Q: Since we started packing boxes in anticipation of moving in two months, our cats have been hiding. How can we alleviate their obvious stress throughout the move?
A: Here are some ways you can reduce their anxiety during the transition:
Start by setting out empty boxes for your cats to explore. When my family moved, our cats enjoyed inspecting open boxes, drawers and cabinets.
Plug a few Feliway diffusers into the electrical outlets where you’re packing. Feliway is a feline pheromone that promotes relaxation and a sense of security in cats.
Accustom your cats to their carriers by putting fluffy towels and treats inside and leaving the doors open so they can nap there.
Visit your veterinarian to update vaccinations and get copies of your cats’ records. Note: If you’re driving from one state to another or flying, each cat also will need a health certificate.
Ask your vet to scan your cats’ microchips to be sure they’re working properly. Then contact your microchip company to update the registry with your new address.
Outfit each cat with a collar and tag that includes your cell phone number.
On the day of the move, board your cats or close them into a bathroom to reduce stress and prevent them from escaping from your home and dashing onto the moving truck to hide.
Best wishes on your new adventure!
Editor’s Note: Moving is a stressful activity for humans and adding pets to the mix only increases anxieties. These additional tips can help you prepare your pet for an upcoming move.
Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.