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My cats and I are moving to a new apartment, and I am considering the impact of such a dramatic change in environment on my pets.

From common sense, I've come up with these few points:

  • Get the cats used to their transport container (carrier/box/cage/etc.) This way, they are not reluctant to enter it, and feel comfortable/comforted inside.
  • Have their litter box, food, and water ready for their arrival at the destination.

Are there other steps I can take to minimize stress for the animals (and owner!) throughout the moving process?

  • 1
    Not sure if it's relevant, but the new apartment is considerably bigger. – Lix Oct 10 '13 at 20:29
  • I think that is relevant – user6796 Oct 11 '13 at 8:15
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Treat this as a specialized case of introducing a new cat to a household: initial isolation plus gradual expansion should allow for a gentle introduction.

When I moved my three adult cats some years ago, I didn't do this and boy did I regret it. I figured if I just opened the carriers in the basement in front of the litter boxes, with their food and water nearby, all would be fine. Two cats found places to hide for more than a day and acted skittish for several more days.

Last year, I adopted two cats into a cat-less household, and followed the shelter's advice: put each cat in a separate room and only gradually open up more of the house to them (along with gradually introducing them to each other). While one cat took to hiding for hours at a time once given full run of the house, it wasn't nearly as bad as my moving experience.

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  • 1
    The two also reacted differently for me. One hid for the first few hours very close to where I opened the carrier and the other was bolting around exploring within 10 seconds.(I'm after the move already) :) – Lix Oct 10 '13 at 20:44
  • When I moved with cats, I always found the most remote room and closet in the house as far from the open doors and bustle and set up the cats there - with food, water, litter box and a safe hiding spot. Then I avoided going in there as much as possible until everything was quieter. You can add furniture to that room later. I didn't bother with separation since these cats already knew each other. – Oldcat May 20 '15 at 21:33
  • Right -- for cats who already know each other I wouldn't separate, just initially restrict. – Monica Cellio Feb 2 '16 at 19:49

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