Moving house can be a hectic time in your life, but don’t forget the change can cause your pet to feel uneasy too and they easily get forgotten in all the chaos. There are things you can do to help; check out our tips below to help your move go smoothly.
Building up to the move
On the day of the move
The next few weeks
1. Maintain Zylkene
Keep using Zylkene calming supplements until you are completely convinced your pet is comfortable in their new home. For some this may be days, for others it could take months.
2. Keep cats confined for at least two weeks
This allows them to bond with the new environment. Whilst they are indoors, ensure they have access to fresh water and make sure you play with them as much as possible to keep them active and minimise frustration.
3. Establish a routine
It’s important to establish a routine quickly (with both dogs and cats) in order to ensure they feel secure. Make sure feeding, walks, playtimes etc. are at regular times.
4. Make the new house smell familiar
Have as many familiar objects around as possible. For cats, take a clean cloth and rub the side of their face to scent it with their pheromone. Then rub the cloth at cat height in each room. Do this daily to build up a nice familiar smell.
5. Go outside with them
Choose a quiet time to let your cat out for the first time and go outside with them. Let them explore a little then call them back for food. Repeat this process a few times over a few days but let the exploration time be a little longer each time.
6. Stay on the lead
With dogs, keep them on the lead for the first few walks until the new surroundings are familiar and you’re happy the environment is secure enough to let them off, providing it is safe to do so. Practice recall on the lead a few times to be sure they’re concentrating on you.
7. Dedicate time
Ensure you have plenty of time to dedicate to your cat or dog, don’t be distracted during the process!
8. Enclosed spaces
Enclosed spaces – make sure there are enclosed spaces the first time they go out, and cats would prefer plenty of ‘cover’ or hiding places, as they don’t like open spaces.
9. Stop them going back to the old place
If you haven’t moved far it may be tempting for your pet to return to their old home. This is likely to be more of a problem with cats as they are free roaming. If this happens, it means they haven’t bonded well enough with their new home and you may need to keep them in for a little longer. You could also try doing more to create familiar smells as described. It may be wise to ask the residents in your old house NOT to feed or engage with the pet if they show up and give them your phone number. This means you can go and collect them if necessary.
10. Feed small and frequent meals
Small meals ensure that the new house is regularly associated with positive events.