So you’ve found the perfect pet-friendly place and now it is time to actually make the move. Just a few months ago, I was in the same situation. My cat, Wilson, has seen it all when it comes to moving. I found him in college and since then he’s lived with me in 5 apartments and 3 houses spanning 4 cities in 3 states. We both get better with each move but all the same stresses are still there. This post shares some of my personal tips along with some general tips for helping your pets on moving day.
1. Seclude Them in a Secure Spot
Find a spot where you can keep your pets in a closed off room or crate while the moving is going on. Give them all the essentials they need (food, water, litter) and some comfort items (pet bed, blankets, toys) to keep them as relaxed as possible.
Secluding your pet prevents the possibility of them running away or becoming aggressive with movers. On a personal note, I did not seclude Wilson at our house because I knew he would not run away or become aggressive.
2. Reassure Them
Don’t just leave them in isolation all day. Check on them throughout the day. Take them for a walk. Give them lots of love and attention. A move is stressful on us as humans but at least we know what is going on. Imagine not understanding why a group of strangers is in your home taking all of your things.
During our move, I found Wilson cowering behind one of the few remaining pieces of furniture in our bedroom. I spent a good 5-10 minutes with him just giving him some love and reassuring him. That calmed him down to the point that he followed me downstairs and jumped up on the dining room table to show his passive-aggressive dominance to the movers.
3. Be Prepared for Travel
Whether it is a short move across town or a long move across an ocean, you need to have your travel plan in place. For our short move, it was putting Wilson in his travel carrier and putting him in the car that was going to beat the moving truck to our new house. We wanted him to arrive at the new house before the chaos had started so that we could seclude him at the new place.
If your move involves plane travel, make sure you have the proper air travel crate for your animal and all documentation in order with the airlines before takeoff.
4. Acquaint Them
For us, this was the easiest part. Once things have settled down and any movers have gone, it is time to get your pet acquainted to your new place and the surrounding area. Let them explore your new house. Take your dogs for a walk around the new neighborhood. If you have outdoor cats, go outside with them for the first few times.
Wilson was happy to leave the small bathroom after hours of confinement (with regular visits from us, of course). He meticulously smelled everything in the house. After a while of exploring, he settled right in. The next day he was worn out and exhausted and passed out in an empty box.