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Felinexpress.com home > Cat Care > Moving with Indoor Cats

Moving with Indoor Cats

Life can take an unexpected turn at any moment. With much of the economy still on the down-swing, folks are finding they have to move. For people, moving presents its own challenges. But, is moving hard on cats? The answer is a resounding YES! Both resident cats and outdoor cats, dealing with changes in their routine can exhibit behavior, health and stress issues from the move. For indoor cats it becomes a bit more purr-sonal. Once those moving boxes arrive in your home, they know something is afoot.

Tips for Moving with Indoor Cats:

  • Before the move take your cat(s) to the vet for routine blood work and exam.
  • If kitty isnít micro chipped consider seriously getting him micro chipped or fit him with a collar and ID tags.
  • Take photos of your cat(s) and print out the photos to take with you in case kitty becomes lost.

During the move:

  • Away from their home, their familiar smells and favorite haunts, kitties can get easily stressed. You canít explain the move to them and they will pick up on any stress you have, so keep your stress level low as much as possible.
  • Make sure your cat is secure inside the carrier inside your car. Never travel with your cat freely roaming your car.
  • Be sure the cat(s) is in a sturdy carrier with a litter pan and water and food always provided.
  • Large dog crates are great for this type of travel as kitty has room to move around.
  • Use an old sweaty tee-shirt or sweatshirt for kittyís bed.
  • Cover the carrier (if weather permits) to create a safe cave for kitty to hide in. If the weather is hot be sure kitty has access to air circulation.
  • Donít sedate your cat before travel. Many sedatives can work against the cat instead of to his advantage. Keep him inside the carrier for his own protection until you get to your destination.
  • Play harp or Celtic music while you travel. You may even find the music soothes you, the kids and the cat!
  • Bring water from your home. A couple jugs from your faucet will help kitty adjust to the new water where he is going. True especially if you are on well water as each well carries different minerals and smells.
  • Donít leave your cat alone in your car at any time. When parked and you want the cat out of the carrier, be sure the windows are all the way up. You might be surprised how small a space a frightened cat can squeeze out of if he wants to.
  • Heat stroke can quickly claim a catís life. Leave someone in the car with the air conditioner going if you need to make rest stops.

If you are moving a short distance, move the kitties first. Make one room in the new house theirs. Set up the room with their favorite toys, cat posts, litter pans, bowls of water, food, beds and a small CD player. Take some of your unwashed laundry (socks and undershirts work best) and throw them all over the floor so the kitties have familiar scents near them. Spray the room with Feliway spray thoroughly a few hours before the kitties are due to arrive. Make a huge sign for the door that says ďCatís Inside- Stay Out!í Make sure your family, your friends helping you move or the moving men know to keep away from that room. You will need to keep your cats confined in this room for at least a week before opening up the house to them. Make sure you visit often, give them plenty of bonding and playtime. If there is only one cat, increase the time spent and sprinkle catnip around the room to help alleviate stress. In multi-cat homes, catnip often brings out the fight in stressed kitties.

Prior to the move, visit your new home or apartment with a black light and cleaning supplies. Douse all the lights (do this procedure only after midnight) and shine the light in every room of your home. You are looking for green fluorescent stains of old pet urine. If you donít find these spots, trust me, your cats will. Clean up any of the spots you find with a good urine remover. After all, you want your home to smell nice and fresh and not like a soiled litter box.

Your indoor cat(s) will need to go outside at some point. Use harness training for these adventures, so in the event that kitty escapes and gets outside, he will smell his scent on the ground and know not to run away. After all, this is his home too.

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