Create a cat room … a safe space … for your stressed out pet
For your cat, moving (or being introduced to a new home and family) can be an absolutely terrifying experience.
Preparing a secure and safe room just for your nervous pet will provide him or her with a much needed quiet space of its own.
Before the move
If possible, pack up one room first. Ensure the windows are secure and the door will remain closed. Lock it if you can.
Put a large do not open the door – pet inside sign on the door, at eye level.a sign saying do not open the door, pet inside.
In the room put:
a litter box
food and water
a bed and favorite blankets
any (unwashed) fabrics or clothing that carry your scent
(Familiar smells are important to your pet and will help it feel more secure.)
This is the perfect time to get your cat used to the carrier. Leave the carrier in the room, make it appealing to your pet with blankets, treats, toys – a cave of sorts – encouraging your cat to create a positive association with it. Remember to put identification on it.
Keep your cat in its temporary home while you work. When you’re done – let him or her loose. It will probably be a good time for a reassuring cuddle in your lap and chances are you will provide each other with some much needed quiet, comfort.
The cat room in your new home
Try to arrive with your kitty before the movers. Your pet’s ‘safe room’ (even a closet will do) should be in a quiet place away from the noise and traffic.
… Prepare the room as before and post your sign
… Double check the windows
… Lock or barricade the door if you can
This room really needs to be off limits … to the movers, or any unauthorized or curious person capable of opening the door.
At this point, your cat is very vulnerable – stressed to the max and perhaps exhausted.
Who knows the mind of a cat? Your cat might think you have deserted it. He or she could be just plain terrified and ready to run.
If lost, cats are not found as easily as dogs – especially in a new neighborhood. Don’t give him or her any opportunity to escape. Do your best.
Talk to your cat frequently, even if through the closed door.
When the moving is done and the never ending day finally ends …