We recently reached out to some cat owners to ask what subjects they’d like addressed on our blog; amongst the most common answers was “How do I hide my cat from my landlord?”

We at the Peaks Pet Nanny cannot ethically answer that question, but we can offer some advice on how best to find pet-friendly housing and help get your cat settled!

Finding an apartment

When preparing for a move with your pet, make sure you give yourself time to properly research. Reach out to the local human society, animal shelters, etc. They may be able to provide you with a list of pet-friendly communities. If working with a real estate agent, be upfront about your priority to bring your pet with you for a move.

If you encounter a potential landlord who is apprehensive about having a tenant with a pet, ask if this is a result of previous experiences. Listen to their concerns and take them seriously. By showing you understand you come off as being a more responsible pet owner. Gather documentation such as medical records to prove to potential landlords that you are on top of things. Consider getting a letter of reference from your current landlord.

Once you’ve been given permission by a landlord to move in with your pet, be sure to get the agreement in writing to protect your rights. Verbal agreements will not protect you.

Preparing to move

Cats don’t like change, so they need to be eased into every step of the moving process.

Spend a week or two helping them get accustomed to the carrier they will be transported in. Leave it sitting out with a comfy bed inside. Start feeding your cat in the carrier, moving it back gradually each day to compel them to go further inside.

Put your boxes for the move out a few weeks before you need to start packing just to help give your cat time to get used to their presence. Try to keep their routine as stable as possible.

Settling in

From the moment you arrive in your new home, designate one room as a sort of home base for your cat. Pick a room that will remain relatively quiet to keep your cat in as you move in. Use this room to set up your cat’s dishes, bed, litter box, etc. You can place some treats around the room to encourage them to explore, but keeping them confined to the one-room will help gradually introduce them to the new environment without becoming overwhelmed. Spend time with your cat here, starting with low-key activities like reading or watching TV.

Once the rest of your home is more or less “moved into”, let your cat discover the new rooms gradually—one by one if possible. Supervise exploration. You can put a second litter box in the place you’d like to eventually keep your permanent litter box, but it is a good idea to keep one litter box in the cat’s “home base” for a few weeks as they get acclimated.

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