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Five Moving Tips For Cat Owners

Moving to a new place is a big change for you, and you understand exactly what is going on! Imagine how hard moving must be for your cat, who has no idea why he or she is being relocated. Moving with a cat also presents some logistical challenges. For instance, you can't just prop the back door open as the movers carry your boxes out to the truck -- the cat might get outside. Here are a few tips to make moving easier on your cat, yourself, and the movers.

Tip #1: Keep your cat in one room as you pack up the contents of other rooms.

Cats don't like change. They tend to become stressed out when you start packing everything in their environment into boxes. To make the packing process easier on your cat, lock the cat in one familiar room with everything that he or she needs (food, water, litter box, and toys) while you pack up the rest of the home.

Your cat will still suspect that something is going on, but won't have to endure the stress of seeing his or her world being packed up. The less stressed your cat is on the day you actually move, the better. Don't pack the items in the room you're keeping the cat in until the last minute. Keep the cat in this room while the movers carry boxes out, so he or she does not escape.

Tip #2: Get your cat used to the car before moving day.

Many cats don't travel well. It doesn't help that when your cat gets in the car, he or she is probably usually headed to the vet. You can make the move a little easier on your cat by taking practice car rides in the weeks leading up to the move. Put your cat in his or her crate, and then drive around the block for a few minutes. Bring the cat home, and offer a treat. Your cat will learn that rides lead to treats and will be less apt to panic in the car on moving day.

Tip #3: Use your cat's old bowls and litter box at the new place.

Some cat owners see moving as a good reason to replace the food bowls and litter box that they've been using for years. However, this will just make the move harder on your cat. Use his or her old bowls in the new home. Even leave the old litter in the box, so it smells familiar to your cat. If you want to replace these items, wait until your cat is completely settled into the new home.

Tip #4: Let your cat explore the new place slowly.

Cats tend to hide when they are first brought into a new home. This is normal. Do not force your cat out of hiding. He or she will come out to eat, drink and use the litter box when it's comfortable to do so. You can help make your cat more comfortable by only allowing him or her access to part of the home at first. Once the cat is confident in one room, you can open the door and allow access to more spaces.

Tip #5: Consider anti-anxiety medications for nervous cats.

If you've moved your cat in the past and he or she was very skittish or nervous, you may want to talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications. Even if your cat only takes these temporarily, they can help prevent stress, along with unwanted stress-related behaviors such as pulling out fur or urinating on carpet. Only give your cat anti-anxiety drugs under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Planning a move with a cat can be difficult, but if you allow yourself enough time, hire a household moving company, and keep the tips above in mind, you and your furry friend will settle into the new home before you know it.