March 28, 2024

Helping Your Cat Adjust During a Household Move

A household move can be challenging for cats, as they prefer stability and familiarity. Cats who experience excessive anxiety may exhibit undesirable behaviors such as soiling the house, displaying aggression, or attempting to escape. However, there are ways to help your cat adjust to his new home more smoothly. Here are some suggestions as you prepare for your household move.

Prepping Your Cat for the Transition

It will be easier for your cat to adjust if you prepare it for the move. Bring moving cartons into your home days or weeks before packing to give your cat time to investigate, explore, and acclimate to them. 

You can also introduce the cat carrier by setting it in a room with some treats and blankets inside to entice your cat to investigate. Give them unrestricted access until the day of the move.

On the day of the move, secure the cat in the carrier. Avoid opening the carrier to comfort the cat until you get where you are going.

Make sure your cat’s collar tags are current and properly fitted. Update your kitty’s microchip before moving. Current microchip data increases the likelihood of reuniting with your furry friend if they escape your care in the transition.

Restrict your cat to a solitary room while you pack. Include his favorite toys and scratching pads. Position the food and water in one location and separate the litter box. 

Establish a “Safe” Space 

It takes some time for cats to adjust to new surroundings. Ensure your new home has a door and a ceiling-enclosed “safe” room for your cat. Provide them with food, water, a litter box, and toys. Include a t-shirt or similar clothing that carries a recognizable scent. This will create a sense of comfort and familiarity for them. Include blankets and toys that also have a familiar scent.

Once you open the carrier, allow your cat to exit at his own discretion. Sit with him and remain nearby while he explores the room for the first time. He will stay in his room until he feels comfortable exploring the rest of the house. Some cats will feel safe within a few days, while others will take weeks.

Reduce Stress Further

If your adult cat is generally anxious, consult your veterinarian about calming aids. Sprays, diffusers, and plug-ins containing pheromones might help calm your mature cat. Tryptophan, rosemary, and camomile-containing products can also aid in your cat’s relaxation. Again, your vet can assist with specific ideas to try.

Exercise Patience

Some cats’ reactions to change include acting out, hiding, or not eating. Reward your cat more often with treats and play with him more to help him associate the new house with positive emotions. Take your pet to the vet if their anxiety or challenging behavior persists beyond three weeks following your relocation.

Moving Help

If you need help with your move, contact us today. We help with everything, from packing to moving to unpacking and all the details. Get your free quote.


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