Specialists have discovered that stress is one of the most significant triggers leading to felines’ behavioral issues. Cats don’t show their emotions as much as other domesticated animals do, which results in poor behavior as they act out their bottled-up anxiety and apprehension.

Worried cat owners are among Pet Van Lines’s most typical clients. When they’re moving cross-country with their cats, they are understandably concerned about their feline family members’ stress levels. Moving thousands of miles away from everything familiar can exhaust humans. The cats would experience even heavier anxiety levels as they won’t understand why this is happening. 

Here are nine things you can do to make your cat’s cross-country move go more smoothly.:

  • Prepare in advance
  • Decide which is better: driving or flying?
  • Look for pet-friendly hotels
  • Consult with your vet and look for a new one
  • Microchip your cat
  • Get a comfortable carrier
  • Go on test drives
  • Have your cat’s essentials on hand
  • Remain calm

The Goal: Reduce Stress as Much as Possible

As pet owners, your goal is to reduce the stress on your cat during this move. In doing so, you’re also reducing your stress as you won’t have to worry about your cat’s well-being during the process. 

Your cat will also acclimate better to the new location if the journey doesn’t take a toll on them. If you handle the move with plenty of preparation, they won’t be as worried about what’s going on.

Tips for a Stress-Free Cross-Country Move

Driving or flying?

Determine ahead of time whether you will reach your destination over land or air. If you’ve already had experience traveling with your cat, consider how they behaved during a plane ride instead of traveling by car.

A car ride may take longer, but it’s an enclosed space that doesn’t have to be shared with unfamiliar people. It’s also quieter. Plane rides make moving much quicker, but that means getting stuck in a tube with loud noises and strange turbulence, surrounded by strangers. That may be worse for your cat.

Look for pet-friendly hotels

If you’re expecting several days of travel over land  to reach your destination, you have to look for and book pet-friendly hotels ahead of time. You need to avoid stopping at a hotel only to find out that they don’t admit animals. The bustle and confusion can create more stress for everybody, especially your cat.

cat sleeping on the floor

Consult with your current vet and look for a new one

Make an appointment with your vet before moving cross-country with your pet. Your vet can provide your cat’s exam results, vaccination records, and other essential paperwork. Keep your pet’s latest records on-hand when you make your move and it’ll make the transition easier for your pet’s new veterinarian.

Long before you make the big move, look for the nearest reputable veterinarian in your new area. It’s for your pet’s benefit because you won’t be scrambling to look for one in case of emergencies later on. Make a first appointment as soon as you can when you reach your new home. This ensures that the vet and your cat start acclimating to one another as well.

Microchip your cat

Microchipping your pet is a great practice, but when preparing for travel, it’s one of the most crucial steps. Traveling across the country means moving to new environments and moving veterinary practices. With a microchip, your contact number, new address, and the pet’s medical documents can be matched back to your cat. In the event your cat gets lost, there is a way to link them back to you with a single scan.

Get a suitable, comfortable carrier

Your cat’s comfort is an essential aspect of the preparation. Find a suitable cat carrier months ahead of your travel date. Ensure that your cat acclimates to it. Use it for your cat for the next few months, so they get used to being in it. They will be at ease when the travel date arrives.

Go on test drives

If you’ll be traveling by land and in a car, go on long practice drives with your cat in the carrier. It gets them more accustomed to long journeys in a vehicle. They won’t be as spooked or worried during moving day if they’re used to making long journeys with you.

Have a cat-ready bag

In the same way that parents always have a baby bag with them, you need to prepare a cat-ready bag for your travel date. Put in toys, snacks, travel dishes for food and water, extra pet diapers or pet wraps, and whatever else your cat may need during the journey. You’ll also want your pet’s paperwork and other permits in the bag’s pockets so you can readily present them should you need to.

Remain calm

Remember that your pet will take cues from you. An owner’s stress can directly affect their pet. Cats are frequently attuned to their owner’s emotions. If you remain calm during the moving process, they will feel more reassured that what’s going on is not something to worry about.

Be understanding and prioritize your cat’s comfort

Remember that this is a new chapter for both of you. Just like you, your cat will also have to acclimate to a new home, and a new environment. It’s strange and disorienting, and they will rely on you to ease the process.

Make sure that their journey to their new home is a comfortable one. Pet Van Lines provides comfortable and safe pet transportation from coast to coast. We have years of experience in relocating your beloved pets to their new homes. 

Contact us today for a free quote, and let us handle your pet’s travel arrangements so they can come home in style. Or you can browse our pet transportation services to learn more about how we care for your pet during the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does moving traumatize cats?

Moves may be more stressful to cats than humans because they are susceptible to the sudden environment and routine changes. A cat can get traumatized due to moving, but this is precisely what these reminders and careful preparations are designed to avoid. It’s entirely possible to go on a comfortable, easy cross-country move with minimal stress to your cat. 

  1. Can you ship cats across the country?

Yes, we can. Pet Van Lines can transport your cat through climate-controlled vehicles with plenty of space, limited noise, and regular attention to your cat’s comfort and behavior.

Furthermore, we implement numerous safety measures to ensure that your cat is transported safely across the country at minimal stress and discomfort to your pet. Learn the details of our cat transportation service here.

  1. How long does it take a cat to adjust to a new home?

Happy, healthy cats who have had comfortable journeys should take roughly one to two weeks to adjust to their new environment. Sensitive cats who may be overcoming trauma may take longer. 

Regardless, owners must pay close attention to their cat and its needs during this transition period. It would be best to allow them to get accustomed to the new environments, routines, and activities they should expect in this new home.

  1. How can I calm my stressed cat after moving?

Introduce your cat to one room first. If your cat has favorite toys and bedding, keep it all in one place at a time. The smell of these items will help the cat acclimate more easily. Make sure the litterbox, food, and water are easily accessible to them. Once the world around them has calmed down after the move, you can start letting your cat explore their new world.

To help soothe your cat, feline pheromones or things like catnip can help make things easier for them. Consult with a veterinarian about the use of these items so you can administer them safely to your cat after the move.

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