Divorce and separation means at least one owner will be moving, but often both parties will end up relocating. Moving can be a very stressful experience for cats and dogs. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure a smoother transition for your pets.
Prepare Your Pet In Advance
Make sure they are familiar with however they are going to travel. Try leaving the carrier out with the door open for your cat to explore weeks prior to the move. You can make it more enticing by putting the cat’s favorite treats and toys inside. Adding a familiar scent helps the crate become a safe space. This will reduce its stress on moving day.
Help Curious Cats Settle In
While dogs tend to be more go-with-the-flow, cats aren’t usually big fans of change. It can take some time for felines to become comfortable with their new surroundings. Ensure doors and windows are closed as they may try to escape to find their old homes. Cats may also “disappear” for a few days into a dark hiding place like a closest to calm their nerves. Establish your normal routine, and they’ll pick up on your mood and behaviors, becoming more relaxed over time.
Another tip is to start by dedicating a room to them with all their things, so they become used to the new home one room at a time before spreading their “scent soakers” like used bedding and scratching posts across the house to make it feel more familiar. Finally, place their litter box in a permanent location to avoid confusion.
Many people swear by products like Feliway, a synthetic version of the facial pheromone produced by a cat to mark its territory as safe. You can also use it in the cat’s carrier prior to a move which can calm them during transit to the new house. Similarly, natural remedies such as Bach Rescue Remedy may help calm your cat, particularly for the first few hours in a new home. Speak with your vet about natural solutions before you try herbs or natural tinctures.
Let Dogs Sniff-Out Their Space
Allow dogs to use their natural instincts to smell and explore by walking them on a leash for their first tour around the house. The sooner they get used to the scents of their new environment, the sooner they’ll feel at home. Try to maintain a regular routine and spend extra time with them at home to help them feel secure. It’s best to avoid leaving your pup outside unattended in the beginning; a new environment may bring out new skills you didn’t know your dog had like jumping over or digging under fences as an attempt to return to familiar ground.
Create A Safe Space for Your Pet
Remember, animals use all of their senses so take as many things that are familiar to them as you can – don’t buy that new pet bed quite yet! Arrange beds, crates and toys as close to your old setup as you can. Stick to their previous feeding and walking schedules. And don’t forget to make things fun! Hide some Kongs in corners and scatter a few treats where they weren’t expecting – No place is as wonderful as the one that comes with surprise goodies!