Moving houses can be incredibly stressful. Between all the planning, coordinating, and tending to endless paper cuts from cardboard boxes, the last thing most people want to worry about is calming a skittish cat. Thankfully, there are five easy steps you can take to ensure that Fluffy has a smooth transition to her new home.
- Play it cool. Cats have a keen ability to pick up on their owners’ emotions. If you approach Fluffy with a nervous attitude, she’s likely to sense that and react accordingly. Speak to her in a calm, soothing voice as you introduce her to the new house. Play familiar music, carry on a normal conversation with your partner, or call up a friend. Your cat will see that you’re not freaking out, and she’ll know she can relax.
- Give her some personal space. Find a room that can belong to her and only her, at least for a day or two. Spare bedrooms, attics, and mudrooms work great. Set up her food, water, litter box, and scratching post, and shut the door behind you. Give her a chance to acclimate to the sounds and smells of her new home. When she’s ready, she’ll want to venture out and explore on her own terms.
- Use comforting smells. Your local pet store likely carries a variety of products, from sprays to diffusers, that mimic the smell of cat pheromones. These products are odorless and undetectable to humans, but they’re reassuring to cats. Pro-tip: You can get a similar effect by petting your cat’s face with a clean sock over your hand, then rubbing that sock on her new bed or carrier.
- Surround her with the familiar. Does your kitty have a tendency to nuzzle the same fleece blanket every afternoon, or does she often curl up on your pillow? Prioritize those items in the moving process so that Fluffy will begin to associate your new home with a sense of comfort. Just like you wouldn’t leave behind her favorite toy, don’t forget that one towel that’s always covered in her fur.
- Be there for her. Cats love to assert their independence, but they rely on you just as much as dogs do. Offer a comforting neck scratch when she seems nervous. Pet her gently when the new garage door makes scary sounds. If moving is stressful for you, remember that it's even more intimidating to someone who doesn't understand what's going on. Your pet loves you unconditionally, so show them just how mutual that feeling is.
Now you are ready to move with as little stress as possible. Also - and we have to say it- maybe a new Purrfect Pack will make things even easier!