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5 Ways To Get Your Cat Prepared For A Move

Published on: June 30, 2015  |  Author: Starwood Animal Transport

get your cat prepared for a moveEvery cat owner knows felines don’t like change. Moving is probably #1 on their Most-Hated list. But sometimes moving happens anyway, and somehow you and your adored kitty need to get through it as unscathed as possible. That calls for preparation.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to get your cat prepared. Since cats aren’t fond of change, your goal should be to do everything you can to make moving seem “normal.”

Beyond that, there are specific steps you’ll need to take to ensure the practical side of your kitty’s move go smoothly. This is important no matter where how far you’re moving, but it is critical if you’re moving to another country, because you’ll have to contend with foreign import regulations and prepare your cat for air travel.

Here are 5 ways to get your cat prepared for Moving Day.

1. Maintain a familiar pre-move routine.

Why cause additional stress for you kitty by changing things unnecessarily? As long as it’s physically possible, keep the locations of her food and water dishes, litter box and favorite snoozing spots intact. That way, even though she can see your furniture, clothing and other household belongings being moved around or packed into boxes, the things she holds most dear (including you) will remain familiar – a haven among the confusion.

Feed her at the same time(s) of day you always do. And spend plenty of time playing with her, if she likes that, or just enjoying lap time and petting, so she knows you aren’t abandoning her.

If you schedule repair people, realtors or other unknown individuals to visit your home prior to your move, shut your kitty in a room with her favorite toys so she won’t be disturbed by all the commotion. This is particularly important when the movers come. The last thing you want is for Fluffy to become frightened and run off.

Plan ahead for the same post-move routine, too. If necessary, carry her favorite food and a toy with you so she’ll have them right away when she arrives. And introduce your kitty to her new quarters gradually, so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed.

2. Introduce her to her travel carrier as soon as possible.

Since you have a cat, you may have some alternatives when it comes to an airline-approved travel carrier. Many airlines allow cats to ride with you in the plane’s cabin, underneath the seat in front of you. (Double-check this with your professional pet shipper, because a few countries require imported all animals to arrive as cargo no matter what.)

If you elect to carry Fluffy with you, you can use virtually any type of soft or hard-sided carrier, as long as it fits within the space allowed. However, there are some “cons” to the on-board plan. You’ll have to haul Fluffy up and down airport concourses. She may seem light at first, but the longer you carry her, the heavier she will be. Look for a carrier with a shoulder strap. Fluffy will also be considered as your carry-on, which can significantly reduce whatever else you take on board.

When you have a layover, you’ll need to find the airport’s designated pet relief area, so Fluffy can do her thing and get a little fresh air. Allowing time for that could affect your flight itinerary.

If Fluffy will make her move as cargo, you’ll need to acquire an airline-approved kennel. These carriers meet strict requirements for safety and security. No matter what carrier you’ll be using, the key to preparing your cat for a reduced-stress journey is getting that carrier as soon as you can. The more time Fluffy has to explore it and become familiar with it, the more likely she will be to see it as “hers” when it’s time to fly. Encourage her to play in it, eat in it, sleep in it.

4. Talk to your vet.

If your kitty is older or has chronic health issues, you’ll want to be sure she’s OK to travel. And if she has a snub-nose, your vet may recommend special precautions. Discuss the health-related documentation Fluffy will need, too. You must meet these requirements exactly, but if you can consolidate trips to the vet for required exams, immunizations, etc., you’ll reduce your kitty’s pre-move stress.

5. Stay cool.

Cats may seem aloof and insensitive, but you know better. Your kitty takes cues from you, so if you act calm and upbeat about your move, she will be confident, too.

By following these preparation tips – and with a little luck -- you’ll be able to organize a near-purrrfect move. Fluffy may not thank you for the opportunity, but she’ll still love you. After all, you made the move with her, didn’t you? Learn more about how to ship your cat!

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