By Dr. Jess Trimble
When it comes to adjusting your cat to city life, making sure your building is pet-friendly is just the tip of the iceberg. In the same way that parents will focus on school districts and best-rated pediatricians in preparation for a move, there are quite a few factors pet parents need to consider. From the square-footage of your new space to the regional climate (in the case of this post, the climate in the bay area), the needs of your cat should be your priority—keeping in mind that these needs can vary based on the breed and age of your cat(s).
FINDING THE RIGHT SPACE FOR YOUR FELINE
When it comes to finding a new place, making sure the price is right is important, but so is making sure your fuzziest roommate will be comfortable (seeing as they’ll probably spend more time there than you will). So, before you start scouring Zillow and Craigslist for the perfect place, we recommend creating a checklist of necessities for your cat in order of importance—including everything from the obvious (pet-friendliness) to, well, the less obvious (leaky sink).
Start your checklist with these questions and tailor to your cat as needed. You may even discover things you hadn’t even considered for yourself!
Is the building pet-friendly?
Does your roommate have allergies (or houseplants that can be poisonous to your cat)?
Is there an additional fee for having a pet? Is it monthly, annual or both?
What’s the air conditioning/heating situation?
Is there room for your cat to get his/her daily workout in? Is there enough room for cat trees?
Does your roommate have a pet? Does their pet or your pet get along well with others?
Based on your litter box preferences, does the place you’re looking at fit your needs? (laundry room, basement, lots of windows, etc.)
If you’ve ever moved to a new city, state or country before, you probably know all too well how important it is that you move into a safe neighborhood or community. And while your concerns may revolve around what the nightlife is like, vicinity to public transportation, or where you can get the best cup of coffee—when it comes to your cat, it is important to take note of community aspects of a different sort. Is there a good vet (or vet service) in your neighborhood? If your cat gets anxiety outdoors or in vehicles, can vet care be delivered to your door every month? Is there a pet supply store within walking/driving/public transport distance? If you need pet care while you’re away, are those resources readily available to you?
If you have a cat that enjoys the outdoors, there are many things to consider, but firstly, you should consider your options when it comes to a fully screened in cat enclosure. This enclosed environment is an outdoor cat owner’s best option. However, you also need to have a place (like a patio) that is secure and can be easily supervised. That being said, your cat is always safest in the comfort of your own home, so if going outside is avoidable—avoid it.
PREPARE YOUR CAT’S NEW SPACE
So, you’ve done it! You found the perfect place for you and your feline—your cat just doesn’t know it yet. The best way to ensure that they are comfortable and content in their new pad? Prep! Aside from maintaining your cat’s regular routines in your new place, we have a few more tips to help with adjusting your cat to city life and their new crib:
Even if you have an outdoor cat, keeping your cat indoors for the first two weeks after a move will help them adjust to their new environment.
Just like scents can bring back favorite memories, spreading your cat’s scent throughout your new place can remind them of home and help them feel more secure! Quick tip for spreading your cat’s scent: use a soft piece of fabric to collect your cat’s scent by gently rubbing the fabric on your cat’s face (where scent glands are located); rub this fabric around your new place at cat level; repeat this process every day until you see your cat start to rub against objects.
Make sure to add a cat tree(s) in your home so your cat can truly explore their new space—and can even get a nice view of their new city from your windows! However, if your new city space is too small for cat trees, consider installing carpeted shelves at various heights.
Find a vet that your cat can get comfortable with. Better yet, keep your cat as comfortable as possible with Fuzzy vets that come right to you, and say goodbye to stressful vet visits for good!SCHEDULE IN-HOME CHECKUP
EQUIP YOUR PET WITH TECH
Making sure your cat is microchipped and equipped with a collar and ID is crucial—even if your cat has never left the house. Taking these extra precautions can help you find your cat in an emergency situation, and allow you to rest assured that you can always keep track of your furry friend.
If it has been a few weeks and your cat still isn’t adjusting to its new big city life, it might be time to ask a vet! Every Fuzzy membership includes vet access via live chat and email, so you never have to be stuck wondering what’s on your cat’s mind. Our goal is to empower you with everything you need to take a proactive role in your pet’s health, especially after making a big move. Whether it’s through tailored health recommendations, medications or just a bit of expert reassurance—we got you!
Questions about moving? Ask our vet team!