Ultimate guide to moving with Cats

Ultimate guide to moving with Cats

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Thinking of moving to a new place with a cat? Wondering how to make the whole experience a smooth one for both you and your feline buddy?

Your cat is a beloved member of your family. When moving with cats, plan ahead, adapt the move to your cat's needs and be patient. Once you have finally finished moving, you will both need some time to get used to your new surroundings.

Every step begins with preparation. Remember that the younger your kitten is, the more patience, awareness, and preparation will be needed to keep them safe whilst moving.

Preparing before the move

  • Talk to your vet: Talk to your vet as soon as you plan to move. Some cats are naturally more prone to stress and anxiety than others. You need to be sure your feline buddy is physically fit for this.
  • Know the rules and regulations: Keep in mind that every area has specific rules in place for pets. Find out your new neighbourhood's regulations on pets and plan accordingly.
  • Know your cat: Be honest about your cat's temperament and plan things accordingly. It's important to assess your cat's readiness.
  • Make sure your cat has an ID: Consider including multiple types of identification so people know how to get hold of you if they find your cat. Get your cat microchipped at the vet and have physical ID tags on your cats collar.
  • Choose the right cat carrier: Choosing the right cat carrier is very important. Your feline buddy should feel safe and secure in its carrier. Cat carriers are available in many types and sizes. You should choose one based on your requirements. Make sure there’s enough space for your cat to turn around completely, sit, and lay down in it.
  • Get your cat comfortable in its crate/ carrier: Your cat is going to be spending a good amount of time in its’ crate/ carrier on the day of the move. It is vital to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible.
  • Prepare your vehicle for the trip: Prepare your vehicle for your cat. Consider investing in a cat carrier, car seats, and floor covers that protect your car and add comfort for your cat while they are on the road with you.
  • Be prepared for an emergency: Research vet or veterinary hospitals in the area you will be moving to in case of an emergency.
  • Be as calm as possible: You know that your pet gets your mood. So, try staying as calm as possible. If you remain calm, your cat will be too.
  • Pack slowly: Leave boxes around the house while you pack slowly. You don't want to pack it all in a day and leave your cat confused about what is going on. It will also make the process easier for your feline buddy.

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What to pack when moving with your cat

Moving with cats means being prepared for anything. In addition to your regular supplies, you need to bring along everything your cat needs to have a safe and stress free experience. Once you've finalized your own checklist, you also need to include some cat essentials:

  • Cat food, bring more than you think you need!
  • Travel crate or carrier
  • Food bowl and water bottle
  • Water for the car ride and rest stops
  • Safe and interactive toys
  • A leash and collar
  • Vet records and medical information
  • Cat first aid kit
  • An ID tag
  • Portable litter box
  • Paper towels, bags, and gloves to clean up accidents
  • An emergency fold-up blanket
  • Also, keep an updated picture of your cat

To keep everything orderly, you can use a separate bag for your cat’s belongings.

Moving day

Traveling with your cat can be totally worth it! You can either travel by road or take a flight. It depends on the distance and your requirements. Limiting food and water intake right before and during your road or air trip helps avoid accidents and keep your kitty comfortable. It may lead to fewer bathroom breaks for cats and prevent stomach discomfort.

Road trip:

  • Take steps for your cat's safety: Choose the right spot in the car for your feline member. Don't let your cat stick their head out of the window to get some fresh air. It looks cute but is very dangerous. It is important for successfully traveling with your cat.
  • Take frequent breaks: Cats need breaks during road trips. Always plan rest stops en-route so that your cat can move around in the car a little, drink water, and eat. You can also utilize these breaks as a time to play and give attention to your cat.
  • Control your cat's movement: Keep your cat restrained during the ride. Controlling your cat's movement is important for their safety and those around you. Make sure they’re secured to prevent them from jumping out unexpectedly.
  • Take Covid precautions: Take Covid precautions into account while you’re moving with your cat. Avoid routes that are crowded. Keep in mind that you’re taking precautions not only for yourself but for your feline buddy as well. They need you to be healthy!

Pet Safety Tip: If you want your cat to ride in the front seat, you should disengage the passenger airbag. Just like small kids, cats can be hurt or killed by an airbag.

Air trip

Taking a cat on a flight can be a somewhat traumatic experience for them.

  • Attach a travel label or tag to the cat carrier. Write your name, address, contact number, and final destination.
  • Be prepared for the plane’s environmental conditions. Choose flights for your cats that will accommodate the temperature extremes.
  • If your cat will be taking a long flight, they should not be given tranquilizers before flying. They can amplify stress and have a negative effect on your cat's health.
  • Make sure that you have a health certificate for your cat from the vet. This certificate will show that your cat has had all its shots and vaccinations.

Pet Parent Tip: It is important to maintain your cat’s routine throughout the move, including on the moving day itself.

Do cats enjoy long road trips?

A safe and well-planned car ride is one of the best kinds of adventures for cats. Riding in your vehicle allows them to experience a plethora of smells and sights that they would not normally get at home. However, all cats are not adventurous. Some felines can get restless, anxious, and behave in ways that aren’t safe when you are cruising at highway speeds. Be sure to adapt your trip to your cat’s individual needs and personality.

Don't ignore your cat's health and nerves

Always take into consideration your cat’s health, anxiety level, size, and weight. If your kitty is sick and requires medication, make sure you have enough for the entire trip.

What if my cat gets sick on the road trip?

Road trips with cats take a bit of extra preparation. You need some planning, a few additional supplies, and safety gear. Don't skip the first-aid kit on your road trip.

These cat first-aid kit essentials include:

  • Your cat’s vet records
  • Gauze
  • Bandage
  • Thermometer
  • Feline sterile eye cleaner Enter Alt Tag Here

At your new home

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you finally move to your new place:

  • Remember that although you are finally relieved, your cat's adaptation period is only beginning. So, be patient and try to continue with the same schedule of your cat's food, rest time and playtime. Sticking close to your cat's regular routine adds a sense of normality in their new environment.
  • Set your cat's area first so it has a nice and comfy place to relax while you unpack the rest.
  • Take the time to be with your cat and go for walks to explore the area. Make the new home and neighbourhood fun for your feline buddy.
  • Take your time cleaning your belongings and stuff. It's better to let the old-familiar smells stay around a little longer for your kitty!

Final thoughts

We often hear stories about unpleasant incidents while moving with cats. Many of them could have been prevented if the cat owner had taken the necessary precautions for their pet's safety.

With excellent planning, you and your cat can have a smooth and stress-free transition to your new home. You can take help from those professionals who will make it all easier for you. So, plan well and make the whole experience comfy for your cat. Remember to have loads of fun! If you still have questions about moving with cats, please let us know! We would be happy to hear from you.

Good luck.

Writer: Biggles Removals

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