You’re packing all of your earthly possessions into boxes, loading them into a vehicle, and carting them to a new abode. Your entire life is disrupted. You can’t find anything. You’re tired, sweaty, cranky, and you just want to curl up in a corner and sob. Delightful, isn’t it?
As stressful as moving is for us, it’s doubly so for our pets, since they don’t understand the reason for all of the disruptive activity. It’s important to keep this in mind when moving. Taking a few simple steps to help your cat adjust can make a big difference.
First of all, don’t be surprised if your cat hides or sometimes acts aggressively during and after the move. This is normal behavior. Your cat may be nervous and unsure of rules and limits in the new environment, and may also experience fear of being abandoned. It is important to be gentle, reassuring and patient.
Try to set aside time to give your cat some extra attention during and after the move. Your cat will likely sense your own stress, so try your best to be calm and nurturing during your interactions. You might also try out some of the calming aids available at sites like PETCO.com.
It’s helpful to confine your cat to a single room just after the move, and to make sure that the litter box, food and water are there, along with the usual bedding and familiar playthings. This will help to make the new digs seem less foreign and frightening. If it’s practical, your own bedroom is a good choice since that way you will be near your cat overnight, again helping to calm any fears, particularly fears of abandonment.
If you have more than one cat, you may find that they will find comfort in each other’s company during the move. Even cats who were aloof or intolerant of each other in the past, may become fast friends by sharing a confusing and difficult experience such as moving.
Over the long run, most cats adjust well to their new quarters and once again become masters of all they survey. You can help your pet to adjust more quickly and successfully by observing these simple suggestions, by showing a little patience and a lot of love.
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