Moving home can be a stressful experience for both companion animals and their guardians (owners). Unfortunately we cannot explain what is happening to our animal friends, but we can take steps to make sure they’re safe and comfortable before, during, and after the move. Take a look at the information below to learn how to do so!
SPCA supports keeping cats indoors or contained to a safe and secure area such as a fenced garden, cat enclosure, or “catio”. If you have moved to a home that is near a busy road or a sensitive wildlife area, you should consider keeping your cat contained to your property for their safety, and that of local wildlife. If you do keep your cat indoors or contained to your property, you need to provide a lot of enrichment for them to make sure that they have a full, happy and interesting life.
You can learn more about keeping your cat safe and happy at home here.
Take a look at the useful tips below if you’re moving to a new house with your cat or kitten (these are also helpful tips if you’re going to adopt a new cat or kitten):
Moving to a new house can be a confusing experience for dogs so it’s important to try to make it as stress free as possible.
Before you move, it’s a good idea to take your dog for a few walks around their new neighbourhood. That way they can get used to all of the new sights and smells before the move.
Introduce your dog slowly and gradually to their new home so they can get used to their new environment.
It is helpful to keep other areas of your dog’s life as consistent as possible around a move – for example, maintaining the same routine, feeding them at the same time, and keeping familiar objects with them, like favourite beds or toys.
Spend lots of time keeping your dog company in the new house and helping them to feel secure and at home.
Dogs may sometimes try to escape from their new home. It’s important to make sure that your new house is secure for your dog and that they cannot escape.
If you’re moving house with a small animal like a rabbit or guinea pig, be sure to keep everything as calm, quiet, and comfortable as possible. Ensure they remain together and keep them with familiar items.
Just like with cats, it’s important to get them used to and comfortable in their carrier and the car. Training should start at least a few weeks before the move and should always be a positive experience, using reward-based training.
Having your companion animal microchipped is an extremely important part of responsible animal guardianship. If your companion animal was to accidentally get lost when you move, a microchip will increase your chances of being reunited.
Microchips are only useful if they are registered and kept up to date. Make sure your companion animal’s microchip is registered with your family’s contact information.
Microchips are essential because they can never fall off or be removed like a collar.
ID tags display essential information such as your companion animal’s name, along with your contact information. ID tags let people know your animal has a loving family who will be looking for them and it can help whoever found them reunite them with you.
On the day of the move, you and your family will no doubt be super busy!
However, your animals will still need to have their needs met and be supervised. Plan ahead and organize for your companion to stay with a friend, family member, or with a trusted pet sitter while you’re moving.
This will help keep their stress levels low and ensure they’re being well cared for during this time!
If your companion is stressed with the change in surroundings or they have a change in their normal behaviour, like not eating or drinking, talk to your veterinarian right away.