Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: November 1, 2022 by Crystal Uys
This post is sponsored by Sleepypod
Moving is stressful for humans, and it’s even more stressful for cats. Cats are creatures of habit who hate having their routine disrupte, but there are things you can do to make the entire process less taxing for both cat and human.
This is the first post in a three-part series about moving with cats. Part two will address how to make the actual moving day as smooth as possible, and in part three we’ll provide tips to help cats settle into their new home.
Get your cat used to the carrier
Getting your cat used to the carrier is important in general, but never more so than when you’re getting ready to move.
Leave the carrier out where your cat can see it, in parts of your home where you and your cat spend time together. Ideally, the carrier will become your cat’s safe space or favorite napping spot. The Sleepypod Mobile Pet bed is ideal because it doubles as a comfortable bed. It’s also aesthetically pleasing, which makes it more likely for cat parents to leave it out in plain view.
If your move involves a lengthy drive or if you’re flying with your cat, start taking your cat on increasingly longer rides in the car so he can get used to it. “Assume you’ll have to move at some point or that you may travel with your cat and get them used to visiting nearby places,” said Lynn Lendway. She moved her cat from downtown to uptown New York City, but “Max traveled with me everywhere so he was already used to trains, buses, planes, and cars – and other homes and hotels.”
Plan, plan and plan some more
Make a detailed plan for your move and go over it again and again. “Make a to do list and a list of supplies,” suggested Gina Yunza, who moved her cat from Los Angeles, CA to Virginia. “Know how the day or days are going to flow, have supplies on hand and accessible, and know what you are going to do when you arrive at your new place,” said Mary Stanley, who moved from St. Petersburg, FL to Ashville, NC.
Put moving boxes out several days, or even weeks, before you actually start packing so you cat can explore the boxes, and get used to their presence. Most cats consider boxes fun toys, and allowing them to become familiar with the boxes can create a pleasant association. Once you actually start packing, watch your cat closely. If she seems to become agitated or nervous watching you pack away familiar things in her environment, you may want to confine her to a quiet room away from all the action.
Consider anti-anxiety products or medication
If your cat is easily stressed in general, this is the time to think about using natural anti-anxiety products or anti-anxiety medications. Products such as Stress Stopper or Rescue Remedy, which are made out of flower essences, work well for most cats. Feline pheromone plugins and sprays can also help calm your cats.
Gabapentin, a drug commonly used to treat chronic pain and epilepsy, can make a significant difference in how a cat experiences a stressful event. It has few side effects, and any that do occur are transient. Andrea Tasi, VMD, a holistic veterinarian and owner of Just Cats Naturally, has used Gabapentin successfully for her clients for several years. “If I can minimize stress for my patients with a safe medication with few side effects, that’s good for the cat, and the cat’s guardian.”,” says Dr. Tasi. Chris Roy, who moved her two cats from Virginia to Massachusetts, is profoundly grateful to Dr. Tasi for prescribing Gabapentin for her cats. “It was essential and effective for us,” she said.
About Sleepypod’s Carriers
Sleepypoid’s multifunctional carriers are ideal carriers for moving. They can be used as cozy napping spots at home, and easily convert to safe car seats or airline carriers.
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is so much more than just a carrier. It’s a luxury bed, lined with ultraplush foam. The domed cover unzips easily, so you can adapt it to your cat’s sleeping preference even while using it inside your home. Some cats may prefer the top removed, others may like the security of the cover.
When used as a carrier, the Sleepypod not only lets your cat travel in comfort, it’s also the safest cat carrier on the market. Velcro positioning points that secure a seat belt in place turn the Sleepypod into a safe car seat. The Pet Passenger Restraint System (PPRS) is a safety system designed by Sleepypod to secure a pet in a vehicle and restrict harmful movement resulting from a sudden vehicle stop or frontal collision. Sleepypod puts all their carriers through stringent safety tests at the same standards set for child safety restraints.
If you’ve ever had to research traveling by plane with your cat, you have most likely run into confusing size restrictions, depending on which airline you check with. The Sleepypod Air’s innovative design addresses this issue by providing size versatility through flexibility. The unique design allows the carrier to contract to fit under the seat during takeoff and landing. Once the plane is in the air, the carrier can easily be expanded so that your cat can have the largest possible space underneath the seat.
Coming soon: Moving with Cats, Part Two: Moving Day
For more information about Sleepypod and all of their products, please visit Sleepypod.com.
*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.