Moving Cats and Dogs

Moving Cats

Cat on shoulder of childIf you are moving house with a cat it may be a good idea to make some preparations for your pet in advance of moving day. They do not like the disruption within their environment and they certainly will not appreciate the removal men bustling about in their home. This can lead to them experiencing a great deal of stress and in some cases running off in order to avoid the situation. This could be disastrous if you need to keep to a strict time schedule.

It is advisable that you ensure that cats are sheltered from as much of the disruption as possible in the run up to moving day. Some owners find that things are easiest if the cat stays in a cattery for a few days while they move. If this is not an option for you, then trying to keep one room of the house as peaceful as possible, perhaps the bathroom and keep your cat in there away from all the activity on moving day is the next best thing. Remember to leave a little food and water before the removal men arrive.

Provide a cat basket or box in which your cat may hide if it feels upset or anxious, but do ensure that you do not leave any doors or windows open through which your pet may escape – or you may lose your cat. Cats are often so stressed by the comings and goings on moving day that they will try to leave the house and if they are frightened they may not return for a while; losing the cat could be more stressful than the move itself.

Ideally your cat should be put into its traveling carrier lastly and once the house has been emptied and the movers are ready to leave for the new home. It may also be a good idea to ask your vet for a sedative for the journey and nit feeding it too much in case of any vomiting.

Once you have arrived at your new home, you should again try and place your cat in a secluded room until at least after the removal men have unloaded. She may take a bit of time to get use to the new place, so allowing her to do this at her own time is the best thing.

You should not let your cat out of the house for at least four to six weeks after moving home and then it should only be during the day at first. When letting your cat out for the first time delay giving her a meal and then open the door for her to go out if she wants. Allow her to take her time, perhaps just sniffing around the door at first and then taking a few tentative steps. Stay around and allow her to go a little way around the yard or garden before calling her back for a food treat. Keeping her slightly hungry will hopefully ensure that she will come back for food and not wander off too far. Repeat this a few times before allowing her out on her own during the day.

Remember that your cat will have to explore the new area and integrate with felines which are already in residence once she is allowed out. There will almost inevitably be a few fights as this happens. Also your cat will have to learn about the new area and may be stressed by the move in general; therefore I would strongly advise that any new pets are not introduced for at least three months following a house move.

Generally most cats will settle well into their new home eventually. However, you should expect a few problems to begin with, such as urine marking and fighting with other established cats in the area. If these symptoms persist you should consult your vet.

Moving Dogs

Like cats, some dogs may become distressed or anxious during the upheaval of packing, so confine them to a quiet room where they can rest and be safe.

Leave packing his/her toys, bedding and other equipment to the last moment so that he/she is comforted by the presence of familiar things. Do not wash bedding until a couple of weeks after the move, so that they will have something familiar smelling in the new house.

Dog with ownerIf traveling a long way, prevent travel sickness by not feeding them for up to 12 hours before the journey. If you know your pet suffers from travel sickness, ask your veterinary surgeon about anti-sickness pills.

Make sure that your dog is safely secured in the vehicle that they are to be transported in to the new house, ideally with a dog guard or car harness on the back seat. If it is a long journey, make sure that they get regular toilet and water breaks.

Remember the temperature in a parked car can change rapidly and your pets might die from the heat if left unattended for too long.

Check your boundary fencing to make sure that it is secure, of sufficient height and "hole-free" before letting your dog run free in the garden. If your dog is able to escape then take him out on a lead until you are able to do the necessary improvements.

Try to unpack the essentials before introducing your dog to the new house so that he can see familiar items within the unfamiliar house. If possible place furniture and items in similar places to those in the old house.

Always reward and praise him when he goes to toilet in the correct place (i.e. outside!) so that he knows where to go.

Try and make sure that you stick to your normal routines, this will help them to settle, feeding and walking him at the usual times is a good idea. Don’t give any more attention than he is used to having from you, this may cause him to become anxious or over dependent on you and lead to behaviour problems. Lots of walks help a dog to get use to a new area.

Barking madWe sincerely hope that the above information is useful and that you and your dog don't go barking mad with the pet moving process.