How to Move House with Your Cat
By Mary Mathews
Moving your cat to a new home can be a smooth transition for you and your pet. You can prevent your cat from running away if you take time to acclimate her.
1. Obtain a copy of your cat’s veterinary records to give to the vet in the new area. Also get a health certificate from your vet. Some states require that this be presented at the border before entering the state, even if you’re just passing through.
2. Call the state veterinarian in the capital of the state you’re moving to. Find out if you need to provide any paperwork to bring your cat into the state.
3. Call the town or village hall in the new locale. Ask about licensing
4. Make arrangements for your cat to travel with you in a car or by air. Cats are not permitted on trains or buses in most areas.
5. Purchase a carrier for your cat to travel in.
When You Move
1. Feed your cat five to six hours before you move. Let her drink two hours before you leave the house. Some people suggest you give the cat medication (available from your vet) if she gets overly excited or nervous while traveling
…. BUT there is NO need for this if you simply follow the bonding and anxiety exercises in Cat Secrets Manual.
NEVER tranquilize or medicate your cat with ANY human medications! (Even Ibuprofen and aspirin can KILL your cat!!)
2. Bring food and water. Make frequent stops to exercise your cat and let her drink.
3. Keep your cat confined while you move in. Release her when all doors and windows are closed so she can’t escape. Take time to help her become used to the new house.
4. Use the same food and water bowls, bedding, litter box (if you can, leave some of the kitty litter in from your old home as it has their scent) and toys, and put them in a location similar to where they used to be.
5. Take your cat out on a leash until she’s familiar with the yard and
6. Maintain your cat’s regular schedule in the days after the move.
7. Make an appointment with a local vet and take in your cat’s records.
After your cat is used to the area, release her for short periods of time and call her and reward her with a treat when she comes. This will teach your cat not to run away.
Be sure to re do the bonding techniques found in our “Cat Training Manual” once you’ve arrived in your new home, as well as a quick “refresher” of the training so your cat gets used to coming when called again etc in the new environment.
Confine your cat to the house if she roams for too long in the early days.
Moving An Outside Cat
* Outdoor cats only live about half as long as indoor cats plus in the city there is increased risk of your cat getting into fights with other pets, kill birds or squirrels, dig up neighbors’ gardens, or get hit by a car… so only let her outside when you can keep an eye on her or train her to be well behaved.
First hold and pet them. Before you put them down outside in their new home, put butter on the pads of their feet. Their scent is transferred to the ground and they know where home is. This works about 90% of the time.
For both indoor and outdoor cats, take it to the litterbox first when you arrive in your new home, and let it learn the house from there. To ensure your cat is safe on the journey, be sure to use a pet carrier. Many airlines let you fly with a cat on the seat next to you (in the appropriate carrier such as those made by Sherpa). Call the airline for details.
Lastly, be sure to bond with your cat as soon as you arrive and use the solution to anxiety found in our Cat Training Manual to make it a happy transition for you both.
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