Whether for school, a job, or just because, it’s an endeavor. Between finding a spot, packing, and moving to the new location, there’s a lot to do – you’re uprooting your home over days of hard work! While moving around can disrupt your life, it can also affect your cat’s health and wellbeing. To answer your questions and allay your concerns during an already stressful time, POPSUGAR spoke to two vets about what you should know.
Will exercise affect my cat’s health and wellbeing?
Cheri Wilhelm, DVM, explained that cats are similar to many people in that they prefer stability. “When daily activities are predictable, life makes more sense,” she said. “Moving around usually brings with it a plethora of changes that happen all at once, and cats are unable to overcome the long-term pros and cons of temporary turbulence.” How long the effects last depends on the cat. “Some cats appear to have settled down within a week, while others may take several months to behave like they did before they moved,” said Dr. Wilhelm across from POPSUGAR.
Why does exercise affect my cat’s health and wellbeing?
Dr. Wilhelm noticed that anxiety can change cats’ wellbeing. “Fear during a move can arise for many reasons: To feel that the people in the family are more anxious and have less time for the cat, to find that feeding stations or favorite hiding places are being moved, to see that a removal team is in the house, etc. When cats are moved by either a car or a plane, it is also very stressful, “she said. She added that cats may have problems even after they move because they are in a whole new place. “There can be very different views looking out the windows of a new neighborhood, more traffic, more dogs, different cats, or wildlife. If the cat is used to spending time outdoors, these threats and uncertainties can be heightened . ” She said.
How can I move my cat more easily?
“Keep the cat’s routine as normal as possible. Take time to play and interact with her. Use familiar bedding in pet carriers when transporting your cat,” said Dr. Wilhelm. “Use a synthetic pheromone such as Feliway on bedding and toys during the moving process. This mimics calming natural calming pheromones. Some cats may need short-term prescription anti-anxiety medications to relieve anxiety or nausea while traveling or adjusting to their new surroundings. “
Dan Suggs, DVM, agrees, adding, “This is not the time to redecorate your cat’s accessories as well.” Some cats may need a mild sedative to get through the move. Dr. Says Suggs, “They need a constant dose of medication to begin with, then they may be able to stop or even increase the dosage if necessary until they are settled.”
How can I best support my cat if she has problems while moving?
Both Dr. Wilhelm and Dr. Suggs encouraged you to keep your cat (s) as stable and familiar as possible. “Don’t overload the pet by having lots of people or other pets around, especially if it turns out that your pet will take a while to adapt. If your cat is often hiding, entice or offer yummy treats a toy versus violent movement, “said Dr. Wilhelm. “Place litter boxes in easily accessible areas that are free of heavy foot traffic or noise to ensure even use in the new home. Keep them scooped daily. Cats generally feel safer when they are high up, so they can offer a high perch. From there they can explore their new territory and hopefully learn that this new normal is not so scary after all. “
When should I take my cat to the vet after moving?
According to Dr. Wilhelm, you shouldn’t wait long to take your cat to the vet if you notice any worrying behavior. “Your cat should see a veterinarian if he doesn’t eat, drink in a day, vomit for 24 hours, show signs of cystitis (often in / out of the litter box, strained or urinating in inappropriate places) or showing up within three days excessive fear (hiding for long periods of time) or aggression towards people or other pets in the house, “she said.