Meowy Monday – The Angst of Moving With a Cat

As if it isn’t stressful enough to move, throw one or more cats into the mix and you’ve created the potential for an episode of off-the-charts anxiety. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What’s the solution? Trade your anxiety-ridden cat in for one that’s more mellow? No. You don’t want to do that to your Buffy, Fluffy, or Jack. All it takes is careful thought and planning.

A neighbor recently moved cross country by herself with two cats and a dog in a small sedan and all went well. There were a couple of near mishaps when Annie (cat) thought she might like to tour Arizona on her way to St. Louis, but her cat-mom had done her due diligence. She had considered all of the potential problems (probably while lying awake at night worrying about the trip and how to keep the cats safe), and she squelched Annie’s wanderlust before a CATastrophe occurred.

I consulted with experts and they all agree that it takes planning, preparation, and kind of a lot of courage to travel with cats that are not accustomed to car rides and who don’t particularly like change. This describes most cats, right?

So if you’re contemplating a move, click on the links below to get some ideas about what you’re in for and how to help your cat adjust. Here’s a tip: you know your cat and you can probably anticipate her reaction to the move—watching the home she’s familiar with transitioning into a shell she no longer recognizes and feel safe in. Then there’s the long (or short) drive to the new place. My neighbor had many stops along the way and had to carefully devise a way to get two cats from the car into the hotel room safely each night and back into the car the next morning.

Then there’s the arrival at the new place where, to a cat, everything is different which means everything is frightening. This might require different strategies in order to calm a cat and help him feel secure once again.

As you’ll see in the two links I’ve offered below, changing location (or changing anything in a cat’s world safely and painlessly) is a process and it’s worth your while to help your cat work through his angst during a move. Happy relocation.

We’ve all seen pictures and read stories of what’s happening in Ukraine and many of us are touched by stories of the people trying to stay connected to their pets–moving with their cats and dogs and people helping the animals left behind. Here’s a link I found to charities helping the animals in Ukraine. Please check out any charity before donating!

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2 Responses to Meowy Monday – The Angst of Moving With a Cat

  1. Wendy Cook says:

    We just experienced this with our 3 cats. We moved from New Jersey to a new house in South Carolina. We first moved to a pet friendly hotel in NJ for 3 weeks and then to a pet friendly hotel in SC for 3 weeks before the final move to the house. I did find out that pet friendly more than often refers to dogs and not cats. I also found out that there is usually a limit to the number of pets allowed. We were very fortunate to have found our rooms. We put all 3 cats in a large dog crate. They were so good on the 10-hour drive. I am happy to say they are already very comfortable in our new home!

    • Patricia says:

      What a challenge traveling for such an extended time with 3 cats. So glad it went well. My friend also purchased a large crate for her two cats so they could be together, then she’d transfer them from the car to the hotel each night one at a time using a small carrier she could handle. It was quite a process, but all went well with a few near misses.

      Happy house warming–cats are good house warmers.


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