Read these 21 Travel & Moving Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cat tips and hundreds of other topics.
Just like when he was a little kitten, you confined your cat to one small area and then gradually expanded his territory. Now that you've moved into a new place, the same rule applies for outside your home. You shouldn't allow your cat outside, unsupervised, for up to three weeks after you move. If you let your kitty outside, you should go with him, and bring him in when you go in. He is in a new territory that isn't marked with his scent; and he could easily get lost if the local cats chase him from your new home. Each day let your kitty stay out longer, and let him go farther from your door.
Drs. Foster and Smith recommend these products for the really nervous traveling cat: Rescue Remedy, Pet Calm or Serene-Um. Also, Feliway, which contains feline pheromones may help your cat feel more relaxed. Drs. Foster and Smith's catalog features all these products at www.DrsFosterSmith.com.
How often your sitter comes over is really up to you and your cat. Is your cat accustomed to being alone for long stretches time? Does he cling when you get home at the end of the day? Or does he greet you and then go back to what he was doing?
Depending on how independant your cat is, once a day may be enough; if not, then twice a day should be plenty. A daily visit is recommended, as opposed to every other day, because cats need that human interaction to let them know that they haven't been abandoned.
Cat Travel - It's time to travel to the vet to update shots, or for altering, or -oh no!- an injury or illness. Now you have the daunting task of getting your cat or kitten into the cat carrier.
Place the Carrier, with the door propped open, on the bed, or someplace where the cat feels comfortable. Hide the carrier under a blanket or towel. Now, turn him around backwards so he can't see the Carrier and gently place him inside and close the door.
If your cat is too big to easily and gently put him inside the carrier, have someone hold him still while petting and talking to him. Then you slide the pet carrier up and around him from behind, while your friend keeps his head busy with love and affection.
Just as you do for your children's baby sitter, you should gather important information together for you Kitty Sitter.
Kitty's shot records, your vet's telephone number, current pictures of Kitty, a list of Kitty's health concerns, telephone numbers to your destination and any other emergency telephone numbers. All of these are precautions for that one time when Kitty escapes or gets sick while you are gone.
Moving can be a very difficult transition for a cat. You shouldn't let Kitty outside for a couple of weeks, but you can't leave him in his carrier forever. When you start unpacking, isolate him in a room with his favorite sleeping blanket, food, water, and a clean sandbox.
You are moving into a new home and Kitty is having some trouble with this.
I have tried several things to lessen the stress on my pets, and the most successful is: move the pets out of the old home last, and leave them in their carrier until all of the furniture has been unloaded into the new home. By waiting until the new home has all of your belongings in it, that will give Kitty the assurance that he is home because everything will smell familiar.
When going on a trip and taking your furry critter with you, remember to take ALL vaccination records with you, particularly if you are crossing state lines. Most states require a Health Certificate from your Veterinarian. Don't forget your cat's Identification tag, and photos etc.
Drs. Foster and Smith recommend that toys, food, catnip and litter box is best left out of the carrier once you've embarked on your vacation, especially if your cat is easily frightened.
She will probably not want to eat or drink until she is totally relaxed. Take pit stops and allow the cat to visit the litter box at least every four hours.
It's move in day, and your cat is stressed out because you removed him from his territory.
One way to help him adjust is to smear a little bit of soft butter on top of all four of his feet. By the time he runs around the house cleaning his feet, he won't feel so out of place in the new home.
Anything and everything you can do to help Kitty's boredom while you are gone will help him. Quite possibly it will help you to prevent him from destroying something out of boredom.
Get a toy box to contain his toys so he can pull them out and play with them.
A new toy that he hasn't seen.
An outdoor bird feeder and bird bath, or squirrel feeder.
Set a radio or tv on a timer to come on for an hour or two to give Kitty some human noise.
You can call and leave messages on the answering machine, so Kitty hears your voice.
These may seem silly, but they will greatly help ease your cat's boredom and the stress of being left alone for a few days.
It is best to keep your kitty indoors until you can supervise him, because your new yard is probably the territory of another outdoor cat. To prevent your cat from fighting with any other outdoor cats to establish territory, you should go out with your cat for the first two-three weeks. Your presence will frighten the other outdoor cats, and allow your cat to mark his yard in realtive safety.
When you're traveling you need to get out of the car and stretch every once in a while -- so does your cat.
When you get to the motel or your destination, let your cat out of his carrier and let him explore the rooms where you're staying, too.
And, remember to take his litter box with you.
Drs. Foster and Smith recommend that cats travel best in plastic carriers. Make sure your cat is used to it and happy in it before your begin your journey.
Put toys, catnip and treats in the carrier, carry it around the house with the cat, and leave the cat in the carrier for short periods of time when you are away. All of these will go a long way toward making her new space feel like a home.
If you have more than one cat, try taking two of them at a time to the vet in a larger carrier. They don't feel as threatened, if a house mate comes with them, and they don't fuss as much.
Be sure the carrier is big enough for both of cats, and that they get along well. You don't want a fight breaking out in such close quarters.
Also, read the tip on loading them into the carrier backwards.
Make certain you have plenty of Kitty's favorite treats. If the sitter gives Kitty a treat everytime they come over, then Kitty will know he is special and hasn't been abandoned.
Also, have the sitter spend some time each day with Kitty playing with him or giving Kitty his favorite affections.
You're going on vacation, and you've decided to leave Kitty at home with a sitter.
Bring the sitter over several days before you leave to allow Kitty the chance to meet them. While Kitty gets acquainted to the sitter, you can instruct the sitter on all of the chores you need them to do: water plants, check Kitty's food & water bowls, fill outdoor bird feeders & water, bring the mail & newspapers in, etc.
Indoor cats can be quite independant and take care of themselves for short periods of time. However, all cats do need some sort of human interaction to keep their stress levels at a manageable level.
Most experts agree that cats can be left alone, without any type of sitter, for 2-3 days. Make certain that they have a constant source of fresh water, and a crunchy food dispenser that will stay full that long. Also give your kitty plenty of things to do to help with the boredom of being alone.
Be sure to give Kitty a treat or two when you get home.
It's best to fly with your cat on the flight, becasue an unaccompanied pet must travel as baggage in the pressurized cargo hold. If you travel with your cat on the flight, then she can go with you in the cabin as carry-on luggage in an airline approved carrier.
It's a much better situation for the cat and for you, since you both will not be so stressed out.
You're going on vacation; you've made arrangements for a Kitty Sitter to come over, now make a list of things you can do to help Kitty's boredom while you're gone.
If you don't have one, get a toy box for all of Kitty's toys and put them in the box. A shallow cardboard box will be just fine.
This will give Kitty one thing to do when he gets bored: pull toys out of the box to play with. Instruct the sitter to put toys back in the box when they come over each day.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|