Moving is always a lot of work, especially if your new home is far away. If you have pets the moving process can be even more stressful for you and it's not easy for your pets either. This is a guide to moving with pets.
I had new dog tags made for all my dogs with our cell phone numbers and also my mother-in-law's phone number. I also contacted the microchip company where all our dogs and cats were registered and updated their files with our new address before the actual drive.
At the time, we had 4 dogs and 2 cats. One of our dogs did not travel well and was known to throw up within 10 minutes of being in the car. I worked with her a little each day, getting her in and out of the car and some afternoons just sitting in the driveway with her. On moving day, I gave her Benadryl and for the most part she slept.
Once we reached our new home, the first thing I did was put our cats in one room with their litter box, dishes, food, water, toys, and beds. This way while we were moving in, there was no way for them to escape through open doors. I also put a sign on the door that stated that the door to this one room was not to be opened except by me.
All our furry children survived the move and adjusted well to their new surroundings.
By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL
I am moving from the Oregon coast to the Jersey Shore. I have two elderly cats (18 years old) that don't like the car. I moved them 10 years ago, and had non stop meowing for a thousand miles. One of the cats never regained her voice. Is there a way to make this less stressful, or is there a way to ship them? I don't want to drug them for a week.
Have you tried covering the crates when you travel with them? I have a special vinyl crate cover that keeps out the wind and rain. But it also keeps the cat very calm and really reduces stress. I think he feels like he is in a dark (safe) cave. I saw this cover demonstrated by a group that traps and rehomes feral cats. They said it works like a charm and it has.
I also moved cross country with an older cat which was very traumatic for her. I now use a "cat bag" and have given the crate away. My cats (3) love them. It keeps them safe and they all feel very safe in them. Plus I can pet them as I drive and feed them treats from my hands which soothes them. You can find them on Ebay along with the cat carriers or I believe you can google them and go straight to the website to see them. They also have videos of them on UTube. Good luck.
Hi Lisa, Here is some feedback we got on Facebook, I hope it helps:
Ellen- Put them in a carrier with food and water or let them sleep in the back seat if they'll do it.
August 20 at 12:00am · Like
Susie - Pay a visit to your Vet. Ask him/her for advice & if the cats are healthy enough to be medicated with something to keep them calm.
August 20 at 12:20am · Like
Shirley - I was going to say the same thing as Susie
August 20 at 12:57am · Like
Elaine - be very careful with sedation at that age,,make them comfortable in a very large carrier and cover the carrier over. The darkness might help to calm them. Don't let them loose in the car. As when you stop and open the car door they could escape and you'll probably never get the back. This happens a lot when people don't keep their animals in a carrier while traveling.
There are a few pheromone sprays available at pet stores that when sprayed into the carrier, help calm and relax kitty. The pheromone is the scent that mama cats have during nursing.
Also, my experience has been to do with more of a "last out, last in" practice. This means getting a few things from the old home in place at the new home first. Have a secure place for kitty to "hole up" in. As you drive to your new home, have kitty with you, so she knows she's part of the plan. Then when you get to the new house, tuck the carrier between some boxes so that she feels safe. Have food, water and "facilities" in place and ready. Then open the carrier. If kitty normally sleeps with you, try and have the bed made and ready for a good snuggle.
Some cats will be ready to walk out and explore, some will take a few days to feel safe. Let them decide. Just keep talking to them, but let them take the first step. The secret is to let them think that this was all their decision!
By Maile from Onalaska, WA