Moving with pets – caged or stationary
This article concerns the treatment and moving of pets that are kept in cages or hutches or bowls, that’s probably just fish, if you’re keeping a rabbit in a bowl then it’s probably for dinner.
Just because your pet isn’t going to run around and get in the way on moving day doesn’t mean that they don’t have to be taken into special consideration and treated in a totally different way to your other boxes.
Keep it clean: In the week leading up to the London house move you need to do a really thorough pet clean – more thorough than it’s ever been before. This means that when it comes to moving day, you’ve already made your job a lot easier. It also means that you can get all that pet waste in the final bin collection before you go. On the day you move, get the pet into their carrier and then empty and clean the cage. If possible, try and disassemble it or make it lie flat so that it will fit more easily into the lorry but don’t disassemble it or scatter the pieces to the extent that you can’t get them back together and reassemble the cage when you arrive at the other end.
Transport: It might seem pretty obvious, but don’t move your pet in their usual everyday habitat. These tend to be huge and, in the case of rabbits or guinea pigs, not suitable for putting in a car or lorry. Get some sort of travel case for your pet. If it’s a very long journey to your new home then consider getting a larger or more comfortable one and if your pet is nocturnal – I’m looking at you hamsters – and you’re travelling during the day, then get one that your hamster can sleep in relatively comfortably. Also, if you are moving fish, move them in something with a lid – a ventilated lid, but a lid nevertheless. Not only could water spill over the car but you could find yourself scrabbling on the floor on the Volvo whilst speeding down the M25 looking for Monty the goldfish who’s drowning in the foot well.
Provisions: When you get to your new destination and you have restored your pet to their original home you must make sure you travel with provisions. For animals that require hay or sawdust make sure you have a fresh bag so that you can set them up cleanly and comfortably and make sure they feel at home before you start the unpacking chaos that will ultimately make you feel at home too. Food and drink for your pet are also essential and if you’re feeling peckish after your big house moving day, it’s worth thinking about when your pet last ate.
Another point that’s worth thinking about but less of a concern for caged pets is how the pet will fit emotionally into the new house. A friend of mine moved with goldfish and they were so shocked by the move that they turned silver. I’m sure this isn’t how all shock manifests but try and keep some level of consistency for your animals. For hutches, perhaps keep the grass they move to at a similar length to the grass they left. For a hamster it might be worth keeping them out of the window if they aren’t used to natural light.
So enjoy your move. Take care of your pets. It’s their move too.