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10 Tips to Moving with Cats

Take these steps before you move into a new house with your cats.

Take these steps before you move into a new house with your cats.

Planning a move with your cats? The key to a successful home move with cats is preparation. Here are 10 pre-moving day tips for cat owners to make their trip go more smoothly.

1. Learn Laws and Regulations: Become familiar with your new state or province’s pet ordinances and pet licensing requirements. Contact the State Department of Agriculture or State Veterinarian’s office to learn the rules; for local ordinances, contact the City Clerks’ office, local humane organization or animal control facility. If you will rent your new house or apartment, carefully review the lease to make sure your cats are allowed in your rental.

2. Visit Your Cat’s Vet: Have your vet conduct a thorough checkup on your cat and make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date before you move. Get a copy of your cat’s medical records (a new vet will need them) as well as a health certificate. Refill your cat’s medication, if needed. If your pet is not a good traveler, discuss this with your vet. If behavior modification for your cat hasn’t worked to calm her, your vet may recommend some medications or natural calming supplements to help ease your cat’s travel anxiety.

3. Find a New Vet: Line up a new veterinarian before you move. Ask your current cat vet for a referral or research online for new veterinarian.

4. Order New ID Tags: Get a new pet ID tag that includes your cat’s name, your name, new address and telephone number.  

5. Maintain Routine: Cats are creatures of habit and love routine. Keep your cat’s routine by gradually packing over an extended period of time. The less commotion, the better.

6. Ensure Secure Car Travel: Plan to properly secure your cat in your vehicle. Hundreds of pets are injured or worse each year because they are allowed to roam free in vehicles. Cats can distract drivers, too, and this distracted driving can lead to accidents. Familiarize your cat with your vehicle restraint of choice weeks or months before traveling so that your cat is comfortable.  

7. Call Cat-Friendly Hotels: For longer moves, secure overnight accommodations before you hit the road. Pet policies can change without notice and accommodations may be limited so book cat-friendly hotels in advance.

8. Prepare for Air Travel: Check with your veterinarian and the airline if you will fly with your cat. The airline will require a health certificate issued by your vet. You’ll also want to purchase an appropriate airline approved pet carrier. Take the time to familiarize your cat with it at least one month prior to travel.

9. Exude Calm Energy: Moving homes can create anxiety, but keep yourself as calm and relaxed as possible. Cats sense owners’ energy and when we’re amped up, they stress out.

10. Chat with Your Cat: Although you some people might think this is unusual, a talk with your cat to let her know about the move could help ease the transition. Tell your cat what to expect on moving day, about the new house, the yard, etc. If nothing else, it will make you feel better, which in turn will help your cat.

With information from Trips With Pets.

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