Moving house with your cat
Moving house is stressful for any family – if you have a cat, there are even more things to worry about. However, good planning decreases the chances of anything going wrong.
The following advice will help you to plan:
- One option is to book your cat into a cattery while you move
- Alternatively, a week before moving day, empty one room; familiarise your cat with this room
- Get your cat microchipped/update her contact information
- Have a new collar tag made
- Find a cat carrier
- Find and register with the Healthy Pet Club practice closest to your new house
- Consider buying a pheromone diffuser and/or spray to use in your cat’s room/on the carrier.
- Place the new tag onto your cat’s collar
- So that she can’t stray, put her in her designated room the night before the move with her water, bed, litter and toys
- Close the windows, put a sign on the door and/or lock it
- In the morning, feed her breakfast – but not too close to departure time
- Line the carrier with something absorbent, put your cat into it - check out our blog on how to get your cat in a carry case -, and secure it in your car
- If the journey is long, stop periodically to offer food and water; she may also need to use the litter tray – make sure she remains secure at this time
- Ensure she doesn’t get too hot
- Never leave her unattended in the car.
Once in your new home
- Secure one room (windows closed, door sign, etc.)
- Put your cat in this room with:
- Scratching post
- Unwashed item of your clothing
- Box to hide in
- Litter tray
- Once the movers have gone, close all windows, doors and cat flaps; let your cat out to explore
- Rub a cloth on her face; dab it at ‘cat height’ around the house to mark the house with her scent
- A pheromone diffuser may also help her to relax
- Initially, feed her small, frequent meals; otherwise, stick to her regular routine
- If you haven’t moved far, ask the buyers of your old house to call you if your cat returns
- Ask them not to feed her.
Letting your cat go outside
- Don’t let her outside for at least 2 weeks
- Before she goes out, fit her collar/tag
- Choose a day when you aren’t going out
- Don’t give her breakfast
- Let her make her own way out; leave the door open
- Feed her immediately when she comes home
- Only let her out once/day, when she is hungry, for the first 2 weeks.