Moving home is a stressful time for everyone including your cat. Just imagine how frightened you would be, when your whole world slowly disappears into boxes and then you suddenly find yourself in a strange place, with strange smells and you have no idea why. Well this must be how a cat feels when their owners move home.
Planning ahead and making the move of your cat a safe and thought out process will not only reduce the stress for your cat but will ensure that you are not left worrying about losing your pet on moving day. Forward planning is even more essential when you are emigrating, as there are many essential documents, which need obtaining, and government bodies that need to be informed of the transportation of your cat. Not to mention time restricted vaccinations required by some countries.
For a normal house move there are two options open to you on the day of moving for your cat. Either to have your cat stay at a cattery for a few days while the move takes place or to take the cat with you on the day. By placing your cat in a cattery you will eliminate any worries on the day of looking after your cat and making sure they are safe and cared for. However, you will have to consider the costs involved including any vaccinations required by the cattery and how you will get your cat back from the cattery if this is some distance away from the new home.
Taking the cat with you on the day is the cheaper option but does require you to be aware of your cats needs during the day and how you will keep your cat safe while the move is happening. On top of this it is important that you make the whole experience as stress free for your cat as possible. The last thing you will need on the day is a scared cat leaving little deposits everywhere.
A few days before the move try to get your cat used to the carrier you will be using to move them in. To do this place the carrier in an empty room with a litter tray and keep your cat in this room. This will also enable your cat to become used to being confined to a room on the moving day.
On the morning of the moving day feed your cat early in the morning a small meal. This will mean that it is less likely that the cat will be sick during the journey. Make sure you leave placing your cat into the carrier until you are ready to vacate the house and put some of their favourite toys in the carrier with them as a comfort to them.
When you arrive at the new home place the cat in a small room with all it’s belongs, including a litter tray and something that smells of you. This is important, as it is likely that you will not be around for them for quite some time while you get the house straight. It will be far less stressful for your cat if they are surrounded my familiar things and smells.
During the first few days in the new home only allow your cat to explore small areas of the house at a time, as it can sometimes be overwhelming to have a very large place to explore all at once. Ensure that they do not have access to the outside world for at least three weeks. This gives your cat time to associate the new house as their territory and will reduce the risk of your cat trying to find their way back home. It is also very important that when you do finally let them out that they are wearing a name and address collar and if at all possible are microchipped, just in case.
If you are emigrating with your cat, these are the key things that need to be carried out to ensure a smooth transition to a new country and to avoid any excess stress to both you and your cat.
Find an airline, which are happy to transport your pet and find out their procedures and requirements. Also ask them what paperwork is required at the destination as any discrepancies could result in your pet being refused entry to the country.
Contact your local vet and inquire about any vaccinations that may need to be given for the particular country you are moving too. It is best to do this at least six weeks before the actual move, as some countries require vaccinations to be given during a certain time frame.
Obtain an export licence from your countries government department dealing with animals. Again this should be done at least six weeks before the day of moving.
Kate and her partner co-write http://www.our-happy-cat.com a site full of further cat care and cat health topics. As well as being a feline friendly community site for happy cat and a happy owner.