Moving house with a cat

Packing, sorting, and cleaning are all on your to-do list when you are planning a move. But what about your feline friends? As a valuable part of your family, your pet cat also needs to be taken into consideration. Moving can be very stressful for humans but it can be even more so for cats. 

So how can you make the day go as smoothly as possible? How can you make your home nice and welcoming for your pet? Following on from our top tips to help your dog on your moving day, here are some ideas to help your cat stay relaxed and happy when you move house. 

  • Keep the same routine as you prepare 

Most pets rely on the routine of their day-to-day to keep relaxed and calm. This is especially true for cats. So when you have an unsettling and strange event like a move, it can be hard for them. One way to help is to try and keep a routine despite the craziness. Things like food times, when they hang out with you, and when they have alone time, can give your cat a sense of control and help keep them happy. 

  • Have a safe room 

Slowly moving your cat’s bed, food, litter tray, scratching post into a quiet room can give them a calm space when there is a lot of activity around the rest of the house. If you do this in the lead-up, then they will be used to the space and it can be helpful to have that area for them to stay while things are being ferried in and out. This also applies to the other end at your new house. Having a “safe” room to put them when you arrive, again with all of their belongings, means that you don’t have to worry about them. It also helps them to acclimatise to their new home slowly. 

  • Have your travel box out 

Getting your cat used to the carrier is a good idea, as it stops them only associating it with trips to the vets and stressful situations. Try putting their favourite toys and treats in there too so that they enter voluntarily and associate it with good things. If your cat doesn’t travel well, speak to your vet and they can give you some ideas. To reduce the risk of your cat being sick or going to the toilet it can be an idea to not feed them for 5-6 hours before your journey. Secure it safely on the back seat, either with a seatbelt or wedged between something. Make sure it’s not in direct sunlight and the car is well ventilated. 

  • Pheromone diffuser 

Pheromone products, such as Feliway, can be provided by your vet and are useful, especially for more anxious cats. When cats rub their faces around furniture, corners or doorways they are making themselves feel secure by marking their home territory. Artificial pheromone sprays and diffusers are available that mimic the scent from a cat’s facial glands, helping cats to feel more secure. Alternatively, you can take a clean, unused cloth and wipe it around your cat’s face to pick up their own scents and then wipe this around the furniture at cat height.

  • Talk to the new owner of your previous house  

If you are not moving too far away, cats can sometimes have the desire to go back to their old house. If they find themselves on old routes, they can get confused and end up back at their old home. If you speak to the new homeowners and make them aware this is a possibility they can get in contact with you if your cat has decided it wants to move back in! Getting your cat into a routine quickly, with nice things like food, grooming and playing, will help them to feel happy in your new home and the drive to get back to the old home will fade. 

  • Gradually expand their territory 

Having a lot of new areas can be really overwhelming for a cat, so it’s a good idea to introduce them to new areas gradually. Depending on how outgoing your cat is, introduce them a couple of rooms at a time, making sure that all the windows are closed. It will take a bit of time for them to get used to the house before you venture outdoors. If you let them out too soon they can become disorientated and get lost. One thing you can do to make them feel at home in their new garden is to sprinkle some used litter around the perimeter. This also warns other cats in the area that there is a new cat in town. The first time you let your cat out, make it around dinner time so it’s more likely they will follow you back in when they hear the biscuit rattle! 

  • Update collar and microchip 

As soon as you can update your cat’s collar and microchip. It can be easy in a new environment for your cat to get into accidents, so register at your new local vet quickly which will help if you need some treatment in the future. 

Here at Headington Carriers we can help take the stress out of your move by catering for all of your removal needs. If you would like more information about our services feel free to contact us on: +44 (0)1993 811 276 or (0)1865 311 000 /