We’ve written articles on how to travel with your cat and how to help your cats not fear car rides, but this short blog will be about how to help your kitty get used to a new home once you’ve made the move.
When moving long distance, the traveling part is typically the most stressful. However, your cat is now going to be introduced into a new environment – full of unfamiliar smells, sights, and sounds. It’s important that we don’t just throw them inside this new space and expect them to just enjoy exploring.
Here are our top tips on helping cats get used to a new home.
- Create a sanctuary place for them in the home. A guest room is ideal for this. Our cats need a little time to get used to the scent and feel of the new home first. This also helps to ensure that your kitties don’t escape or get too stressed while you’re moving in other items. All of these things at once can be very overwhelming for cats.
- Put familiar items in that sanctuary that smell like them. Favorite blankets, cat trees and toys will make them feel more comfortable. Also, be sure to put their food, water and litter tray in the room so they have all of their resources. This, too, will increase comfort level.
- Scent swap. Once they start to feel comfortable in their sanctuary, take some of those items that contain their scent (blankets, toys, etc.) and begin scent swapping their smells around the home. Rub their blankets all around the new house, furniture, cabinets about 12 inches off the ground – or nose high. This marks the rest of the home with their scent, which brings them comfort.
- Play with them more than usual. Playtime is underestimated by most cat parents. Getting your cat active in playtime is proven to reduce stress and build confidence levels. This will also help the transition greatly.
- Let them explore. Timing will vary depending on your cat, but once your cat is ready… it’s time for them to explore. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they explore their new territory. Make sure they don’t have access to anything dangerous – and leave their sanctuary area open to them until they are completely settled in.
Congratulations on the move! We know moving can be stressful for everyone involved – but these step will help in a smooth transition!