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Everything You Need to Know About Moving With a Cat

Are you in the process of moving abroad with a cat? If so, you’re likely feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. While it’s certainly an exciting time, moving with a cat can also be quite stressful. Luckily, if you’re prepared for the journey ahead, it can be a lot smoother sailing. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about moving with cats, from preparing before the move to what to do during and after.

What Should You Do Before Moving With a Cat?

Relocating to a new state is a big change for everyone involved, regardless of your reasons for relocating. While we often talk about how people experience anxiety before the relocation, it’s important to remember that animals, including cats, feel anxious about this change as well. Cats are creatures of habit, and they don’t do well with change, so it’s important to take some extra steps to make sure they’re comfortable during the transition.

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So, how to move with a cat? There are a few things to consider when relocating with a cat in order to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible for both you and your feline friend. Even with a reputable shipping company that will provide you with international moving services, things can be tough. That’s why we’ll go over some of the key things to keep in mind when moving a cat so that you can hit the ground running in your new home.

Get Your Cat Used to a Carrier

One of the most important things you can do before moving with a cat is to get them used to being in a carrier. This will be important for both the actual relocation day itself and for any trips you may need to take to the vet or other appointments in your new city. Start by leaving the carrier out in an open area and letting your cat explore it at their own pace. 

Once it seems like they are comfortable, try feeding them meals in the carrier or placing their favorite toys inside. With time and patience, your cat should get used to spending time in its carrier and be much less stressed when it comes time to actually use it. This is the best way to ensure a stress-free move for your feline friend. 

Get Your Cat’s Health Records

Another important thing to do before relocating with a cat is to ensure you have all of their health records up to date (those are some of the most important documents you’ll need when moving abroad). This includes their vaccinations, any medications they may be taking, and any other information related to their health. Having these records on hand will make it much easier to find a new vet in your new city and get your cat the care they need as quickly as possible.

Make Sure Your Cat Is Having Fun With Boxes

Cats adore cardboard boxes, so when the time comes to start packing for a move, this is actually a huge bonus for you. Allow your cat to explore these packing materials at their own pace by taking a few boxes out before you even organize packing and start filling out labeled boxes. 

If you sense that they’re nervous, play with your pet near the boxes with a favorite toy or hide some treats inside. If you notice some signs of anxiety in your cat, spray some organic catnip spray on a box to make it more appealing, or use a mist with synthetic feline pheromones that can cause feelings of comfort. Any stress associated with cardboard boxes is probably due to their unfamiliar smell.

Follow Your Cat’s Regular Schedule as Much as Possible

Maintaining your cat’s regular regimen during a move is crucial, just like with dogs. That would include giving them their regular meals, playtime, and cuddles. Cats find relocating stressful because of the quick shift in routine and environment. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent the change of environment, there are active measures you can take to prevent the lack of routine. The regimen should be kept up throughout the move, even on relocation day, if possible.

A woman talking on the phone
Call a vet and get your cat’s documents before moving internationally

You Should Also Ensure That the Animal Is Comfortable During The Move

Once the day of the move comes, ensuring your cat moves safely will be your top responsibility. At this stage, there are still measures you can undertake to reduce stress, but you’ll also have to realize that your feline friend is likely to experience some level of worry on this day. Fortunately, you can try to make things a little bit better for them with some care and love.

Offer Your Cat Light Food on the Day of the Move 

The stomach is not an exception to the body’s ability to sense stress and anxiety. By slightly reducing their meals that day, you can lessen the likelihood that your cat will vomit or experience stomach discomfort. This relocation hack will be useful if your cat frequently becomes car sick when traveling.

Cats Should Be Kept Inside During the Loading and Unloading of the Truck 

When it’s time to fill the relocation truck, you’ll be closing and opening your front door constantly, and the very last thing you would like to fear is your cat running away. Be cautious when containing your cat, especially if you’re hiring an international moving company – there will be unfamiliar individuals nearby. 

This is important even if you’ve checked if the relocation company is legitimate! Your cat doesn’t need to be in its carrier before it’s essential, but you do need to keep them contained in one safe location in the house.

Empty out a room completely, even if it’s only a bathroom, and place your cat inside with enough food, water, plus toys – and don’t forget the bed and litter box. Do this before you or your international movers start loading the relocation truck. 

Put a notice on the door stating that the animal is in there and that the door must remain closed. Although your cat may not really enjoy being locked up, you’ll at least feel better knowing that they’re secure and comfortable with their normal surroundings and scents.

It’s Time for a Carrier – How to Handle This Properly?

Just before you’re about to leave, put your cat in its carrier. Despite the fact that they are obviously unhappy inside while you are traveling, resist the impulse to let them out. Animals are experts at reading our body language, so try to maintain your composure. If you seem relaxed, your cat will also relax. Be sure to check out the video below to learn more about traveling with a cat in a car. 

When you are in your new apartment, just unlock the carrier to allow your cat out. Once all the boxes are unloaded, and your front door is securely closed, repeat the procedure you used at your previous residence while keeping your cat safely in the room. A little food, water, several toys, a bed, and a litter box should all be placed in their new space – the cat needs familiar objects and scents to soothe them. Disperse some snacks around the space to promote exploration while they are there.

kittens relaxing
Follow our tips, and your beloved cat will arrive at a new home with no problem

There Are Things You Can Do After the Move to Ensure the Cat Adapts Faster

You should introduce your cat to their new location gradually – the more anxious they are, the slower you should introduce them to the new space. Giving a stressed cat immediate access to the entire house might be too much, especially because they’ll have to figure out where their new litter box is in a strange setting. 

Your cat should have a temporary “home base” where you may put all of their belongings, including the litter box. Spend some time in this space with your pet while going about your daily business. Your cat should become curious as they become more comfortable and be prepared to increase their adventures. Over time, the new apartment will start feeling like home.

Don’t Forget to Do a Deep Cleaning of the New Home

Move-in cleaning is just as important (if not more) than move-out cleaning. If any other pets lived in the home prior to your move-in, this is very crucial. Cats have a sharp sense of smell, which makes them able to detect not only basic animal scents but also any stress those creatures may have been under. All surfaces should be cleaned with a Clorox wipe before shampooing and thoroughly cleaning the carpets.

Create a Dedicated Area for the Litter Box

You should choose a permanent location for your pet’s litter box after they are old enough to go on longer adventures around the home. Keep a cat litter in their room to be, and place a second, temporary one in their home base location in the house. After letting both sit outside for a few weeks, take away the temporary litter box, leaving only the permanent one.

After several weeks, if you still don’t see your cat adjusting, speak to your veterinarian about how to ease the change. Hopefully, though, being available and attentive will be sufficient to lessen your cat’s worry associated with the move. Demonstrate to your cat that they have nothing to be afraid of, and they should begin to adapt to their new surroundings over time.

cat relaxing at home
Your cat should slowly get used to the new environment in the weeks after the move

Ensure Both You and the Cat Are Comfortable, and the Move Will Go Smoothly

If you are looking to move with a feline friend, our tips on how to move with cats can make a world of difference. And if the whole process seems too complex or you simply don’t have time to manage it yourself, consider hiring professional international movers from a reputable overseas shipping company to avoid all those common relocation mistakes

They will take care of everything and ensure both you and your cat are comfortable during the move. With professionals by your side, you can rest assured that your items are safe during transport – we suggest finding an overseas moving company that can handle both relocating boxes and shipping cars. 

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