Moving with Cats

By Najah Ayoub

Moving with CatsPlanning a relocation can be a big change for any one person. There’s boxes to pack, movers to call, calendars to update, and goodbyes to be had. Garfield, your feline pal, unfortunately may not be able to help you with those tasks. What’s more: you may be excited about the change, but your furry friend may be accustomed to their typical routine. Even though they may be a creature of habit, you can take a few steps to help them feel as comfortable as possible with the transition to a new home.

So, if you and your feline roommate are setting your sights on a new address, keep reading for some additional tips to consider taking before, during, and after your move to make the move less stressful for all involved.

Before the move

  • Update your pet’s microchip information. When you know your new address, make sure to set a reminder for updating your pet’s microchip information. It may be a challenge to remember once you’re in the midst of moving boxes around and working with the movers. Updating the information in a timely manner will ensure that your new address and veterinarian information are reflected as soon as possible when you move.
  • Get your pet’s vet records and some travel advice. If you’re moving out of the area you’re currently living in and will be getting a new veterinarian, you’ll want to make sure you have a copy of your pet’s medical records so that you can bring them to the new vet that you establish in your new hometown. This is also a chance to discuss any recommendations your vet may have about how to support your pet, given their medical history (including calming aids) for the trip.
  • Keep up your routine, but make some new introductions. There’s no need to change up their regularly scheduled programming of feeding, play time, and cuddles too far before your move date. But, to get them more comfortable with new stuff in their space, you might start bringing in moving boxes ahead of your move date. You don’t have to start packing just yet, but you can let them sniff and get curious with them. Many cats love cardboard boxes, so they might just see it as another playground. Making these new item introductions will help them not feel stressed when you actually start using the boxes to pack.
  • Get familiar with the cat carrier and car rides. To transport your feline friend securely, they will need to be in a cat carrier. If they aren’t already acclimated to theirs, you’ll want to get them comfortable with it a good amount of time in advance of your move date. Leave the carrier out in your place so that they can get familiar with it. If they seem uninterested or avoidant, you can sweeten the spot by feeding them near or inside of the carrier. Use treats to reward their curiosity of the carrier and when they seem relaxed near or inside of it. Make sure it’s a cozy space to be in with enough padding and toys for them to enjoy the space. If they aren’t as accustomed to being in the carrier in the car, you may start easing them into that process as well.

During the move

  • Feed them a light meal. A move can make anyone’s stomach full of nerves, and your cat is no exception. It’s wise to keep the feeding light before packing them up for the journey to your new destination. Their stomach may be a little frazzled from the stress of all the changes and the travel.
  • Keep your cat secure while moving in and out of your current place. Moving requires a lot of movement in and out of your home, with doors opening and closing and new people coming in and out. Make sure that your cat is comfortably secure in a separate room with their essentials (water, bed, food, and toys) so they can relax while you get the moving done.
  • Pack them up in the cat carrier securely right before you leave. Acclimating your cat early to the carrier really makes a difference in this step. After you’ve handled how your belongings will get from point A to point B, you and your pet will need to make sure you get to point B as well. To keep them safe while in transit (plane or car), you’ll most likely need to have them in a pet carrier. No matter how you’re traveling to your destination, it’s best to not open the carrier until you get where you’re going. This may cause undue stress to your pet and increase the risk that they may get loose in your vehicle or make a run for it in an unknown location.

Once you’ve landed in your new spot

  • Make the space safe for your cat. Before letting your feline friend have full access to your new place, you’ll want to remove any items or hazards so that they will be safe and secure. This may mean giving your new place a scrub-down, especially if any previous owners also bunked with any animals. Cats are sensitive to those scents and it may be stressful to them.
  • Introduce them slowly to the new place. Designate a spot where the stuff your cat uses the most will be located, whether that be a particular corner or a room in your home. Cats may be overwhelmed with having free reign of a new place, so establishing their own safe spot can help them adjust. Don’t push them to be in other spots of the home; let them explore as they wish and let their curiosity build up their confidence over time. Interacting with them in this safe spot can also help.
  • Pick a home base for the litter box. To help your cat adjust to their new surroundings, pick a spot for the litter box and try to make it a place you aren’t likely to move it. Having a constant will be helpful as they acclimate. You may also want to put out a secondary box in the main area of your home as they adjust. Once they seem to be more comfortable, you can remove the secondary box.
  • Reach out to your new vet if the adjustment period seems particularly long. If your cat continues to seem stressed and fearful more than a few weeks after you’ve settled in, it may be a good idea to check in with your new veterinarian. They may be able to give some additional advice and support to help your feline feel at home.

It’s important to support your loved ones, including your cat, in making the transition to a new home and a new normal. You deserve support during your move, too! Piece of Cake Moving and Storage has just what you need to make any relocation less stressful. In fact, with our Platinum Packing Experience, you won’t even have to lift a finger with the packing and unpacking process of your belongings. And, our flat fee guarantee won’t have you sweating any unforeseen surprise charges either. Let us take the work out of your move so that you can handle the transition to your new home with care.


Ready to make a move? Get in touch today for an obligation-free guaranteed flat price moving quote.

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