Moving is an ordeal when you’re moving cross-country. There are a lot of logistics to organize. It can be even more stressful if you have an animal with you, especially a cat, who isn’t used to being out and about. I recently moved from Wisconsin to Washington state with my cat, Hazel, in tow. I am very lucky that Hazel is an incredibly chill cat, but there were still a lot of things to think about when I was getting ready. Here are the things I prepared while moving.
Most cats don’t like cars, so I suggest getting some sort of carrier for your cat. I got a medium-sized dog kennel from Amazon, so she would have room to move around. You know what your own cat likes, so if they need something bigger or smaller get that. I put in a bed, litter box, and water for her. The litter box is a travel version and was so small and portable. It saved my life because I could easily move it between the car and the hotel. I also got a water bowl that screws to the side of the kennel, so it wouldn’t spill accidentally. (affiliate links)
Be Prepared for Crying
Cats are notorious for this. They will whine for HOURS and just when you think they must be tired, they will keep going. I was so, so lucky that Hazel didn’t start crying until our last day of travel and even then it was minimal. I have heard of people putting a blanket around their cat kennel to muffle the noises. I was prepared to turn up the music loud to drown her out. There are also some calming cat sprays that have pheromones that cats like, they might help your cat not be so on edge. (affiliate link)
Look ahead to see which hotels have the cheapest pet fees. I found that they were around $15-$25 on top of the room fee. If you are around the Dakotas area, Kelly Inn has no pet fees. I stayed there two nights and I loved it. I brought in my cat’s food, scratching post, bed, and litter box, which I put in the bathroom so it would be easiest for the staff to clean. Think about what will be the best for your cat. If they retaliate by going to the bathroom where they shouldn’t, maybe keep them in the bathroom. If they like to scratch a lot, bring in multiple scratching posts to encourage correct scratching. They will love getting out of the car, Hazel was so excited and explored everything.
It was in the 90s my entire drive out to Washington. It was stifling. To keep Hazel cool, I made sure she was never in the sun even when I was driving. When we stopped quickly for gas, I opened all the windows. The few times when we stopped for a longer period of time, I opened all my car doors, so there would be a cross breeze in the car. I also watched to see if she started panting, as that would be a sign she was too hot (it takes a lot to get a cat to pant.) In the winter, I would be sure to put a blanket on her cage if I was going to be gone for more than a few minutes.
The number one thing to remember is the personality of your cat. You know what they can and cannot handle and how best to soothe them (to the extent they will let you.) If you can afford it, there are services that will move your pet for you, just make sure to do your research. It was stressful but definitely worth it to bring my cat with me on my big move. And to think, there were people who told me to leave her behind (as if!) If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments! Or let me know how your trip went.