Cat Owners' Advice - New Year, New Home?
Moving house can be a big deal for cats – much of their feeling of security and ability to relax comes from being surrounded by the familiar sights, sounds and scents of their own territory. It is also very stressful for humans too, so some thought and careful planning will ensure it’s a smooth move for everyone. Here are some key tips from Cats Protection:
- Consider booking your cat into a cattery for moving day and possibly for a day or two more, so you don’t have to worry about them and they can come home to a more organised house.
- Have a secure room in the new home that they can go into at first, with their familiar bits and pieces. Consider also putting an unwashed item of your clothing in too which will help them settle. When you do allow them into the rest of the house make sure all windows and outside doors are shut, they won’t be ready for the outside world yet! A pheromone diffuser such as Feliway may also help calm your cat.
- Some cats go missing shortly after moving house because owners have let their cats go outside too soon. These cats sometimes find their way back to their old houses. Cats should be kept indoors for at least three weeks to allow them time to regard the new house as a secure place and to build up a scent profile to help them find their way back.
When you do let them out:
- do it just before a mealtime when they are hungry so you can call them back with their favourite food
- open the door and step outside encouraging your cat to go with you
- don’t pick them up – let them make the decision to go outside themselves
- leave the door open so they can run back into the house if they feel insecure
- only let them out for short periods at first – you can gradually build up the time they are out until you are confident they can come and go as they please
Before letting your cat out, make sure they are microchipped so if they wander off they can be traced easily. If they are already microchipped, don’t forget to change your address details on the central database when you move.
You’ll find more in depth advice on moving home by downloading Cats Protection’s Essential Guide 3: Moving Home leaflet from: www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/cat-care-leaflets-2013/EG03_Moving_house_JUN14.pdf
Find further useful information on all aspects of cat care at www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/care-leaflets/essential-guides/