Moving Cross-Country With Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Cats hate moving. They hate every aspect of it: the hustle and bustle, the weird-looking boxes all over the place, your semi-panicked mood for weeks before moving, and the extra vet visits. But most of all, they hate the traveling part.

Your cat may be getting lots of space and cozy places at your new home. However, getting there can turn into a long trip for both of you: traveling cross-country with a cat can be tricky if you aren't prepared.

Many people wonder how to move cats across the country. In this article, we'll go over the easiest ways to reduce stress for both you and your pet.

Before moving with cats, there are several easy steps you should take to prepare properly:

Steps to Prepare for the Move

Moving Cross Country With Cats: Everything You Need to Know

1. Visit the vet

Traveling cross country with cats is a good option to consider only if the cats are healthy and fully ready for the long trip. Before moving day, make sure to request a full check-up of your pet. You must make sure the kitty is in good health and capable of going through the trip and all the stress around it.

2. Get the carrier on time

When it comes to traveling cross country with a cat, carriers are necessary for the safety of everyone in the car. Get your carrier on time—meaning months ahead. In case you intend to ship your pet by air, you should get a cat carrier created for air travel. You'll need to make sure it is approved by the airline company you use.

3. Introduce the cat to the carrier

Make sure to introduce your cat to the carrier and have them accept it as a positive space. Put the cat's favorite toys inside, a cozy blanket, or some treats to make them start considering the carrier a safe place.

Driving vs. Flying

Moving Cross Country With Cats: Everything You Need to Know

If you're looking for the safest option for moving cross country with cats, having your pet with you in your vehicle is your best choice. This way, the cat will be as calm as possible because they'll always be by your side, and you will know they are as safe as can be at any moment.

Driving across the country with a cat may seem tricky, but it doesn't have to be difficult if you take your time and make all the necessary preparations.

However, transporting cats across the country by car can never be as fast as shipping them by air. The deciding factor in choosing between driving and flying is usually the distance. If a long drive isn't an option for you, you should make a reservation for your cat as soon as possible. Some airlines have convenient pet-friendly policies and they allow a certain number of small pets to travel in the cabin with you. Call the available airlines to find out if they offer that service.

The most stressful option for your cat would be shipping them via airline in the cargo department. However, there are ways to make even that trip as comfortable as possible for your cat.

How to Reduce Anxiety for Cats

Moving Cross Country With Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Keeping their pet stress-free and happy is a primary concern for anyone who wonders how to travel with a cat across the country. It is also probably the hardest thing to achieve during the entire relocation adventure. Here are several ways to make the move as comfortable as possible:

1. Stay Calm:

Your cat can feel that you're worried and stressed, and they easily pick up on your energy. They will feel the distressing tone in your voice and your sudden changes in behavior. Try to keep calm around the cat.

2. Speak to the Cat:

Your cat may not be able to understand what you say to them, but they will pick up on your tone of voice, and they will understand that you're there for them and with them through this big change.

3. Don't expose the cat to strangers:

Many people are going to visit your home during the moving period, starting with your cross-country moving agency inspectors. Make sure to keep all those strangers away from your cat by placing your pet in a room where they won't go in and disturb them.

4. Cat calming spray:

Even after you take all the necessary steps, some cats can't calm down because of the stress they go through during the moving period. Talk to your vet about cat calming spray. It helps reduce stress and it doesn't affect children or other animals. It's non-sedating formula can last for several hours.

Essentials for traveling with cats

Moving Cross Country With Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Every owner who wonders how to move with a cat should know that the whole experience doesn't have to be a disaster—but only if you've got all the essentials covered.

Once the time to hit the road comes, make sure you do one last check to ensure you have everything you'll need for your cat:

- A food dish and food

- A water dish and LOTS of water

- A carrier

- A can opener for the cat food in case you bring canned food

- Your cat's favorite items for comfort: toys, blankets, treats, etc.

- Litter box

Make sure you pack all these necessities securely and within easy reach.

Driving cross country with cats doesn't have to be too difficult if you prepare on time. Reducing stress and making the trip as pleasant as possible is important for your pet to handle the trip well.

Boombox and our San Francisco storage experts are here to help you with any uncertainties related to moving across the country. Contact us today if you'd like to learn more!

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