If you have ever owned a cat and tried to move house you know that it can be a challenge. There are undoubtedly certain steps that can help you and the cat prepare. And as a cat owner have you ever thought of choosing your new property with care to ensure it is a cat friendly home? Here are some top tips to help you ensure it is as cat friendly as possible.
Choosing a new cat friendly home with your pet in mind
If you’re a cat owner, when it comes to finding a house you want to buy, it’s not only yourself that you need to think of! You also have to consider how suitable the properties you’re looking at would be for your fur baby, and whether or not your cat would be safe and happy living there.
It’s not always easy to know what to keep an eye out for when it comes to cat-friendly houses, so here are some tips and suggestions of factors to keep in mind during property viewings.
The local area
Before you even get to the property itself, take a look around the neighbourhood to see how suitable it is for pet owners. For example is there a good vet surgery within easy traveling distance of the house you’re looking at? How about a pet store? You may also want to look into the availability of facilities such as catteries or cat sitters for when you go on vacation.
In addition, it’s worth checking online whether the area has a high rate of crimes against animals, just in case. If you don’t like what you find, start searching elsewhere.
Outside the cat friendly house
If you have a cat who likes to go outside, when you arrive at the property you should take a look around to see how safe it would be for them to do so. Consider whether the house is located near a busy road, a railway line, or anything else that might pose a danger to your cat when they go wandering. It might also be worth finding out whether the neighbours own dogs, and if they do, how good they are with cats.
Depending on what you find, you might end up ruling the house out before you even step foot inside. Luckily you’re not restricted to a certain type of property or area, although if you’re purchasing through the government’s help to buy scheme it must be a new build property under the relevant maximum price. Many of these are in urban areas, sometimes in high-rised buildings. So it is more important to take cat friendly measures.
The cat friendly property itself
For the interior of a house, there are a number of different factors to consider for feline suitability. For instance, you’ll want to look at whether there’s sufficient space for items such as litter trays. What about cat towers and cat beds. The ultimate cat friendly move is to check whether you’ll be able to fit a cat flap into one of the doors leading outside.
Take a look at the garden to see if it’s cat friendly too, in case there are potential hazards such as ponds or toxic plants and whether you can make them safe.
Your pets and a staged move
Special consideration needs to be taken at all times for your pet and cat family and especially when you are moving home. A step by step pet and cat friendly approach is best. Think about each kind of pet and how you will move them to the new location. If you are organising a transitional or staged move for your pets then consider finding help. There will be interim days when you are still unpacking and preparing the home.
Here are some ideas on what that extra pet or cat friendly help might look like.
1. The pet nanny or cat sitter
If you have a number of pets and they will need specialist care with specific routines consider a pet nanny. There will be a significant cost. However, you may feel it necessary to ensure that your pets are well cared for during the short period of moving and a day or so after.
2. Cat and dog minding
If you also have dogs, it might help if you organise dog minder for the day of your move and perhaps the day after. That way you can organise the move from one place to another without increasing the animal’s stress levels. It will be a challenge enough to help them get used to your new place and their new home.
3. Cat and dog boarding
If there are no friends or family available and you are struggling to find a sitter consider dog boarding or kennels. It can make the final moving out and into a new neighbourhood less stressful.
4. Cattery and cattery alternatives
Unless your cat is an indoor cat, it is harder to keep changing the home environment for a cat. So a cattery might be the answer for a day or two until your home is settled.
5. Rehoming a pet
In extreme cases, perhaps if you are moving overseas or you are moving to a non cat friendly home you may need to rehome your pet. You could start with friends and family, people who know and appreciate your pet. Then perhaps consider a wider circle and finally a rescue home that specialises in rehoming pets.
Final considerations on moving into your new cat friendly home
Once you’ve found a suitable property and actually moved in, remember to keep your cat inside for at least a week so that they get used to their new home and don’t try to return to the old one.
It’s best to start by leaving them in one room and surrounding them with familiar toys. Add other familiar items in order to help them settle in more quickly. Then once they are more relaxed, you can allow them to explore the rest of the house!
FURTHER READING FOR A NEW HOMEOWNER AND PETOWNER MOVING HOME
At Housesitmatch.com we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer authoritative references on buying, moving and preparing pets for a new home.