Moving with cats can be a challenge. After all, cats are creatures of habit. Like many of us humans, they’re very set in their ways and don’t like change.

Sometimes it’s necessary for loving cat owners to move to a new location despite our kitties’ preferences otherwise. Thankfully, there are several precautions you can take to help minimize your cat’s stress during this chaotic transition.

Follow these three steps to make moving with cats as headache-free as possible and help your cat feel safe and comfortable.

Step 1: Before the Move

The bulk of work needs to happen before your big move. Use this checklist to prepare your cat for the move weeks in advance. We promise you’ll thank yourself for planning ahead!

Introduce your cat to their carrier

Whether you’re moving down the street or three hours away, your cat needs to be comfortable in their carrier.  Acquaint your cat with their carrier at least two weeks prior to your move.

Leave the carrier out in a room with its door open. Put your cat’s favorite toys inside. Give them treats or food near or in the carrier. 

Your kitty should associate their carrier with feelings of warmth and security. Food helps them create positive memories with the carrier. 

Let your cat play with boxes

Most cats love boxes! But during a move, boxes can seem scary and full of unfamiliar smells. Let your cat play with boxes

Bring out a few boxes early. Let your cat play and explore in the boxes. You can also try placing an herb pouch filled with dried chamomile or hops in or near the boxes, or using a homeopathic remedy like Bach Flower Essence around the area—all of which tend to have calming effects on cats. Their soothing scent might help your kitty feel more comfortable.

Talk to the vet

Always consult your vet when moving with cats. Some cats are able to take the move in stride, while others suffer panic attacks.

Make sure to visit the vet if your kitty’s trip to their new home will last for more than one day.

Update microchip information

Be sure to update the information on your cat’s microchip (if they have one) before you move. Input your new address and double-check that your phone number is current. 

If your kitty does manage to escape during the moving process, this will make it easier for them to return home.

Step 2: During the Move

After planning your move with care, there are a few things to keep in mind on moving day with your beloved feline. Under no circumstances should you remove your cat from their carrier during transit. Even if your kitty doesn’t like the carrier (and many don’t), don’t let them out.

Put your cat in the bathroom

Once you arrive at your new home, place your kitty in a quiet area where they won’t be disturbed, like a bathroom. 

Fill the space with their favorite toys, food, their carrier, and a litterbox. 
Place a sign on the door so your movers won’t unknowingly let your cat out.  

Don’t let your cat outside

The most important rule of moving and cats is to keep your cat secure. You don’t want them to run out the front door in an unfamiliar area.

Step 3: After the Move

Welcome home! Thanks to your hard work, you’ve successfully relocated with your fluffy baby. These tricks will help your kitty feel comfortable in a new space.

Give your cat space

Your cat will need time to adjust to a new home. Help them adjust more quickly by giving your cat a space of their own. 
Place your kitty’s food, water, litter box, and toys in the space. This will help them realize that it’s their own, safe territory.

Cat-proof your new home

Prevent cat-related accidents in your new home by cat-proofing the house. 

Roll up electrical cords, check your house and yard for poisonous plants, and look for crannies where your cat can get stuck.

Also, make sure you remove any poison traps or dead rodents in your home.


Taking the Stress out of Moving with Cats

 It’s clear why there’s a link between moving cats and stress—it isn’t always easy! Fortunately, these tricks will help your cat feel as comfortable as possible during the craziness of a move.

You love your cat like family. Join the PetGuard family as a PetGuardian for more insights into giving your kitty the best life.