Pre-plan any house move to avoid stressing the cats

Moving house is a big deal -particularly when you’re relocating to another country, or from England back home to Scotland in my case. Packing and moving boxes / furniture is a chore but when you’re also moving your family of pets it becomes slightly more difficult.

Pets don’t take kindly to change and, unlike children, cannot ask what’s going on or be reassured by their parents that everything’s going to be ok and have the packing, and journey, turned into an adventure.

We recently relocated with our Furry Babies and, to avoid them having any panic attacks or peeing on the carpet rather than in litter tray hysterics, I planned their part in our move very carefully.

Firstly, we packed boxes around the house and left them all in one room – downstairs in our dining room – to avoid each room of our old place changing at once. This gave the cats some time to investigate the ever-growing pile of boxes without having any of their usual hide-away spots – under the bed, upstairs on the hallway and our bathroom – infiltrated by strange, new boxes and things that hadn’t usually been left there.

A few days before our move, we bought a plugin cat comforting pheromone and plugged it into our bedroom plug point. On the actual day of our move, we gave our cats breakfast and then popped them outside while we emptied our bedroom of everything that was being moved – then we moved the cat litter tray and cat food and water bowls upstairs into our bedroom and let the cats in and herded all four of them into our empty bedroom. By this time the cat calming lotion that had been plugged in in our bedroom was already coursing around the room so keeping the cats calm while we closed the door and left them to it.

Now the cats were out of our way so there was no fear of us tripping over them or them getting scared by the people in our house helping us to move. After all of the boxes and furniture had been packed and only then did we let the cats out to quickly scoop them up one at a time and pop them into their individual cat boxes for transportation.

An end note here – we did not put the cat boxes in the removal van with our boxes and furniture. Instead, two family members kindly drove down to Birmingham to help us relocate to the Scottish east coast and their sole purpose was to take two of our cats each. The two cats’ boxes were strapped in, using the seatbelts on the back seat to keep them secure. The back seat – not the boot, as one family member had suggested. Why not the boot, well so that the cats can see out of the window to keep them calm, as they like to look out of windows and probably wanted to know where the heck they were going. We also chose either side of the back seat rather than the middle to make it easier to get the cats’ boxes out if necessary.

Before the move, we had purchased four brand new cat boxes that had a slot at the front to put food and water into without opening the door. This was useful when we needed to stop and give the cats some food or water. The space also allowed some room to breathe, just in case they got sick en route. Yes, some cats do actually get car sick!

We all arrived safe and sound – and vomit free, thankfully – seven hours after we started out – so it was a successful move thanks to pre-planning and considering what was best for our Furry Babies!


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