How to Move to a New Home with a Cat
How to Move to a New Home with a Cat
Moving to a new home with a cat requires some strategic thinking to make sure your kitty gets settled with minimal stress. Cats are territorial, so moving to a new home can make them anxious and inclined to engage in self-destructive or home-damaging behaviors – but a little planning can go a long way towards a pet’s successful transition.
Looking to introduce a new cat to your home? Check out our article on how to introduce cats.
Here are some tips to consider for how to move a cat into a new home:
Prepare Your Cat
There are ways to begin transitioning your cat even before the move. First, you can help them get adjusted to their carrier by leaving it out and open with a comfortable bed placed inside, using food and treats to entice them in. At the same time, you can help them adjust to the presence of moving boxes by leaving them out for a few weeks, while still trying to keep their daily schedule as normal as possible.
You can also prepare your new house for the cat’s arrival. If possible, take your cat to the house before the move with a familiar bed or piece of furniture. Set some treats out for the cat and allow them some pleasant exploration time. You can also use pheromone scent products like Feliway or spread the cat’s scent around the house with a towel to create a more soothing environment.
Be Thoughtful on Moving Day
There are several ways you can minimize your cat’s stress on moving day:
- Keep your cat in one room in your current house with a sign on the door asking movers not to disturb. Your cat should remain there with any necessities until everything else is moved out.
- Be attentive to your cat on the drive to the new house, stopping for water breaks if it’s a long trip.
- In the new house, choose a “safe room” for the cat with food, water, and a bed – a place where they can remain undisturbed while the movers unpack.
Create a Gradual Adjustment Process
A lot of pet owners have had success with keeping their kitty in the “safe room” for the first few days. Make sure the room has everything they need to be comfortable, and sit with them often during that period so you can soothe them. Once everything is unpacked, let them gradually venture into other parts of the house.
As your cat explores, try to maximize their safety and well-being by making sure windows are secured to prevent escape, feeding them small, frequent meals to avoid an upset stomach, and providing them with plenty of stimulation – regular playtime, new toys, or hiding treats around the house for them to “hunt.”
When you are moving to a new home with a cat, a little planning and extra sensitivity can be the key to a successful transition.
What are your tips for how to move a cat to a new house? How did you prepare your cat? What did you do once you arrived at the new house? Please share in the comments below.
Great article, Jenny!!!! Wonderful information to have on hand should we ever move again. Thinking back to my various moves in my life as an adult I realize that I only had cats one time when I was relocating to a new home in my life and that was when I moved from Colorado to Maryland in 1998. At that time, I knew the move was going to be very stressful for pet travel so I re-homed both of my cats (Gizmo went to very nice family that I had met and been pre-screened via a pet rescue organization I had contacted and Garfield went to my hairdresser who I had known for years and was a wonderful lady). We did take our small dog Sparky with us from Colorado to Maryland and he did very well with traveling. But I couldn’t see putting our beloved kitties through the trauma of traveling such a long distance in their carriers, etc… Moving cross country driving a U-haul truck and towing my car behind it with a 9 year old boy and my future husband and Sparky was stressful enough. All four of us were crammed into the front seat of that truck and though it was a fun and exciting trip (and Sparky took turns sitting on my lap and my son’s lap and trying to sit on my hubby’s lap as he drove) it was very stressful for all of us. (When we moved from Maryland to Kansas in 2001 we had two cars. My hubby and Sparky/Henry in one car and me and Rocky, our Springer Spaniel who we’d gotten as a puppy while living there, in another car and Henry would take turns riding with me and his dad. I swore I would never move cross country again in cars with any pets. So stressful. We didn’t have any kitties during our time in Maryland as we just had our two dogs. My nerves were shot at the end of that trip!)
Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3