It is a universal fact that pet ownership comes with some restrictions, in terms of the choices that you make about things and how you can plan for your future. This extends to big life changes such as moving house, and the actual process of moving with your cat can be rather stressful for both you and your cat too, and should be handled carefully!
However, before you even get to the stage where you think about planning the move and settling your cat in, first of all you need to find a suitable new home! Whether you are upsizing or downsizing, moving house due to work or are forced to find a new place because your tenancy ended, picking your new home should always be done with your cat in mind.
In this article, we will look at how to choose a new home with your cat in mind, to ensure that your new home is both suitable and safe for your pet. Read on to learn more.
First of all, while it can sometimes be hard to get a tenancy that will permit cats, this is usually easier than if you are seeking a home with a dog, particularly if renting privately. Before you go and see a potential property, make sure you ask about pets during your first enquiry and don’t waste time with properties where you are not sure! Good references from a prior landlord can be invaluable here too.
Even if you are buying, some properties in certain developments or in apartment blocks may be leasehold and managed by a company, which will often have rules on their own. It is uncommon for a blanket no pets rule to be in place, but do find out first-and check if there are any other pet regulations regarding public spaces, or the number of animals you can keep.
When it comes to the inside of a property, cats are easier to accommodate than dogs, and can be comfortable within even very small homes.
Look for facilities such as rooms that you can shut off to restrict your cat, if there is a cat flap present or where you could put one, and where you will put your cat’s beds, food, water and litter tray.
Also, try to pick a home with windows that your cat would be able to see out of, and somewhere that you could place a large scratching post or high-up bed, to help your cat to feel secure.
If the property comes with a yard or garden, check this out for any potential hazards to cats, such as toxic plants-and establish how easy or otherwise it could be to remove them. Also, check the fencing or walls and ensure that you are confident that it would be able to keep out dogs, and if not, how you might be able to fix it.
If the property does not come with its own fenced land, think about things like hedges and cover that your cat could use to get around, as they do not like to be out and exposed in large open spaces, and of course, need to be able to hide or get away if a dog comes by.
It is unwise to pick a property that is right on top of a busy road, particularly if your cat’s only access to open space requires crossing it. A busy road is not always a deal breaker though-for instance, if the house is in a terrace and the backs of the houses are safe green space, you can put a cat flap in a back door, and negate the need for your cat to ever go out the front.
Look out for other hazards too-for instance, if your door opens right out onto an open green space that people use for dog walking, proceed with care.
Taking into account the presence or potential presence of dogs is something that cat owners should take very seriously, and if all of the gardens around the house are surrounded with dogs, this may be better avoided. As well as your own fencing and garden, check to see how your cat would get out of the garden, and if this would require crossing through properties that have dogs out loose.
Also, talk to your neighbours and find out who has dogs and cats, to make an informed decision on the area.
Finally, make sure that before you commit to a property, you will be able to access all of the facilities and help that you might need with your cat-such as a local vet, and if necessary, pet sitting services for when you are working or away.