July 26, 2021

Helping Your Cat Adapt to Your New Home

Moving can be disruptive, especially for cats who are particularly averse to change. You can take steps, however, to make a household move easier for your cat. Here are some tips.

Before the Move

Check ID information

Be sure your information is correct on your cat’s collar tag. Microchipping also is a good idea in case your cat runs off at your new home. If your cat already has a chip, take steps to have that information updated.

Bring in the Boxes

Introduce moving boxes into your home gradually and let your cat explore them and get used to them. Then begin packing slowly so that your kitty doesn’t become frightened by everything disappearing all at once.

Introduce the Carrier

Introduce your cat to the pet carrier gradually as well — especially if your cat is not used to traveling in one. Set the carrier in a quiet corner of your home and place toys and treats inside. Allow your cat to freely enter and leave the carrier in the days leading up to the move. This will build up positive feelings for the carrier. If your cat isn’t used to car rides, practice taking them for rides before moving day.

Keep Routines Normal

Moves are overwhelming for cats because of the fast change in their environment and routine. So as you lead up to moving day, try to keep your routine as normal as possible. For instance, you should feed, play, and cuddle at times they’re used to. Try to maintain your kitty’s routine during the moving process, including on moving day.

On Moving Day

Keep your cat in the carrier or a bedroom with the door shut and a sign on the door alerting movers to your cat’s presence. Put your cat in their carrier just before you pack up the bedroom. Then, once you arrive at your new home, set up that bedroom first and let your cat remain there during the rest of the move.

If your cat tends to be overly anxious, consider putting them in a kennel on moving day. Likewise, if your cat is a nervous traveler, consult with your veterinarian to see if a mild sedative is necessary. 

Feed your cat at least three hours before the car trip.

After the Move


Once the move is complete, introduce one room first. Then, allow your cat to explore each room independently, but be careful about letting them explore the utility room or kitchen unsupervised. Sometimes nervous cats will hide behind appliances.

Make sure that you have secured all the windows (including screens) and doors so that your cat cannot escape. Stay calm to avoid making your cat anxious.

Preventing Run Aways

Cats often try to return to their old neighborhood after a move. To prevent that, keep your pet indoors for at least two weeks until they are comfortable with their new environment. Make your cat comfortable in your new home by feeding them smaller meals more often and incorporating more treats with the meal.

Rub your cat’s cheeks and head with a cloth to collect the scent from glands. Then rub the fabric against corners of furniture and doorways at cat height. Repeat this daily until your cat begins to rub against them.

Initially, let them out of the house in small increments, such as 10 minutes, gradually increasing the time. You might consider letting them out only when they haven’t eaten for several hours, so they’ll be more likely to return when you call them. Next, place a favorite blanket or toy outside the home so that your cat can pick up their familiar scent.

Settling In

Moving with your cat can be tricky. First, you must take the steps needed to make them feel safe, loved, and secure. So let us help get you, your family, and your kitty to your new home. Contact us today for more information and a free quote.


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