If you have to travel somewhere and need to take your beloved cat with you, or you are moving home, it can be a very stressful time for your pet. However, the good news is that there are some great tips to help make the process pass smoothly.
Going on a Trip
It may be that you need to take a trip and there’s no one to look after your cat and no suitable place for him or her to go. Therefore, you need to take them with you. No matter where you are travelling, the first step is to get the appropriate travel container.
For cars, a simple pet transport box will do a great job and it can be easily secured in the car with a seatbelt or on the floor behind the front seats where the contained cannot move. Remember to have stops for your cat as well as you and offer them the chance to use a litter tray, which they will probably decline, and take in food and water. Never leave them inside a hot car and make sure there is plenty of airflow during the journey.
If you watch the business travel news, you see people having to jet across the country for business meetings and work related trips and sometimes the cat just has to go with them. Always check out if there are any regulations covering your destination before you leave and make sure your cat has had a health check before leaving. Try to travel in the coolest parts of the day and get as direct a plane as possible to avoid having to change planes. Don’t feed your cat for 2-4 hours before the journey so they don’t get travel sickness.
Moving house is stressful for your cat because they are strongly associated with their environment. When moving day comes, isolate your cat to one room with their litter tray, having fed them in the morning. Leave the cat transport box in the room with them and put familiar toys or other items in it so that it smells familiar.
Once you have moved, follow a similar process at the new house. Keep them in one room with familiar items around, feed them and keep them there until all removal people have gone and things have settled down. Let them out of the room, making sure all windows and doors are secured so they can’t escape and allow them access to another room. Once they have their confidence of it, gradually open up other doors so they can explore but you can monitor their progress.
One way of making the rooms seem safe to them is to take a piece of cloth, rub it against their face and tab the scent around the new rooms. This means when they enter it, their scent is already there and will help them settle in.
If your cat goes outside, it is advisable to restrict them to the house for at least two weeks after the move. This lets them feel comfortable in the house before they take on further new environments in the outside world.