Moving House With a Cat

It can take time for a cat to adjust to new surroundings. But there are several things that can be done to help them settle in to a new house.

There are many things to consider before moving to a new house to make sure the whole process goes by as smoothly as possible (check out our moving house checklist for some of the key things to deal with). But it’s not just people who can become stressed when planning and executing a move to a new property. Pets (and cats in particular) will often find moving to a new place pretty unnerving.

Territory is a huge thing for cats, so you can imagine how difficult it is for them when they are moved to a new area. Cats are extremely sensitive, especially when it comes to scents and routines – thankfully, we’ve got some tips you can follow that can make the whole process of moving with your cat a lot smoother. 

Cat on house steps

Plan ahead when moving with a cat

It’s a good idea to get your cat prepared for the big move in advance. Be sure to check that their vaccinations are up to date, and you may also need to update the microchip details when you move to a new area, if your cat has been chipped. Just before moving, it can be a good idea to set up a room with all of your cat’s familiar things in it to ensure they are as comfortable as possible before travelling to the new house and environment.  

Travel arrangements

If you’ve ever taken your cat to the vet, you’ll likely know the challenge you have ahead of you. Chances are, you’ll have many things that need transferring to the new house, so you’ll need to plan how your cat is travelling properly. If you are going to use a cat carrier, you should get your cat used to the carrier before the moving day. A few days before, practice a few times trying to get them to settle in the carrier by luring them into it with treats. One they are more comfortable; it should be easier when it comes to travel day. 

Settle them in slowly 

Cat walking along a fence

It can take time for cats to adjust to new settings and surroundings, so it’s important you don’t rush them and introduce too much at once to them. A good way of settling them in is to introduce them to one room at a time. When you first arrive at the new property, place their carrier in a room and let them come out of the carrier at their own pace. Once they start to get a bit more comfortable, open up more rooms for the cat to explore.

At first, ensure that your cat doesn’t go outside as they will be more prone to getting lost. Once the cat starts to feel more secure indoors, they will let you know that they want to go outside – and they’ll begin to mark their new territory. 

Maintain a normal routine 

One key tip for making your cat feel more at home is to stick to the same routine that you had in the old house. This will help your cat to adjust to the new surroundings whilst maintaining a routine that they are familiar with. Cats aren’t huge fans of change, so keeping a normal routine will help them to feel more at ease. 

Clean and reintroduce scent

Once you move into a new place, you’ll want to clean the place thoroughly, and not just for your own sake but for your cats too! Cleaning can help to get rid of any scents from past animals and make it easier for your cat to adjust. Cats heavily rely on their sense of smell, and they will naturally rub themselves against furniture, objects, fixtures, and everything they possibly can in the new home to leave their scent. 

This behaviour is essential for cats and helps to keep them calm and feel secure and comfortable. 

Make the new place fun

As you’ll likely know, cats are curious creatures and love to explore and have fun! Once your cat has started to settle in, be sure to pay them lots of attention and play with them – which will again help them to feel more comfortable. 

As for exploration, cat’s love to get up high and climb inside things, so be sure there is ample opportunity to do this once they have started to get used to their new surroundings. 

Moving your cat into a new house will likely not be an easy process, but following these tips will help to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

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Moving house with a cat