My four-year-old cat Toby has gone through two moves with me. After the first move, he peed in the new living room and worked to tear the entire back off of a couch with my then roommate’s other cat. It was not a great move.
The second move went a little better. For that move, I knew more about the importance of keeping things as calm and stable as possible. That time he pooped once on the bathroom floor and stuck to me like glue, but otherwise took the change in good stride. For that move I had read Petfinder’s article about moving with pets, so I wasn’t surprised that Toby (an affectionate, but relatively independent cat) became the king of cuddles when we moved.
Well, we’re moving again. Not far, only about a block or so, but for an indoor cat who knows every nook and cranny of a tiny studio apartment, that’s a massive change. We’ve been using calming treats and Feliaway spray as more and more of the apartment gets boxed up. At first, Toby took it like a trooper. Obviously all the boxes were for endless games of peek-a-boo.
This weekend he seemed to realize something was up.Toby not only had an accident on our bathroom floor (something that happens when he’s stressed) but his body language also clearly showed that he was anxious. He kept grooming himself with short, shallow licks and his eyes were wide and buggy. The only time Toby seemed to relax was when I stopped packing and read a novel I’d found behind my desk. Then he curled up on my foot and began purring like mad as he dozed off. His tail was no longer buried under him (merely clutched gently in his paws like he’s done since he was a kitten) and his eyes were no longer wide open, trying to catalog every change in his home.
I hate that my cat is stressed, but I know it will pass. I’ll keep up with extra play time, calming treats, Feliaway and keeping his schedule consistent. Toby is a resilient cat and he’ll bounce back. I’m sure it won’t be long before he loves the new apartment as much as the old, and boxes are again for games and not a sign of change.