How To: Moving With Cats

How To: Moving With Cats

Orange kitten wrapped in blanket

Moving is one of the most stressful times in life, but in all the chaos try not to forget about your furry friends. Whether they’re fresh to your home or lifelong members, moving into a new environment can be more stressful for your cat than you might think. 
If you know anything about cats, you know that cats are very averse to change, so try to keep them as calm as possible.
This means having treats and other comfort items handy. 
Here are some tips and tricks for moving with cats that are sure to make you and your feline feel right at home. 

Graphic reading, "Moving blog, how to: moving with cats." with a picture a cat in the box.

Preparing Your Cat To Move

Some things you can do to prepare your cat for the big move are:

  • Update their collar ID
    • If your cat has an address on its collar, update it in case of an emergency
  • Introduce a cat carrier or crate
    • This is important if your cat will be in a crate or carrier for a long drive and/or plane ride. Giving your cat a chance to acclimate to a new space will reduce shock to your pet on moving day. This will reduce stress for both you and your kitty. 
  • Take things slow
    • Try to keep your cat’s daily routine as normal as possible, taking baby steps towards changing. This may mean you have to start acclimating your cat a little earlier than usual. With movers, new families, furniture, and more coming in and out of the house, your cat could be put under a lot of stress from unfamiliar territory. 
cat-in-moving-box

Moving Your Cat

It’s finally time, the big move-in day is here! So what to do with your cat now? 
Keep your cat inside the carrier while people are moving things, this will keep your cat safe and you from worrying. 
If your cat will be in a vehicle for an extended amount of time, make sure that your cat is used to being in a similar situation. Taking your cat on car rides in the carrier leading up to the move is a good idea. 
As tempting as it may be, do not open your cat’s crate in an attempt to console your kitty. They could make a dash for it, and you could lose them in unfamiliar territory. 

Settling In

You’ve finally made it, congratulations! Keep your cat in the carrier while you introduce them to their new surroundings. Take things slowly by introducing one room at a time. 
introduce your cat to their own room first until they get used to the house. 
Make sure this room is set up with the proper necessities for your cat. Keep your kitty in their new space while completing your own moving process. 
Once you’re all moved in, don’t forget to check on your furry friend and comfort them in their new space.

Some signs that your cat may be nervous include:

  • Making themselves small by tucking their tail and/or heads
  • Running away
  • Hiding
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Hissing or biting 
  • Going to the bathroom outside of their litter box
    Consider your cats age as this can affect how they react to new environments

Moving Forward

Here are some things to keep in mind and watch out for in a new neighborhood.

  • Runaways
    • Your cat might try to run in an attempt to go to more familiar territory. To avoid this, keep your cat inside at all times. To let them outside, ensure they are fully bonded to the new home first. Keeping them in an enclosed space outside, like a fenced-in yard, is also a good idea. 
  • New Neighborhood Cats
    • Cats can be very territorial, so keep a close watch when letting them outside and become familiar with other cats. 
  • Stress
    • Try to avoid putting your cat in more stressful situations after moving, like fireworks and thunderstorms. Keep them safe and comforted during events like these. 
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Reese Ledford comes from Fort Mill, South Carolina right outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is currently studying Political Science at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. In her free time she loves to travel, draw, exercise, and hang out with friends and family.

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