In the past six months, there have been a couple stories about cat adventures where a cat goes missing during a move only to show up weeks or even a month later when the family is unpacking at their new home. This story about Mee Moowe ended happily, but many others do not.
If you are planning a move with your pets, here are some simple tips to make the journey more enjoyable and safer for everyone concerned.
Lock up your pet
If you are hiring professional movers or even if you are doing all the packing yourself, lock up your pets in a spare room or their kennels while you fill large boxes. Cats especially have an affinity for cardboard boxes and all it takes is one second of inattention for your cat to end up sealed in a box like Mee Mowwe did. If you are packing yourself, visually inspect every box before you seal it. When hiring professional movers, keeping your pets in an area not actively part of the packing will help prevent anxiety for your pets and avoid a Mee Mowwe situation.
Verify the rules
Moving from city to city is stressful enough, but if you are moving to another state or another country, check ahead of time to know what vaccinations are required for your pets before they arrive. Some areas may require that your provide them with a health certificate from your vetrinarian regarding your pet’s health. This can be especially important if you are flying to your new home.
Call the Microchip Provider
Check with your vet to get the contact information for the company that provided the microchip for your pet. Consider registering the chip temporarily to a family member’s address or provide the company with extensive information regarding the travel route you are taking and how to contact you during and after your travel. When you arrive at your new home, be sure to update your contact information with the microchip provider and your pet’s new vet.
Talk to Your Vet
While some animals travel well, even pets can get carsick or suffer anxiety over a move. Ask your vet about the benefits of anti-anxiety medication and the side effects it is likely to have on your pet. When we moved to Phoenixville, our vet prescribed a light sedative for our cat to make the car ride more bearable. The side effects of the medication left her lethargic for days and scared us during the journey. Make sure you understand how the drugs will affect your pet and make an informed decision about using prescription sedatives.
Buy a Larger Kennel
To transport our cat from Illinois to Pennsylvania, we bought a wire cage meant for a medium dog and set it up in the backseat of the car. We were able to give her space to move around, food and water and even a disposable litter box. For larger dogs, consider purchasing the seatbelt harnesses meant to keep your dog safer in case of an accident. Be sure your pet has a collar with current tags, including your mobile phone number and buy a new leash or at least verify that the old one will not break while you are traveling.
Moving with your pet can be stressful for you and your pet. Make it less so by planning ahead and making sure your furbaby is not the next Mee Mowwe.