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Moving and your cat: Help your cat get used to a new house

If your cat isn’t as enthusiastic about moving to a new condo or apartment as you are, there are some ways to make the adventure into this new territory as easy as possible. The kitty may even forgive you… in time.


Getting them accustomed

“Some cats are fine to move,” Veternarian Dr. Lisa McKinnon says. “You want to have things around that they’re used to. If it is a cat that is accustomed to a lot of exercise, you need to keep the cat awake during the day… and keeping [it] active. Play exercise games with them, so they will sleep through the night. Sometimes cats play on their own. But most cats need to be stimulated to play especially chubbier ones.”

Retraining them

As a rule, McKinnon discourages allowing cats to roam outside because it is much safer to be indoors. If your cat was once an outdoor cat, you must retrain the animal to a litter box before you move into the condo so you aren’t making too many changes all at one time. McKinnon says it may take some time to figure out what texture of litter and size of litter box your cat is most comfortable using.

“If your cat is used to running outside when you open the door, you have to be aware that they are now running out onto a balcony or into a hallway and possibly an elevator. Be sure you have the situation under control before the doors are opened. Make sure your windows are secure so that if the cat jumps on the ledge it won’t lean on the pane and fall out,” says McKinnon.

Keeping them busy

McKinnon suggests keeping your cat busy with things to look at, especially during the day when you’ve left the new place. She recommends a fish tank, as long as it is well secured so the cat can’t get on top. She also suggests buying a cat video from the pet store. McKinnon insists that keeping your cat busy when you are home is the best insurance for keeping the cat less active while you are out.

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