Warm snooze: Place your cat’s bed higher up off the floor so it doesn’t get caught in the draught.
Soaking up the rays: Give your cat access to a spot where he or she can lie in the sun. Be cautious of too much sun exposure for fairer and pink-nosed cats, as this can cause skin cancer.
Senior citizens: Cold weather can make your cat’s joints stiff and uncomfortable. Agility may become restricted and he or she may struggle with jumping. If you cat sleeps up high, consider moving a chair or other piece of furniture to act as a ladder.
Food matters: It takes more energy to warm up during winter. You may need to consider slightly increasing your cat’s food intake over the winter months, but be careful to not over-feed.
Cheap fun: Consider stacking cardboard boxes around the house, creating newspaper tunnels or simply scrunching up some paper balls. Rotate toys regularly to add variety.
Curfew: If your cat spends time outdoors, consider installing a cat flap for easy access in and out of the house. However, keep your cat inside at night, as this is a legal requirement in many councils. Your cat will be a lot happier in the warmth of your home and will be less likely to get into fights, wander off, attack or kill native wildlife, or be hit by a car.
Cats are territorial by nature and mark their home environment with their scent. To ease the settling-in process, thoroughly clean the new area where your cat will first move in to remove any existing smells. Some cats take longer than others to settle in, so be sure to tailor the move to suit your cat and make the change as smooth as possible.
Packing: Cats can easily be upset by anything that is out of place in their environment, so the sudden appearance of packing boxes and furniture moving can cause distress. If possible, when you are packing up the house, leave one room to last and allow the cat to stay in there so it feels safe and comfortable.
In transit: Secure your cat in a carrier and take it in the car with you. If your cat is a nervous traveller, seek advice from your veterinarian prior to the move. You may want to consider leaving your cat with a trusted friend on moving day and only introducing him or her to your new house once all the major moving activity is over and the house is secure.
At the new house:
- Confine the cat to a secure room until you have finished unpacking. Ensure the cat has access to food, water, litter and a favourite blanket or bed to help him or her feel at ease. If you are relocating more than one cat, keep them together. Leave the cat carrier open in the room with the cat/s in case they want a place to retreat.
- It may take a while for your cat to venture out into the other rooms of the new house. Remember to give constant praise and attention to your cat during the adjustment period. Try to stick to your normal routine of feeding, petting and play, and always leave food and water close by. Your cat may not want to eat for the first day, but his or her appetite will quickly return.
- Keep your cat indoors for the first few weeks so he or she can become familiar with the new home. If your cat will spend time outdoors, check the area first to make sure it’s safe.
- Ensure that you have updated your contact details with the microchip register and that your cat always wears a collar and tag with your name and number engraved. Remember to register your pet with your local council and learn about its laws relating to cats, as many councils impose cat curfews at night.