|So you need to move house but can’t help thinking – what about my pets being upset and going back to the old house? MiniMovers has helped thousands of Australian’s move locallyover the past 26 years and our removalists have picked up a few tips along the way…Escaping -
Moving house is not only stressful for humans it can upset and confuse your pet dogs or cats. One of the biggest problem you will face is that your dog or cat may escape from your new home and get lost, because the new surroundings are not familiar to them.
For dogs, this means that you must examine the fences of your new home in detail to ensure they are dog proof. Any escape routes should be immediately repaired.
Stopping your cat from escaping through your fences after moving house is more difficult. Cat enclosures can be constructed and are available commercially. Alternatively, keep your cat inside the house and endeavour to ensure it is totally familiar with its new territory. This can take from a few days to a few weeks after the move.
The priority for most cats is to eat and sleep, so work on these aspects of your cat’s new lifestyle first. Feed your cat small tasty meals four to five times daily. This will give it a ‘fun focus’ associated with its new eating spot. Let the cat hunt for its food by leaving small amounts of cat food in several locations or by scattering dry food over the floor in the laundry or a secure verandah or outdoor area in the new house.
For dogs or cats you can take something familiar from your old home, perhaps a fluffy toy or blanket and leave that in what you feel is most likely to be their new favourite resting spot. Let your dog or cat set the location and place the bedding in that area.
Allow your cat to perch on furniture near an window or let your dog look through the fence or the screen door so that they can view its new territory, without getting out just yet.
|Smells like home: Another useful trick is to rub a warm damp towel over your cat’s body and especially around its face to remove some of your cat’s scent. Then rub the towel with the scent onto prominent surfaces around the house such as on corners of furniture and on doorways. This marks the new house with the cat’s scent and helps the cat to realise that your new house is its home as well.|
|Releasing your pets:Releasing dogs into the garden is easy but cats are more difficult. One method is to place your cat in a cage of some type in the garden. A cat transport cage is suitable. Place the cage in a shaded spot of the garden and let the cat view its surrounds. Don’t leave it unattended though.
If this is done for several days, the cat can get its bearings more easily. The same can be achieved by placing your cat in a harness and walking it around the yard.
To prepare for its release, train it to ‘come’ for its meal. At dinnertime, bang a cat food can or your cat’s food bowl with a spoon as you call your cat’s name. Then, when you plan to release your cat, do so just before dinnertime. If the cat slinks off, it is more likely to return when you bang the food bowl and call its name.
In case they stray, be sure you have name tags on your pet’s collar or id chips inserted by your Vet before they are released.
|Moving Locally: If you are moving only a very short distance away, rather than across town, you can have additional problems with your dog and especially your cat. It is common for dogs and cats to try to return to their old home if they escape.
Securely confining your cat or dog is one way around this problem. However, for added security you could confuse your pet by taking it to a boarding kennel or cattery, some distance away for a week or so. When your pet is then taken to your new home, it will hopefully be disorientated enough to not try to get back to your old home.
Lastly, if you are moving into a new area check out the dog parks and other areas where you can safely and legally walk your pet. The website Doggo is great for this. Visit your local vet and ask if snakes, ticks, fleas, toads and worms are common in your area. Also ask if the viral diseases parvovirus and canine cough are seen regularly.
After that, sit down with a cuppa and your pet and enjoy your new home – you deserve it!
Thanks to Peggy Tomkins for writing this article.
MiniMovers has been helping Australia’s with their local moves for over 26 years. If you’d like to find out how we can remove the stress from your next move – contact us on 1300 882 440 or get a quote online.
You can also get more tips to help you save money on your move at – Help You Move.