Moving house is a stressful enough time when there’s only the family involved, but once pets get thrown into the mix, it’s a whole other kettle of fish, so to speak. It can be a really stressful time for both cats and dogs – they’re usually creatures of habit who find comfort in routine and the same surroundings. Moving house with pets is all about keeping it as stress-free as possible for them, and helping them to settle into their new home without too much stress.
Keep them calm in transit
Moving them from A to B, old house to new, can be really tricky, especially for cats. Many dogs are used to being in a moving vehicle – some even love it. Cats, on the other hand, are usually prone to motion sickness, and can get distraught when in transit for long periods. On the day of the move, keeping them in a contained room will stop them from escaping – they’re curiously perceptive, and when they realize something’s up they may try to make a run for it.
The internet is full of great tips for traveling with pets, so be sure to get some professional opinions before the big day. If you’re worried about the stress it may put your cat under, some people find it easier to book their cat into a cattery for a couple of days to avoid them getting caught up in the moving of items, and keep them from getting under everyone’s feet.
Help your pet settle in
Once you’re in your new home, it’s going to take a while for both cats and dogs to settle in. They need to get used to the layout of the home, the new smells and sounds, and the area around. For dogs, it’s crucial to keep them on a lead for at least the first few days whenever you’re outside the house. With cats, keeping them inside for the first few days will help them to get used to their new home. The more timid the cat, the longer it will take to get used to it – bolder animals tend to be keener to explore their new surroundings.
Stop them from returning to their old home
Both cats and dogs have a homing instinct, so if they manage to escape their new home, they may try to return to their old home. This can cause them to get lost en route, or worse, so it’s important to try to ensure they know this is their new home.
With cats, try to keep them indoors for at least a week, although up to a month is preferable. Make sure you give them lots of attention and treats to strengthen the bond between you, so they know that this is their home. Once you let them outside, putting a toy or their bedding outside the door can act as a scent marker when they’re trying to find their way back.
With dogs, establishing your bond with playtime and treats will reassure them that this is their new home, and they won’t be so tempted to try to return to their old home.
Moving house with pets can be stressful for owner and pets, but following these bits of advice should make it easier on all of you.