"You canít keep a good man down - or an over-affectionate
"Cats regard people as warmblooded furniture."
SETTLING INTO A NEW HOME WITH YOUR PET
New situations can be stressful for your pet. While some
pets adjust almost instantly, others may require a little
more time. Be patient, encouraging, and positive about
your new home to help your pet adjust more quickly.
- Try to keep a familiar routine. Use the same bowls, feed
the same food at the same time, place litter boxes in
similar locations, and so on. Make things seem as
"normal" as possible.
- Research local regulations. Where do you get a dog
license, and how much are they? Are cats required to be
licensed? Are dogs allowed to be off-leash in certain
areas, and if so, where? Be aware that some cities or
towns have bylaws stating how many pets a person is
permitted to have in their home. If you have a lot of
pets, make sure you find out before you move what these
- Find out where the local "pet hangouts" are. Walking
trails or parks, off-leash areas, boarding facilities,
and so on.
- If your cat is allowed outdoors, keep him inside for
a few weeks. He won't immediately understand where his
new home is. This may also be a good opportunity to
teach your kitty to be an indoor cat! Cats generally
lead longer, happy lives indoors where they don't
have to worry about getting hit by cars, attacked by
other animals or people, catching a disease, and many
other threats. Give kitty lots of stimulation indoors
with the use of toys, window perches, cat trees, etc.
One compromise is to build an outdoor cat enclosure.
These enclosures are fenced in, including the "roof".
They allow cats to experience the great outdoors in
a safe environment. You can add places to climb,
hammocks to lie in, toys, and whatever else your
kitty may like.
- Scout out a vet. Find one that both you and your pet
are comfortable with, and make sure you know the way
to the clinic. If your chosen clinic is not an
emergency clinic, it's also a good idea to find
a 24-hour clinic - just in case.
- Assess the "pet-safety-ness" of your new home. You may
have set up your previous home in such a way that your
pet couldn't get at stuff like cleaners or poisonous
plants. Take a walk around your new home and watch where
your pet investigates. Make sure you store dangerous
items out of his reach.
- Keep all your pet's documentation together and easily
accessible. A folder with vaccination records, spay/neuter
certificate, and other important papers should be kept
together for future reference. Your new vet may ask to
- Set up an evacuation plan. Sometimes we have no choice
but to evacuate from our homes. Do not leave your pets
behind! Have a plan to get both them and yourself out
safely. Keep a list of nearby pet-friendly accommodations
handy. Read more in the
article, Emergency Planning: Keeping Pets Safe From Harm.