Moving Trauma: How to Make It Easier on Your Cat

July 28, 2019
Are you concerned your cat will experience moving trauma? Today we'll tell you what you can do if a pet doesn't do well during or after there's a change in their environment.

Cats are animals who like routine and they’re given to stress and anxiety when something upsets them. What’s more, they could even become aggressive in some extreme situations. For example, they’re likely to get really nervous when there are changes in their environment. It’s a huge disruption from their point of view. So, today we’d like to tell you how to minimize moving trauma.

Moving is a very dangerous change in a cat’s routine. At the very least it is from their perspective. This is because cats aren’t only creatures of habit, they’re also highly territorial animals. So them having to change their lifestyle from the place they know as home to an unknown one can be confusing for them.

Moving trauma shows itself in the form of symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and fear. The animal feels out of place, baffled and sometimes they may even become defensive and even aggressive.

Just like with people, cats can become seriously ill due to stress. For this reason, if the move is in your hands then try to make things easier for your animal and minimize their moving trauma. Here are a few tips to do so:

Minimize moving trauma by removing the cat from the action

A cat inside a box.

Due to the trauma that big changes can cause in your feline, we recommend that you keep them away from the moving action altogether. Watching how you and your things shift from one side to another makes your furball anxious and it leads to stress.

So, leave them with a friend or a family member who can look after them while you move. That way they won’t witness how their territory disintegrates. This will help them feel better about it and they’re more likely to accept a new territory. You’ll also feel better and won’t have to worry about them being crushed by a box if they hide inside the moving truck.

Make it their place from the beginning

Having space of our own is essential to feel welcome in a new home. A cat will also need a place where they can be away from all of the moving disturbances. One where they’ll feel safe. This is if you’re not able to place them under someone’s care, away from all the action

Likewise, once you’re all installed in your new house, the cat will need a place that’s only theirs and where they’re assured nobody will bother them. They’ll need their feeding and water utensils, litter boxes, and any toys and scratching posts to feel at home. It’s best if you allocate an empty room where there are no boxes or furniture that will move.

Take time to show your cat how safe the new place really is

A cat sitting next to a lady.

You must convince your cat that little has changed. Even if you are tired, as you most likely will be, we encourage you to take time to play with the animal. You should assure them that you are still with them and that you’ll still protect them.

Playing with your cat will help them alleviate any stress they may still feel as they wonder what’s going on. Give them some TLC and it’ll decrease the moving trauma.

Before taking your cat to their new home, make sure that every possible escape route is plugged. For example, close any doors and windows, especially those that you won’t be using much yet. Also, make sure there aren’t any gaps where they may end up trapped.

There are many things we tend to take for granted at times, but regardless of when your new house was built, you should really think about the kind of dangers it could pose. Not only for your cat but for anyone else who’ll be there.

Once you’re sure the place is safe, give your cat a tour of their new home.

Minimize moving trauma by encouraging the cat to explore

So, you’ve arrived at your new home, with your cat, and you’ve given them a tour. Now, let them loose so they can explore it at their own pace. Cats are highly curious and they’ll want to know everything about this new and unknown territory.

Prepare their own special spot in advance and show it to them first thing. It’s important that they know where to drink and eat and do their business upon arrival.

Most importantly, don’t force the situation, give them plenty of time and space.

This concludes the advice that will help make moving less traumatic for your cat. May you all enjoy your new home.