A long distance move with a cat requires some forethought and planning to make sure your pet is comfortable and suffers as little stress as possible. You also want to minimize your own discomfort and stress. Working with the movers and planning ahead is a must. The following tips can provide the necessary strategies you and your cat need to get through moving day.
Tip #1: Clean all pet items before packing
Anything that your cat uses should be cleaned before the movers arrive to pack things up. This means vacuuming and wiping down cat trees and houses, washing cat toys, and disinfecting the litter boxes. You don't want food residue to attract pests, nor do you want unpleasant pet odors to permeate everything on the moving truck.
Tip #2: Know the moving rules
You may or may not be able to pack extra pet food onto the truck, depending on the rules of the moving company. Some allow some food items, such as canned food or unopened bags, but they may not allow open bags. If you can pack your stockpile of pet food, store everything in a sealed plastic storage bin so any leaks are contained and pests are kept out. Otherwise, it's best to move your extra pet food in your own car, or to donate it to a shelter before you move.
Tip #3: Implement a moving day lockdown
Before the movers arrive, empty out a room in the house, removing everything but a litter box, cat bed, food and water dish, and a couple of toys. You may even want to place the open cat carrier in the room so your cat can become accustomed to it. Make sure your cat is locked in this room and use tape and signs to make it clear that the door is not to be opened by anyone other than you. This will prevent your cat from escaping through an open door, thus ensuring your pet is safe up until the moment you are ready to load them into the car.
Tip #4: Travel safely
Once the movers are gone, it's time to get ready to travel. A cat carrier is a must to ensure the safety of your cat in the car. For a long move or if you have a very nervous cat, get a prescription of sedatives from your vet to help them relax in the car. Make sure your cat is wearing a collar and tags with current contact information, as well. Finally, provide your cat with plenty of water while traveling.
For more help, talk with your moving company to see what advice they have for long distance moving with pets.