Magazine article Work & Family Life

When You and Your Pet Move to a New Home

Magazine article Work & Family Life

When You and Your Pet Move to a New Home

Article excerpt

Every year an astounding 16 percent of the U.S. population-including families and singlespack up their belongings and move to a new home. Making the move as smooth as possible for your pets is a big concern, whether it's just you and your cat or you're part of a larger family.

Cats and dogs-even frogs and fish-can sense and react to moving to a new home. Age plays a role too; moving can be harder for older pets. But there's a lot you can do to ease your pet's transition to new surrounding.

Helping your cat feel at home

just as we feel compelled to make our mark in a new place with wallpaper and fresh paint, animals like to settle in with an imprint of their own. Cats in particular are prone to litter-box lapses, morethan-usual scratching and marking walls and doors.

Keep outdoor cats inside for at least a week; veterinarians recommend confining them to one room during this time. If this seems unjust, think of it as a chance for your cat to get grounded and settled. When we moved, we didn't follow the oneroom rule and, sure enough, our two cats promptly disappeared into the basement ceiling. Of course, indoor disappearances are preferable to the outdoor equivalent, so he sure to close doors and windows before pets begin their whole-house exploration.

Helping dogs make the transition

Be sure to give your dog enough time to know where home is-where to return for a good meal and a warm bed. Having some old toys around will be helpful.

Pay attention to changes in your new home environment-for example, a dog who's used to carpeting may slip and slide over a tile floor. …

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