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Moving with Cats: How to Keep Them Calm When Traveling

Almost all pets – cats in particular – love the comfort of familiar surroundings and routine. When you’re preparing to move to a new home, that challenges your cat’s sense of security. Whether you want to or not, you’re removing everything that is familiar the moment you begin packing. This change in routine can strike a change in your pet’s behavior and is something you want to address before you begin packing, and especially before you travel with your feline. Here are a few tips when moving with cats.

  • Involve them in packing. While this sounds a little unusual, making your pets part of the process will make moving easier. Let them explore boxes, containers and packing materials. This allows them to become familiar with the new box smell and sounds of bubble wrap and packing tape.
  • Make him comfortable. Whether you’re flying or driving, your cat will need to be confined to a travel carrier or crate. If moving day is the first time your pet sees the carrier, he likely will not react well. That means you should make the carrier a familiar place to your cat – so keep it out in the open for a few weeks, allowing Fluffy to sniff it, venture inside and get used to it. Make the carrier as comfortable as possibly by lining it with a towel or something that smells like home. You may want to plan a few short car rides prior to your move, especially if it’s a long trip. This way you can see how your pet reacts to the car, and gives you time to prepare accordingly.
  • Speak soothingly. Even if cats don’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll understand the tone of your voice. Hearing your voice can calm and comfort you cat, so be sure to speak to him throughout your journey.
  • Stay calm. Moving with cats – or moving at all! – can be a stressful experience, but you must do your best to remain composed throughout the process. That’s because a cat can sense when you’re anxious and will mimic your behavior. So try to avoid yelping when you stub your toe!

  • Ask your vet for recommendations. If your cat tends to be extremely anxious, you might find that medications or herbal treatments can make a world of difference. If you do choose to medicate, remember to try out the medications before travel to determine if there are any adverse effects.

When moving with cats, you should do everything you can to keep them calm, cool and collected.  Involve them in the packing process, give them a little extra attention, take them on short car rides ahead of the move – it’ll make the journey much easier for them and you!