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Families with pets usually come to love their furry friends so much that there is little or no distinction between the human members of the family and the animals! You’ll often hear people refer to their dogs and cats as their “other children” and while such emotion surprises people who don’t have pets, for those who do, it is but normal.

If you have a cat, or several of them, and you plan to be shifting house soon, it is probably a cause for great concern to you. As any pet owner with cats will verify, these animals are creatures of habit. The slightest shift in routine can make them very anxious and lead to several behavioural and health problems. For any cat owner, moving to a new house is an even bigger worry than for families without pets because the task of making the cat comfortable in the new place is a gigantic one as it is, but before that there is the problem of how to get the cat to the new house.

If you are moving to a different state or country, your best bet will be to hire pet movers. With foreign moves, there is a lot of paperwork involved for transporting pets and professionals will be able to handle the task much better than you can. However, if you are moving within the city and want to take your cat(s) along with you in your vehicle, then here is some advice that can make the entire process an easier one.

For as long as possible, maintain your pet’s routine. Even if you are packing some of their things away, do so slowly and in an organised manner and give them time to get used to it. Nothing upsets a pet cat more than a sudden, inexplicable change in routine. You will have to keep all the essentials like the litter box, food and water bowls, the sleeping bed/ basket and maybe a toy or two out till the last day. Pack everything else well before the move.

Get a pet carrier much before the move and let your cat get acquainted with it. put in a familiar blanket or sheet inside the carrier to make it more comfortable. Cats make association by smells so an old piece of cloth will help them feel safer. Let the cat(s) sit around or sleep in the carrier in the days leading up to the move so that it gets used to the carrier.

Make a moving day kit for your pet, just like you will for yourself. This includes all the essential items that must be easily accessible at all times. The litter box, food and water bowls, bed, food and water, medications and a favourite toy should be a part of this kit.

If you are travelling quite a distance, feed the pet a couple of hours before the move. Pets are more comfortable on empty stomachs when they are travelling. You should also make sure that your cat uses the litter box at least once before you put it into the carrier. If the journey is a long one, stop on the way to allow your cat to have a bit of food and water and to use the litter box.

Make sure you put contact details on every item as well as on the cat’s ID tags. Your new address as well as telephone number should be mentioned clearly on the labels and tags. In the unfortunate event that your cat gets loose, you should have taken steps to ensure its safe return.