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8 Purrfect Tips for Moving House with Your Cat

8 Purrfect Tips for Moving House with Your Cat

Moving house can be an exciting yet stressful time for everyone, including our furry friends. Particularly, if you have a cat or cats – either an indoor or outdoor one – the move requires special considerations. As an experienced Sydney moving company, Men That Move understands this better than anyone else. We have curated a list of tips and suggestions to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition for your cat.

The key to an efficient and hassle-free move is planning and preparation. No one appreciates a sudden shift in their living conditions, cats included. Therefore, it's crucial to give your pet ample time to adjust to the idea. If you're looking for a reliable, professional and compassionate moving company in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or ACT, look no further than Men That Move.



1. Prepare a Comfortable Cat Carrier


The first step in moving house with a cat is to ensure you have a comfortable cat carrier. The carrier should be secure yet roomy enough for your cat to stand, sit, and stretch. A few weeks before the move, introduce the carrier to your cat. Allow it to explore and feel at home within the carrier. This process helps to reduce anxiety during the actual move. In fact, your cat will appreciate hiding away in the cat carrier rather than being in the middle of movers. 


2. Visit the Vet


Your cat's health should be a top priority during the moving process. If your feline friend is not accustomed to travelling or is older, it is especially critical to take them for a pre-move vet check-up. This visit serves multiple purposes.


Firstly, it helps ensure that your cat is in good health and fit for the move. Your vet can carry out a general examination to check for any health issues that might be exacerbated by the stress of moving.


Secondly, some cats suffer from travel-related stress or motion sickness. If your cat falls into this category, your vet can provide advice or prescribe medications to help manage their anxiety or nausea during transit. These medications can help to make the journey to your new home less stressful and more comfortable for your cat.


In addition to discussing your cat's physical health, it's also a good time to talk about any behavioural concerns with your vet. Cats can exhibit a range of stress-related behaviours in response to a significant change like moving house. Your vet can provide you with tips and strategies to manage these behaviours and help your cat adjust to their new environment.


Remember, if your cat is microchipped, it's crucial to update their information with your new address. This is an often-overlooked step during a move, but it's vital in case your cat manages to slip out during the moving process or in the early days at your new home.


3. Maintain Familiarity


Maintaining a sense of familiarity is a critical aspect when moving with your feline companion. Cats are creatures of habit and can become quite unsettled when their environment changes drastically. When packing, it's essential to keep your cat’s belongings such as toys, food and water dishes, beds, and litter boxes intact until the last moment. These items hold the scent and essence of home for your pet, which provides them with a sense of security and continuity. It's a good idea to pack these items separately, in a box that can be quickly and easily located when you arrive at your new home. This way, your pet can be surrounded by familiar smells and objects as they start to explore their new surroundings.


In addition to their belongings, maintaining your cat's daily routine is another crucial aspect to consider. Cats often thrive on routine and can get stressed when these routines are disrupted. Despite the chaos of moving, try to stick to their feeding, playing, and sleeping schedule as much as possible. This can help your cat feel more secure and less anxious about the changes happening around them.


It's also recommended to spend quality time with your cat amidst the moving frenzy. A little extra cuddling or playtime can go a long way in reassuring your pet and maintaining a strong bond during this potentially stressful time. After all, your presence and attention are what your cat finds most comforting. And most likely a cut cuddle will reduce your stress too!


4. Secure During Moving Day


Moving day can be particularly stressful for your cat due to the flurry of activity in the house. The presence of removalists, the noise of moving furniture, and doors left open can all be disorientating and frightening for your pet. It's essential to ensure that your cat is kept secure and comfortable during this time to reduce their stress and prevent any potential accidents or escapes.


To keep your cat safe and secure, designate a quiet room where they can stay while the move is underway. This room should be a space your cat feels comfortable in, filled with their familiar belongings, such as their bed, toys, litter box, and food and water dishes. This familiar environment can help provide some much-needed comfort and reassurance during the hustle and bustle of moving day.


It's also a good idea to place a sign on the door indicating that the room should remain closed. This will alert the removalists to be extra cautious and avoid accidentally letting the cat out. You could also consider using a plug-in diffuser with synthetic pheromones to help soothe your cat and make the room feel more comforting and familiar.


As an experienced and compassionate moving company, Men That Move takes every precaution to minimise disturbance during the moving process. Our professional and courteous removalists understand the importance of keeping noise and disruption to a minimum, especially when there are pets involved. We respect the fact that we're not just moving your furniture and belongings, but we're also facilitating a significant transition for every member of your family, including your cat.


Once the removalists have finished loading, you can transport your cat in its carrier to your new home. Upon arrival, the same secure room strategy can be used while unloading and settling into the new place.


5. Slow Introduction to New Home


Moving into a new home is a big change for everyone, including your cat. The unfamiliar sights, sounds, and scents can be overwhelming and cause stress. To help them adjust smoothly, it's vital to introduce them gradually to their new environment.


When you arrive at your new home, set up a 'safe room' for your cat. Fill this room with your cat’s familiar belongings, such as their carrier, bed, litter box, food and water dishes, and favourite toys. These items will carry the scent of your old home, providing comfort and reassurance in an unfamiliar environment. Allow your cat to explore this room and get comfortable before gradually introducing them to the rest of the house. This gradual approach allows your cat to adjust at their own pace and can significantly reduce stress.


During this settling-in period, spend as much time as possible with your cat in their safe room. Your presence will offer additional comfort and can help your pet associate positive feelings with their new surroundings. Over the next few days or weeks, as your cat becomes more comfortable, start leaving the door of the safe room open. This way, they can explore the rest of the house at their own pace, always knowing they have a safe, familiar space to retreat to if they feel scared or overwhelmed.


Remember to move their food, water, and litter box gradually into more permanent locations once your cat is ready to explore the rest of the house. Also, be patient and provide plenty of positive reinforcement to help them adjust to their new territory.


6. Adapting Outdoor Cats and Local Regulations


Moving house with outdoor cats requires some additional steps to ensure their safety and ease of transition. Outdoor cats are accustomed to exploring and having the freedom to roam their territory. This change in environment can be quite daunting for them and may require extra attention and care to help them adjust to their new home and surroundings.


As with indoor cats, start by confining your outdoor cat to a safe room in the new home with their familiar belongings. Once they appear comfortable in this room, gradually allow them to explore the rest of the house. This strategy should be maintained for a couple of weeks to ensure that your cat recognises this new place as their home.


When it's time to introduce your outdoor cat to the outside, do so gradually. Start by accompanying them on short supervised excursions, preferably during daylight hours when it's safer. Slowly extend the duration of these outings until you feel confident that your cat is comfortable in their new surroundings. In the meantime, it's a good idea to build a small outdoor enclosure or cat run, if possible. This can offer your cat some outdoor time in a controlled environment, which can aid in their adjustment to the new location.


Before letting your cat roam freely, it's critical to familiarise yourself with any local regulations or by-laws related to cat ownership in your new area. Some areas might have cat curfews in place or laws about tagging and registration. Check with your local council or animal control office for any rules you need to be aware of.


In many areas, there are specific "cat curfews," which dictate the times during which cats are allowed to be outdoors. These curfews are typically in place to protect local wildlife and prevent cats from getting lost or causing a nuisance. Violating these rules can lead to fines or other penalties, so it's essential to ensure you are compliant.


7. Post-Move Check


After you've moved and started settling into your new home, closely observe your cat's behaviour and physical condition. A change in environment can induce stress in cats, which may manifest in a variety of ways. Being aware of these signs can help ensure that your cat is adjusting healthily to their new surroundings.


Firstly, look out for any changes in appetite. Stress can often cause a cat to eat less than usual. While a minor change in eating habits can be expected due to the new environment, a significant or prolonged decrease in food intake is a cause for concern and should be addressed by a vet. Cats may also resort to hiding when they're stressed or anxious. If your cat is spending a lot of time hidden away and isn't coming out to explore their new home, this might be a sign they are having a tough time adjusting.


Behavioural changes can also indicate stress in your cat. This could include increased aggression, excessive grooming, changes in vocalisation, or changes in their toilet habits, such as not using the litter box. Also, keep an eye out for physical signs of stress, which can include excessive shedding, changes in sleeping patterns, and even stress-induced illnesses such as urinary problems.


If you notice any of these signs persisting for an extended period or worsening over time, it's important to consult with a vet. They can provide professional advice and possibly prescribe medication to help your cat adjust to their new home.


8. Choosing a Cat-Friendly Removalist


When planning a move, especially with a pet, it's essential to select a removalist that understands and respects the unique needs of your feline family member. You need a removalist who is more than just proficient at packing and transporting your belongings; you need a service that values the well-being of your pet during this potentially stressful process.


At Men That Move, we are not just movers. We are compassionate professionals who care about the safe and smooth transition of your whole family, including your beloved pets, into your new home. Our team is experienced in managing moves involving pets and we understand the extra care required to ensure their comfort and safety. We go the extra mile to ensure minimal disturbance during the packing and moving process.


So, whether you're moving in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or ACT, trust us with your moving needs. Let us help in making the moving process less daunting for both you and your pet. After all, you and your cat deserve a purrfect move!

Remember, every move is unique, and so is every cat. So, tailor these tips to your situation and your feline friend. With proper planning and a trusted, cat-friendly moving company like Men That Move, your house relocation can be a seamless experience for you and your cat. We are here to make your transition smoother and stress-free.



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