Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cats On The Move

While we're all a bit stressed out about this move, I can't help but worry about our three feline companions. Everything I've read tells me that moving is highly stressful for cats especially. Dogs do a much better job at getting used to their new surroundings. But we have cats and we better start looking forward to that extra challenge.

There are so many websites and articles devoted to moving with your cat and getting him acclimated to his new environment. One website tells me not to pack in front of the cats. A former neighbor of ours used to travel a lot. Whenever she brought out her suitcase, one of her cats barfed on it. Now that's a statement. Another article says that seeing the rooms in their familiar house empty can make cats feel unstable. We've emptied out rooms before to clean carpets and the cats seemed to think it was great fun! What an adventure!

I already know that our three - Cosmo, Ozzy and Moxie - are going to hate the travel part. Luckily we'll only have to drive for an hour or so to get to the new house, but none of them have ever ridden this long in a car. Well, that I know of. And they all HATE riding in cars, although to varying degrees.

Cosmo: REALLY, REALLY hates cars.
Ozzy: REALLY hates cars.
Moxie: Kind of doesn't like riding in cars.

We've decided that we are going to divide the cats up and take one each. I'll take Moxie!! Oh yeah, one website tells us not to put your cat in the back of the moving van. What? Someone would do that? Another says to play classical music when you're transporting the kitties. Hmmmm. Yet another advises us cat movers to ignore their howling while in the car. Uh huh.

One of my favorite pieces of advice is to communicate with your cat on a regular basis and include him in your plans. Also you're supposed to "send your cat thought pictures of your new home". This was a gem. But I might do it.

My biggest concern is getting our three kitty friends used to our new home. From what I've read, this can be extremely tricky. Many of the articles I've read offer very good advice about confining the cats to one room in the new house where they can just chill out. This will be their room for a while so it needs to have everything in it to make them comfy, like their litter box, food, blankets and toys. OK, we can do that. Then after a few days you can start to keep the door open. There are also products that can help to calm your cat. One is an actual plug-in thing that you put in their room. Who knew?

The thing that scares me the most is that this acclimation period can take up to six weeks!

I'll keep you posted.

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