For many people, cats are an extension of the family. Regardless of whether you view your cat as an annoying roommate who screams at you for food or as your adorable furry baby, you don’t want your cat to be overly stressed out when you decide to move homes. Local moves within Vancouver and the Lower Mainland tend to be easier on cats than longer ones that will require them to be in their carrier for an extended period of time, but nevertheless there will be some stress on your cats and, by extension, on you. We at BBX Moving have come up with some top tips for moving house with a cat to help make your move as smooth as possible.
1. Try Not to Stress
You may not think that your own stress would factor into moving with your cats, but it does. Cats can sense when their owners are stressed and will act out as a result. This is counterproductive to your stress levels as it is, but if you’re renting, it’s also a concern for your damage deposit. Be cognizant of your stress levels during the move, prepare everything ahead of time to ease it, and keep your cats’ routines unchanged as much as possible.
2. Rent Plastic Moving Boxes
You may think this is a shameless plug for our BBX Moving Boxes, but we mean it! Cats love boxes, and cardboard is a feline favourite for chewing, clawing, and compromising the structural integrity of said box in general. If you don’t want your carefully packed belongings to come crashing out of their box into the street during your move, ditch the cardboard for something solid like reusable plastic moving boxes. Plus, they’re tons of fun for your cats to play in while you’re packing. Just check the boxes for your cat before you close them up.
3. Have a Designated Room Set Aside
If you’ve already got access to your new place and can head over early, set up a designated room for your cats to stay in during the move. Be sure to have all of their toys and some food in there for them (if you feed them at specific times, set alarms so you don’t forget). Keep all of their familiar items in the room with them and mark the door so your movers know not to open it. It may even help to have some personal items with your scent on them so your cats know that you haven’t abandoned them.
4. Let Them Explore on Their Own Terms
Your cats may choose to hide in the designated room at your new place for a few hours, possibly even a day, after your move is complete. Let them come out and explore the new place on their own terms. Some cats may prefer to explore every room while others may hide under the couch. Provide them with treats and pets to assure them it is okay but otherwise leave them be. They’ll adjust faster if you don’t force too much on them right away.
5. Keep Your Furniture and Hard to Clean Fabrics Covered
Some cats don’t react well to moving and may be afraid. In their fear and desire to establish their territory, it’s not uncommon for cats to mark your couch, your mattress, or other items they see as “theirs” with urine. This is normal behaviour and there’s no point getting mad at your cat. It’s best to keep your furniture covered or, if possible, keep your cat out of your bedroom for the first 24 hours in your new place to avoid accidents.
Bonus! Make Things Fun for Your Cats
Our bonus tip is focused on keeping things fun for your cats so they know that the new place is a good place to be. If you have the budget, consider getting your cats a new toy. Give out extra treats if they aren’t on a diet. Remember those reusable plastic boxes we recommended in Tip 2? Once you’ve emptied them, stack them up high and close the top box. Cats like to be on the highest piece of furniture in the room. Let them climb up onto the top of the BBX Moving Boxes to survey their new kingdom. They’ll be able to observe you and see all corners of the new space from a safe location.
Make Your Move with BBX Moving
Ready to get started? Contact us to discuss your move, how many boxes you’ll need, and any other moving details and questions you’ll have. We’ll help ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible for both yourself and your cats. Moving house when you have cats with you doesn’t have to be stressful. Let BBX Moving show you how.