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Relocating with a Cat – 4 Best Tips to Prepare!

  • By Expat
  • February 6, 2023

Many cat owners may find the relocation process a daunting prospect as cats generally do not like change. Indeed, even the most relaxed and laid-back cats may experience some level of anxiety while moving from their familiar home to a foreign place with new surroundings.

However, do not despair! With a little planning beforehand, you can ensure that not only the human side of your relocation will go smoothly, but so will your cat’s experience. Creating less stress for all and one very happy feline.

Get started with your research now with our 4 Best Tips to prepare when relocating with a cat.

  1. Microchip & Vaccinations – It’s best practice in international pet travel to implant a microchip in your cat (and dog!). This tiny device (implanted between the shoulder blades) is painless and quick, and acts as your pet’s vaccination information, their health records, and your contact information. Most countries require this, along with a record of its vaccinations. For a cat, they will need rabies and FVRCP vaccines, and possibly more, depending on the countries requirements. Visit your vet to discuss your upcoming move and have your cat examined to ensure they are healthy for the trip and meet all travel requirements for that country.
  1. State or Country Requirements – Whether you are moving interstate or overseas, it’s important to do preliminary research on what the import requirements are at your intended destination. If moving overseas with a cat, each country will have different regulations and they change based on the country of which you are flying from. We strongly suggest you gather all required documents needed and prepare them in advance of your planned moving date.
  1. Get the Right Crate – Another crucial part to the relocating your cat process is the crate it will travel in. The crate needs to be the correct size and adhere to all airline requirements. Your cat must travel in an IATA-compliant cage whenever you are shipping it to another nation. It’s strongly recommended to start crate training as soon as you can with your cat, and you can do this by placing a familiar blanket, your old t-shirt, its favourite toys and treats in the carrier so to help build positive associations with it. The result of this training should help the cat feel less stressed during the move. Ensure you attach a filled water dish to the door of their crate to they stay well hydrated throughout the flight.
  1. Have Fun with Moving Supplies – Many cats enjoy playing in cardboard boxes and getting into mischief with packing supplies, such as packing tape, bubble wrap, and foam inserts. Before you start the actual packing process, consider giving your cat some treats and praise whenever you see them examining packing materials and boxes. This will help to further strengthen a positive association with these items before relocating with your cat.

Despite popular misconceptions, relocating with your cat is easier than one might think. Cats really do make excellent travellers, and fare quite well when travelling on airlines, many without needing medication. Some cats on the other hand, will realistically experience some level of stress when travelling.  If you just do a little research, plan, and prepare beforehand (along with a visit to the Vet), you can make the relocation process a very happy and positive experience for you both.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with the specialists at Expat International today.