Cats are very loyal to their territory and don’t like to leave their familiar surroundings. It is not uncommon for a day leaver to start looking for “her” house after moving house. It is undisputed that moving a house means even greater uncertainty and getting used to it for cats than it does for humans. But with a few tricks, the change of scenery can easily go smoothly for everyone involved.
What should I consider when moving with the cat?
If you’ve ever moved, you know the inevitable stress: All household effects are cleared out and packed, nothing is in its usual place. There are also countless preparations that you make full use of. Many self-confident cats take part in the movie with such interest as if they wanted to pack it themselves.
For sensitive or anxious velvet paws, however, the hustle and bustle are often threatening: familiar things disappear bit by bit, the territory looks different every day, people are excited and nobody has time to play and cuddle. Clearly – an apartment that is currently being moved in or out is a crisis area for many cats. Prevent the velvet paw from panicking, accidentally packing while exploring the moving boxes, or making the chaos complete with protest reactions such as uncleanliness and aggressiveness.
If possible, send the cat on vacation during the hot moving phase. A change of location is always associated with stress for a cat; this also applies to temporary accommodation in a foreign environment. However, it is still the lesser evil. A short stay with friends or in a cattery takes away the additional concern about the velvet paw. If it is not possible to relocate the cat, it is best to be in a separate room that has already been cleared out, such as the bathroom, on the day of the move. Furnish the room with food, basket, toilet, and toys.
How do I prepare for the new environment?
If everything is unloaded in the new apartment and at least mostly cleared away, the cat can follow.
Prepare the arrival of the house tiger well:
- Fasting day: On the day of the move, the cat should only be fed sparingly so that the excitement does not upset its stomach. Of course, this does not apply to very long moving trips.
- First ascent: Pick up the cat personally from its makeshift quarters and explore the new apartment with it.
- Calmness and patience: Especially if there are many kilometers between the new and old place of residence and the cat has had a long car or plane journey behind it, you first prepare a retreat for it in a room that has already been prepared, where it can acclimate.
- Familiar Inventory: Make sure all of the cat’s belongings move with you. Moving is the worst possible opportunity to change a cat’s outfit. The cat desperately needs the familiar objects and smells.
- Furnishings: If possible, arrange the furniture you took with you in a similar way to the old apartment. So the cat has known clues for orientation.
- Company: Leave the cat alone as little as possible for the first few days after the move. Cuddle and play with her a lot, even if you’re short on time at this stage.
- Stock up: Make sure that food and cat litter are already available at the cat’s new location in case there isn’t enough time for shopping in the first few days.
Why do cats return to the old apartment?
Cat owners who have moved nearby often report that their outdoor cats are persistent in trying to return to their old homes. If the move took place within a few streets or kilometers, i.e. a terrain that the day-releaser knows well from his excursions, it is actually difficult to make him understand that from now on he belongs in a different house. The cat’s motivation is clear: Once it has occupied its territory, including the house, it must continue to regularly inspect and inspect it before another conspecific “expand” it. For this reason, too, it is important to initially refuse day trips for a while.