For an indoor cat, your home is her whole world! Any sudden change in her world may be upsetting. Here are some potential environment changes and what you can do to reduce kitty's stress.
When your cat is boarded she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people and animals and she is also removed from her normal schedule. When you need to board your cat, find a facility that you feel comfortable with. Don't be afraid to ask for a tour of the kennel so you can see where your cat will be housed. In many facilities you can request that your cat be housed in a quiet "cats only" area.
Always bring along the cat's own food, blanket, toys, and a couple of articles of your clothing. The scent of your clothing will be comforting to the cat because it is familiar and makes her feel that you are nearby.
Ask the staff not to remove it from the cage. Bring along a spare piece of clothing sealed in a plastic bag in case the first one gets soiled. Ask the staff to leave your cat's carrier in the cage or provide a box or brown bag so that she can hide.
When you bring the cat home, make sure that her refuge is still available. Cats recognize one another by scent. When your cat returns home, other cats may treat her as an outsider because she smells like the boarding kennel. You may need to slowly reintroduce her to avoid conflict (see Introducing a New Cat).
Moving furniture changes the familiar layout of your cat's environment. Before the day you plan to move furniture, provide the cat with a refuge. Leave a TV or radio on in that area. When you are finished you can use Feliway in the area where furniture was moved to provide a calming influence on the cat.
Let the cat explore the new layout at her own pace and maintain her refuge so that she can return to a familiar place when she needs to.
Moving to a New Home
Before packing begins, provide your cat with a refuge. Leave a radio or TV playing in or near the refuge to muffle confusing outside sounds. Think of it as "white noise" for your cat.When you arrive at your new home set up a new refuge for your cat. Visit the cat in her refuge and spend "quality time" with her by playing with a favorite toy, petting her, or brushing her.
Leave the cat in the refuge until you have moved everything in and everyone else is settled. Once the house is in order allow the cat to investigate her new surroundings on her own. Leave the refuge available for the cat to come and go as she wishes. For the first few weeks, if the cat still seems hesitant, keep her in the refuge while you are away. Each cat adjusts to new surroundings at a different pace and it may take time for your cat to get used to her new home. Let your cat decide when she is comfortable.
When you remodel your cat is exposed to many new sights, sounds, and even smells. Loud power tools, paint, chemicals, and construction materials can be frightening for your cat. A few days before you begin remodeling, provide a refuge for the cat. Leave a radio or TV playing in or near the refuge to provide calming "white noise" that covers up the noise of construction.
When you are finished you can use Feliway in the remodeled area to provide a calming influence on the cat. Let the cat explore the new room at her own pace and maintain her refuge so that she can return to a familiar place when she needs to.