Introduction: HOW TO PACK AND MOVE YOUR CAT SAFELY TO a NEW RESIDENCE

Picture of HOW TO PACK AND MOVE YOUR CAT SAFELY TO a NEW RESIDENCE

At Rent A Green Box, we've seen our share of moving related pet issues: sad pets, missing pets and pissed off pets. With over 80,000 moves completed, were constantly asked the same question How do I safely move my cat. Were happy to share with you these free cat friendly moving tips, for a happy kitty!

Moving is one of the top 10 most stressful events in a persons life- we can all agree on this fact. Wherever we go, mans/womans best friend is sure to follow and is hopefully not lost or stressed in the moving process. All animals are creatures of habit and become very nervous when theyre relocated to a new and different environment. When you start to move, they start to freak out. At Rent A Green Box, we have seen our share of moving related pet issues: sad pets, missing pets and really pissed off pets. With over 80,000 moves completed in the last five years, were constantly asked the same question How do I safely move my cat. Were happy to share with you these free cat friendly packing and moving tips, for a happy kitty! If your looking to move your dog, we have a special tips article on how to pack and move your dog.

Step 1: Moving Prep:

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Keep your cats blankets, toys, beds, food, and water out until moving day to keep them in their natural state for as long as possible. Pack the cats belongings, extra food, and water in a set aside empty box the day of the move. This helps to put their nerves at ease for as long as possible. But before the move make sure to take your cat to the veterinarian and make sure that your vet issues any vaccinations or procedures needed, so that you have a fresh start for your move and updated records. Get copies of the updated records and keep them accessible while in transit. When you begin to pack your belongings, the best non-threatening way, is to pack and empty one room at a time. After one is completed place your cat inside the room along with its travel crate, bedding, toys, food, and water. This process allows your cat to feel accustomed to its crate and its new room/home throughout the packing process. Keep your cats blankets, toys, beds, food, and water out until moving day to keep them in their natural state for as long as possible. Pack the cats belongings, extra food, and water in a set aside empty box the day of the move. This helps to put their nerves at ease for as long as possible. But before the move make sure to take your cat to the veterinarian and make sure that your vet issues any vaccinations or procedures needed, so that you have a fresh start for your move and updated records. Get copies of the updated records and keep them accessible while in transit. When you begin to pack your belongings, the best non-threatening way, is to pack and empty one room at a time. After one is completed place your cat inside the room along with its travel crate, bedding, toys, food, and water. This process allows your cat to feel accustomed to its crate and its new room/home throughout the packing process.

Step 2: Moving Day:

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Though out the moving process it is vet recommended that verbal assurance can prevent stress your cat may encounter from moving. Another calming proactive step can be to let your cats sleep with you to offer the comfort they will be searching for in this stressful process. On moving day, make sure your cat is safe and placed in an empty room that wont be disturbed. If you didnt take this precaution the cat would be in harms way by getting into open boxes or in the way of movers.It also prevents them from hiding and not being located when its time to move. Also, place their toys, food, water, and bedding in their temporary room for comfort. Stick to normalcy by following normal feeding schedules, amount of play time, and normal location of litter box. And last but not least, have a box of fresh food and water present for the travel time and the arrival, so the cat can eat at normal times and avoid dehydration.

Step 3: Travel by Car:

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If choosing to travel by car, remember that cats are not the best passengers and are often skittish in moving cars.A helpful tip is to get your cat ready for the journey by driving around the block as a test run. If the test run goes poorly or it is too much to handle veterinarians provide the option of sedatives that you may want to consider. With cats, its important to remember a litter box for the drive, so they can use the same restroom as they usually do. Keep the cat from sliding around in the carrier by placing towels on the bottom of the carrier. Its also advised to put a towel over the crate or carrier to make the cat feel more hidden and safe. Make sure to have the box of supplies, food, and any special medications you might need accessible in the car. If you stop at a rest area, make sure your cat gets a stretch break on a leash. Make sure the leash is properly fitted to prevent any skittish behavior. Also, while driving, its imperative to keep your cat hydrated. So you dont make a mess while driving, give your cat a few ice cubes instead of a messy water bowl that could spill.

Step 4: Traveling by Air: 

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When traveling by air, invest in a sturdy crate with enough space for your cat to stand and turn and lay down in a comfortable position. Label the carrier with both your destination and a friends name back home ( just in case of an emergency). Also, keep a second copy of health records attached to the carrier. Remember not to feed your cat before you leave for the flight because you dont want your cat to get sick on the flight when you can no longer tend to them. Make sure the carrier has a blanket and their favorite toy available for comforting.You may also want to take a picture and make a copy for yourself for the carrier and for whoever may be picking up the cat from the airport.

Step 5: Post Move:

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Your cat will definitely need time to adapt to its new surroundings, so here are a few helpful tips. For initial security, most cats tend to hide under beds and rarely come out. So remember they dont hate you, but they just need an adaptation strategy.If your cat was an outdoor cat, survey your new neighborhood and make sure its suitable for your cat.Ask neighbors if theres any dangerous animals in the areas ( like coyotes or possums). If you deem the outdoor environment safe and familiar for your feline, get your cat familiar with their new indoor environment before releasing them to their new outdoor domain. Initially, upon arrival place your cat in one designated room that he or she will be living in for the next week or two while becoming accustomed to their new indoor environment. Eventually, once becoming an outdoor cat again, make him or her feel at home outside by feeding and playing with him outside to make the new residence feel familiar. And remember to put your new address tag on with the old tag for at least 3 months ( just incase your kitty decides to go back home without you, the person finding your pet, will see that you have 2 addresses and is more likely to place the call to reconnect you and your kitty).

Pet moving and shipping to a new can be complicated and stressful for everyone involved. Cats like to feel very safe and are creatures of habit.

All of us at Rent A Green Box recommend that you follow these helpful tips, so when you are settled into your new place, your furry little friend will be a happy camper!

Comments

MarcioWilges (author)2016-02-07

Sometimes we have a high tendency of overlooking some matters amidst the chaos of moving to our new home. Our pets are just as important and should be given the same amount of attention as well. We need to pack like a pro in order to handle the packing of our belongings as well as our pets’ logistics.

captkckass (author)2015-12-07

There are some good tips in here, but please edit the article to remove repeating passages.

MarcioWilges (author)2015-07-02

Removals are normally very traumatic for animals, both cats AND dogs, and little babies and kids too! They don't deal too well with big and sudden changes, so it's a good idea to try and introduce them into the new environment as often and as quickly as you can when you know you're going to move!

MarcioWilges (author)2014-12-29

Pets are really difficult to deal with when a person is moving homes. Especially with all the removals of this and that going on, it's really really important to keep them monitored for trauma and stress!

MarcioWilges (author)2014-12-14

Sometimes when we get too engaged in the packing and the subsequent logistics involved, we have a tendency to forget about our pets. Even though they are not human beings, they are still a living thing and they need to adapt and adopt as well. Getting them to familiarize with the new environment is an issue to take care of later on, but moving them safely and securely is to be considered immediately.

logit667 (author)2013-06-25

possums are not a problem it is raccoon's and coyotes

RustyRoller (author)2011-11-29

More on moving with cats: I moved my first cat 8 times, I believe, in his first 14 years, several times more than 1000 miles. I've moved my current two babies 4 times in nearly 7 years.

I echo Marie's comments: to be 100% sure your kitties are safe, get them out of the house or apt. when moving, on BOTH ends of the move, until everything is quiet and settled. BTW, I tried harnesses on the two newest when they were both less than 2 yrs old, and (1) they both reacted as if their back was broken (oh, mom, this harness is so heaaavvvyyyy), and (2) one managed to get out of her "escape-proof" harness during the drive while under the driver's seat (where she'd scooted at the first opp prior to going into crate) ... at least she chose to stay there for the first 1200 miles, rather than get out and moving around the car.

When I've had the opp, I've used a screened patio or "Florida room" to isolate the girls while moving in or out, vs. taking to board at the vet's.

And, as Marie also recommends: catnip party and their favorite treats ASAP in the new place ... leave closet doors open, etc. Funny enough, despite the cranky reputation of Siamese, my two Sia's did much better with moving than did my tiger stripe. Actually seemed curious rather than shell-shocked when released in their new environment.

Oh, and even if you don't usually keep a collar on your cat(s) -- I don't -- put one on while moving. Only one of my girls is "chipped," but I alerted the vet where I was moving from that we'd be on the road, and how to reach me if a call came in about either cat.

P.S. I keep in my wallet a card that has, in addition to my own emergency contact info, my vet's number and that of my pet-sitter. I don't often have the cats in the car (except for trips to vet), but my little dog often is with me; in case I'm incapacitated, I want emergency folks to know who can be called to either take care of my animals or provide medical services to them.

ozone333 (author)2011-05-18

The paragraph that starts with "keep your cats blankets..." is doubled. It states the same information twice. fyi

nutellamonster (author)2010-02-14

*Please* do not use these strap-your-kitty-to-your-car-contraptions (step 3). They are in no way accident safe. Even on a short trip, the cat should be in a carrier that can be strapped into the security belt of the car seat (most carriers can, if in doubt, ask the vendor of the carrier or your veterinarian, who should be seeing it sometimes). The carrier should not be too big for the same reason: If you do have an accident while transporting your cat (or dog, for that matter), it shouldn't "bounce" inside the carrier too much.
I made the experience that placing the carrier with its front grill towards the front window of the car quietens my cat because she can look outside and relate the car's movements to her gravitational feelings - much the same as humans using a ferry would feel.

That's just a cat on a leash sitting in the car. In the text it's explained that the cat should be in a crate.

katerlyn (author)2011-05-11

Beautiful photographs of the cats.

anahopwood (author)2010-07-31

Thanks for the tips! I have a 2 year old cat that has been in the same apt since she was able to leave her mother. At the end of the month, we are moving to a new apt. Trips to the vet are pretty much the only outside exposure she gets - if I leave the screen door open she will stand right at the opening, sniffing wildly but won't venture out. I'm hoping this won't be too much of a stress to my spoiled brat :)

chaydgb (author)2010-06-17

Could you check and edit, it looks like copying and pasting has messed up somewhere (such as duplicate sentences in the middle of other unrellated sentences). Otherwise very helpful information.

mariedarcy (author)2010-01-21

Ideally, cats should not be in your home while moving out and in -- too much noise, strange people, and too many opportunities for them to escape.  When planning a move, it is best to arrange for cats to be boarded (at a relative's, friend's or vet's) from the evening before the move to after you've moved in.  I've volunteered in a few shelters, and we get tons of calls from distraught pet owners looking for their escaped cats during moving season.
Once the cats are in your new home, leave them some room to hide while they're adjusting: under the bed, open closets.  Cats hate new places.  Familiar things -- their beds, toys -- should be available to them as soon as possible.  Oh -- and a catnip party as soon as you've unpacked is a great way to make them feel better about their new surroundings!

Nettiemac (author)2009-10-23

 Thank you for all of these very helpful tips.  I think I am going to invest in a leash for my cat so that when we move again I can get her out of her travel cage for a stretch.

master key (author)2009-08-14

cute cat pictures

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Bio: I'm the founder of Rent-A-Green Box and the inventor of the Recopack. Recently, I received the 2009 State of California's Govenor's Economic ... More »
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