We just moved across the country. After 20 years in the same place and 44 years in the same state, that’s a pretty big deal. In terms of cat care, I was really worried that my cats would be completely unhinged about the move. First, they had to endure a three-day car trip. Second, they had to get used to a new place after many years in one familiar spot. But my cats’ behavior demonstrates how they rose to the occasion, and I dare say they handled the move much better than I did. They not only handled the move, they love the new place. Here’s why.
1. There are windows!
We have lots of windows in our new place. I think the cats are beside themselves. Better yet, most of the windows have sills, which are plenty big for cats to sit on. My cats will remain indoor cats, but I think they’re going to have plenty to entertain them here.
2. There’s more room to run, and stairs
In our former place, space was limited, and there was one story. Now we have two full flights of stairs. The cats took to this instantly, running up and down the stairs. Suddenly they seem to be in much better shape. And so are we! We’re running up and down the stairs all day along with the cats.
3. They’re getting lots and lots of attention
Perhaps it’s because we’re getting our own feet under us or spending a lot of time in the place, but we’ve been able to pay the cats and dog lots of attention. They love it. I’m trying to make sure each cat gets doses of love and familiarity. When I saw the cats start to do familiar things that they’d done in the old place, I knew things were going to be okay. When Chester started deliberately placing his stuffed catnip pillow toy in doorways or on the bed, just like he always does, I knew we were home. When Rama followed me into the bedroom and looked at me (“Shut the door, mom, I want to snuggle”), I knew that everything was going to be okay — just a new normal.
We have let one or two of them sleep with us at night. Our bed is a small air mattress at this time, but I think it’s helping the cats adjust to get some time with us on the bed. They’ve also discovered that they enjoy this bed during the day.
4. Zorro gets a bright room all to himself (for now)
Zorro, our feral rescue who is rapidly becoming tamed, is transforming so well and faster than I ever dreamed. He is very attached to me. He’s in a large room with plenty of windows. I spend a lot of time in that room working, and he jumps in my lap continuously. I’ve been able to handle his paws, clip some claws, and even cut out a few remaining mats. The big bonus is that he loves being brushed and combed. I don’t think this cat could get enough handling. When the time feels right, and it may be a while, I will introduce him slowly.
Not only did my cats love the move, but they made the process of moving easier. How so? Well, they’re pretty creative:
- I drove one car with my five cats; my husband drove another car with the dog and Zorro. My cats didn’t make a peep through most of the move — I couldn’t believe it. I did use Feliway spray and Peace and Calm essential oil liberally throughout the trip.
- They played and explored in new motel rooms, bringing out the sense of daring, exploration, and humor in me.
- After long days of driving, the humans on this trip were pretty fried. Not so the cats. When we got to a motel room, they had the best time exploring. Instantly they were up on beds, in windows, checking out crannies. What a great reminder that every moment is a mindset — I can be crabby, or fearful, or have fun exploring!
These cats and our dog were troopers (read more about our drive here.) They’ve adapted sooo easily. I’ve decided it must be meant to be.
How have your cats been troopers? Have they ever surprised you with how smoothly they’ve handled a situation? Share your thoughts in the comments!
More by Catherine Holm:
- 5 Ways Cats Teach Me Patience
- 5 Ways Cats Improve my Marriage
- Some Vets Consider Rescue and Rehoming Cats Part of the Job
Laugh with us:
- I Love My Cat, But He Sure Is Gross Sometimes
- 5 Random Places I Constantly Find My Cats’ Toys
- 8 Ways My Cats Try to Make Me Late for Work
About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.