A move is a big upheaval for the cat, which is a territorial animal. It is therefore necessary to find solutions upstream so as not to stress it excessively before departure, to spare it on D-Day and to facilitate its adaptation to the new housing. Faced with this change of environment, source of potential anxiety, there are some tips to soften the situation.
Prepare the move
Cartons can be intriguing to the cat, just as they can be disturbing; if your cat is agitated at their sight, give him the opportunity to take refuge in another room, without confining himself to it. After a moment, driven by curiosity, he may sniff himself up and rub himself.
Encourage him in a reassuring voice and give him something to play. If, on the contrary, he tends to hide himself in the boxes, do not make him run away but take the initiative to fill several at the same time, leaving him to explore, have fun and sleep as he pleases in the one that he please. The scary context of filling boxes then becomes a game for him, in your company moreover!
On the occasion of a move, it is also normal to clean your belongings and furniture; however, it is advisable not to touch certain items, such as the favorite chair, cushions or blankets of your cat. Even if it is tempting to do a great cleaning, leaving a known smell in these places will reduce stress and serve as an olfactory marker in the new home.
You can also spray them with a spray of cat pheromones. Lastly, the day before the departure, install Minou in a room apart and already empty where will not enter the movers; add litter, toys, lunch box and bedding with its scent.
Anticipate the change of place
It may be beneficial to take the cat to see his future home, even if it will not take its marks all at once. Secure new areas of potential "danger" if he was not used to it before: balcony, terrace, garden...
This step is optional and may not be suitable for all cats, some of which may be more distressing. In any case, imagine your animal in its new environment is important, to ban beforehand any source of danger and thus anticipate the problems of running away, disappearing in inaccessible places, etc.
Block improbable closets and hiding places and install wire mesh on outside accesses. If you are settling into a smaller dwelling than the old one, it is imperative to consider buying a cat tree or suspended gaming platform. Lastly, do not let your excitement show through so as not to frighten him, it would be a sign for him that something unusual is being prepared!
How to proceed on the day
On the morning of the move, tell the professionals the presence of your cat in "his" room and ask them not to enter. You can plug a soothing pheromone diffuser inside. Leave the cat there until the last moment, while checking from time to time how he is doing. It's really important not to let him walk around the apartment while the furniture and cartons are being taken away, as this would be stressful for him and he could escape during the round trip. Once the housing is completely emptied, put it in his carrying bag and take it to his new home, where you will also have prepared an isolated room with all his belongings.
By isolating your cat before and after, you will reduce his stress considerably. It's only after the furniture is finally set and the movers gone that you let it explore in its new environment, but do not let it go right away. Indeed, disturbed by the change, he runs away in search of his former territory. After the first night, gradually install his business (litter, cat tree...) in the rest of the housing.
In the weeks following your installation, it is better to spare your cat by avoiding too many visits and avoiding immediately organizing a big rack! It is best not to let him out for a recommended period of about 3 weeks. To facilitate its adaptation, you can use natural tranquilizers such as Feliway (pheromone spray) or Pet Rescue (Bach flowers for animals) the first month.Give access gradually to the other rooms of the house, then to the garden if you have one. Secure the perimeter completely and make sure your animal is identified (very important).
As a first step, you can accompany him outside to monitor him, and preferably hold him in harness and leash while he explores the surroundings. In case of uncleanliness, do not punish him especially under penalty of increasing his stress; clean the soiled area with diluted white vinegar to prevent recurrence, and take it to bed after each accident or at regular intervals if it appears excessively disturbed. Praise him when he relieves himself in his chest, and be patient.
If you notice signs of extreme nervousness or loss of appetite, consult your veterinarian who will advise you to overcome anxiety or depressive disorders. Spend time playing with your boyfriend, offer new toys regularly to distract him and offer small treats and cuddles as soon as he is calm.