Content supplied by PETPLAN

Moving into a new home is an exciting time for the whole family — including your pet.

But this can also be a time of confusion for your furry family member, so it’s important to ease the transition when introducing your cat or dog to their new home.

Cats  

Most cats are not fond of change. Making the transition as stress-free as possible for your feline family member has many benefits, including reducing the risk of fear and hiding, excessive meowing and escape attempts.

Preparation:

Leave your cat’s carrier out with the door open and a comfy bed inside before the move. Occasionally place a couple cat treats in it so your feline friend can find them on their own. This will help your cat become familiar with the carrier.

The move:

To prevent your kitty from getting nervous around movers, close him/her in a bathroom with food, water and a comfortable place to rest. Keep the door shut until the movers leave.

On the day of the move, feed your cat a small breakfast to reduce the chance of an upset stomach. Do not open your cat’s carrier until you’re in a secure area where your cat can’t run away.

Your pet should also have proper pet insurance set up to cover them throughout the move. Petplan pet insurance covers your pet against unexpected vet bills, whether they’re a result of accidental, hereditary or behavioural conditions.

Settling into the new home:

Before allowing your cat to explore their new environment, there are a few precautionary steps you should follow:

Cat-proof the house – secure doors and windows, remove poisonous houseplants and tuck away electrical cords.

A quiet room – before opening the carrier, take your cat to a quiet room and set up food, water and a litter box. Cats may spray to put their scent around a new home, so place your cat’s bedding (unwashed) in the quiet room, which will help keep anxiety down as the bedding will have the cat’s scent. Also placing Feliway (comforting spray) diffusers around the new home may help. Keep your cat in the quiet room until all the unpacking is done.

Home base – for a few days, keep your cat inside. This will gradually allow him to become familiar with sights, sounds and smells without feeling overwhelmed.

Quality time – spend time in your new home with your cat, and let him/ her explore.

Dogs

While most dogs generally cope better than the average cat when settling into a new home, they still require special care and handling. This is especially true if you’re moving from a larger premises to a smaller home, as exercise can be critical to a dog’s contentment.

Preparation:

Dogs can pick up on your emotions, so be sure that you are giving off happy and calming vibes. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the move, your canine companion will pick up on this and may start to feel the same way.

The move:

Dogs are usually good in the car and don’t mind travelling in the backseat. If you’re travelling a long distance, it’s a good idea to have a few pit stops so that your dog can stretch his/her legs and snack on a treat.

Settling into the new home:

There are a few things you can do to help your dog settle quickly in their new home:

Routine – try to maintain the same general routine as before, this includes feeding times and going for walks. Once settled, it will be easier to make changes.

Don’t throw away the old – while you may want to get rid of old dog beds or water bowls, these things are comforting to your dog. Once your dog is fully settled in their new home, then start replacing old beds and bowls.

Attention spending quality time with your dog every day will help him/her settle much easier.

Being patient and letting your cat or dog adjust at their own speed is important. Some pets will be perfectly comfortable within a few days, where others may take a few weeks.

No matter how long it takes your furry family member to adjust, your patience and support will go a long way.

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