willing to listen.
We all know that cats love cardboard boxes. And moving involves plenty of cardboard boxes! It’s good to have a strategy to keep your cat safely contained and entertained while you’re packing: this will help them from getting into places they don’t belong. Make sure every moving box is 100% cat free before you seal it!
Pack your cat’s bedding, toys, food dish and other possessions together. Moving the litter box is a tricky question: some families find that bringing the old litter box to the new address makes it easy for the cat to figure out where to take care of business, while others prefer a fresh start. You know your cat’s litter box habits: if it was really hard to train them to use the current box, it may be a good idea to bring it along to spare yourself the need to retrain them!
If your cat takes any medications regularly, pack them with the rest of your family’s medications for the move. These need to be readily accessible and organized: keep these items with you rather than sending them in the moving truck.