Moving is a really big change, and anyone with a feline friend knows they prefer routine and familiarity. Planning ahead will help to make the move smoother for you and your moggy – take a look at our video about moving home with your cat:
Moving can be overwhelming for cats. Some owners prefer to put their cat in a cattery during the actual move so they aren’t as stressed, but this is entirely down to each individual and what your cat would prefer as some can find catteries stressful. If this is something you’re considering, book your cat in from the day before your move so it’s one less thing to worry about on the day.
If you choose not to put your cat in a cattery, allocate them a room in each house. On moving day, settle them in their room. Give them a small meal and plenty of fresh water, and make sure their litter tray is fresh and clean.
When you’re ready, you can collect your cat from their room and put them in their carrier. If they get travel sick, try to avoid feeding them for around four hours before you travel.
When you get to the new house, take your cat to their new room. Make sure there are blankets and beds that have their smell on in there, and that they have access to fresh water and a clean litter tray. If they’re worried and don’t want to come out of their carrier, don’t force them. Just leave the door open and they’ll come out when they’re ready.
You should keep your cat in their room for the first few days in the new house. This will help them to settle in (and gives you a chance to unpack). When they are ready, let them explore the rest of the house at their own pace. Make sure you leave their door open when they start to go into the rest of the house so they have somewhere safe to run to if they feel overwhelmed.
If your cat is usually an outdoor cat, you might be worried about them getting confused or running away after you move.
It’s important to keep your cat indoors for a while when you move to a new house – just as you would if you were bringing them home for the first time. Around three to four weeks should be plenty.
Remember to update their microchip details with your new address, so when they do go out you’re more likely to be reunited if they get lost.
When you do let your cat out for the first time, you should:
Until your cat is ready for the outdoors, make sure you have plenty of litter trays in your house and clean them out regularly.
Older cats might struggle more with big changes and suffer with stress more than they might if they were younger. It’s important to take everything very slow with an older cat.
If you’re planning to move them on the day, put them in their room at your current house a few days before the big move to give them time to adjust to being in there. This should also mean they avoid a lot of the packing stress. Remember to sit with them often if they like company.
You should use pheromone diffusers and sprays throughout the move to help keep your cat calm. You can get wipes and sprays that are ideal for carriers and blankets, whereas a plug-in diffuser is perfect to put in their room.
When you move to the new house, follow our tips above and keep an eye on your older cat to make sure they are settling in OK. Keep an eye out for any signs of stress and give your vet a call if you think they’re unwell.
Have a check-up with your vet before the move and ask them for any advice. They can give you suggestions tailored to your pet. Don’t leave this until the day before, especially if your cat finds vet visits stressful.
There are lots of thigs you can do to make moving with your cat as stress-free for the both of you as possible.