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Cats are not fans of change. They prefer staying where they are comfortable and settled in. But, at some point or another, you might have to move to a new house, and you need to do everything you can to make sure that the transition is stress-free for your cat.Preparatory steps
- Give your cat time to get used to the carrier. You can leave it open with a comfortable bed inside. Leave a few treats in it that your cat can find on his own. Over time, you can start feeding him in it. If your cat does not want to enter the carrier, just place his dish next to it. Slowly, you can place it inside the carrier near the opening. Once your cat gets used to it, you can place it all the way back.
- Put out the moving boxes a few weeks before you move so that your cat can get used to them. If he gets nervous while you are packing, then it is a good idea to confine him.
- If your cat is nervous, skittish or easily stressed, speak to the vet. He/she might be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication to make the moving process easier for your cat.
- Cat-proof your new house. Plug up all the nooks, tuck away the electrical cords and make sure that the windows have secure screens. Remove poisonous plants and make sure that there are no pest control traps in the house.
- Take your cat to a room that is quiet. Before you open the carrier, set up his water and food bowls, bed and litter box. Hide a few treats around the room so that your cat will be encouraged to explore the new surroundings.
- Keep him in this room for the first few days. This will allow him to get used to the smells, sights and sounds without getting overwhelmed. Confining him to one room will also make it much easier for him to locate his litter box, water and food.
- Spend some time with him in this room doing low key activities like watching TV or reading. As he begins to explore the environs, offer him treats, attention and playtime.
- When you are done unpacking, gradually allow him to access the rest of the house. If it is not possible to close the doors, closely supervise him when he explores.
- Make sure that there is a second litter box where you’d want to keep it eventually. Once your cat has settled into the new house, you can remove the litter box from the temporary room. Alternatively, you can also transfer the litter box from the temporary room to the preferred location. To ensure that your cat does not lose track, move it just a foot or so away each day.