Our top tips will have your cat feline fine on moving day.

There are three phases to helping your cat adjust to a new environment.

  1. Preparing a cat for a home move
  2. Keeping your cat safe on Moving Day
  3. Settling a cat into a new home

So in this guide to moving home with cats, we will show you how to keep your cat feline fine about its transition to a new home.

Moving home is not a fun experience when you know what is happening. Imagine being a cat, when the only thing you know for sure is that things are not normal.

Emotions in the family are running high, boxes and packing materials are appearing everywhere, and things are not in their usual place.

It is easy to see why cats get easily stressed moving home.

And unless you are Dr. Dolittle, how do you reassure and protect your feline friend when moving home? What is the best way to move home with a cat?

Read on to discover all you need to know about moving home with cats.

How to Recognise Your Cat is Stressed

Help your cat stay calm during the relocation with our top tips

Humans or animals, we all like the feeling of security and normality that routine and familiar surroundings give us.

In fact, these two things are vital to stave off stress, anxiety, and relocation depression.

And it is useful to know the signs that your cat is stressed so that you can take extra steps to relieve that stress if you need to.

9 Signs That Your Cat is Stressed

  1. Out of character, your cat will soil outside of their litter tray
  2. They may experience diarrhea or constipation
  3. Excessive grooming resulting in bald spots
  4. Excessive scratching
  5. Hiding away from you
  6. Constant meowing
  7. Lack of appetite
  8. Lethargy or excessive amounts of sleep
  9. Aggression

If your cat shows any of these signs it would be a good idea to take your pet to the vet to get them checked, just to be on the safe side.

You may also like to read: How Can I Make My Home Move Less Stressful? Moving home can be one of the most stressful events in life but it does not have to be. Here we show you how to make your relocation the easiest ever.

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How to Prepare a Cat for Moving Home

What’s all the fuss about? Moving is easy!

To help your cat have a stress-free home move, it is important to prepare them for the upheaval of moving.

5 Steps to Preparing Your Cat for a Home Move

#1. Consider using products such as Feliway, which helps relax your cat.

Use the spray or plug-ins before you start the packing process so that your cat starts to benefit straight away.

Continue to use the pheromones throughout the home moving process, and for a few weeks after you have moved home.

#2. Whenever you are decluttering or packing, keep your cat away from all the action. Close the door of the room you are working in so that they are kept out of harm’s way.

#3 Prepare an empty room for your cat about a week before moving day.

This will be your cats’ sanctuary from the chaos of moving.

Put their favourite toys, bedding, litter tray, food, and water in this room.

There is no need to shut them away in this room permanently, but get them used to being in there and feeding in this room.

#4 If your cat is not used to traveling in a pet carrier, put that into the cat room too, with the carrier door open. Line it with a piece of your clothing so there are familiar smells and so that the cat can get used to the carrier. Traveling in the carrier will then be less stressful for your cat come moving day.

#5 On the night before moving day, shut the cat away in their room, making sure all the windows are closed so it cannot escape.

You may also like to read: How to Dog Proof Your Home, Car, or Garden. If you have a dog as well you will find this guide to making your dog’s new environment safe essential reading.

6 Tips for Moving Home with a Cat

What’s all the fuss about? Moving home is easy.

#1 It would be a good idea before you move home to update your cats’ collar tag (include your mobile telephone number) and have them microchipped with your new address details.

If your cat is already microchipped, don’t forget to update the company with your new address.

#2 When moving to a new area you may consider registering your pet with a new vet before you arrive. And don’t forget to get your cats’ vaccination and medical records from the vet before you move.

#3 Find out where the emergency vet clinic is, and the telephone number, just in case something unexpected happens in the first few days of being in your new home.

#4 Your cat will feed off of your emotions, so try to keep calm and not be stressed around your cat in the run-up to moving day.

#5 Try to keep to your cats’ normal daily routine. Feed and play with them at the usual time, it will help reassure them that everything is OK.

#6 And one last thing, keep an unwashed blanket, cushion, or piece of clothing that smells of you and the old home. You will need it to help your cat settle into their new surroundings.

How to Keep a Cat out of Harm’s Way on Moving Day

Cats and moving home do not mix well. Put your cat in kennels to keep them out of harm’s way

The safest option is to have your cat looked after at a cattery on moving day, but this will not always be practical.

So there are precautions you can take to ensure your cats’ safety on moving day.

#1 Remember to lock the door of the cat room so that nobody accidentally opens it and lets the cat escape. If you cannot lock the room, just put a big sign on the door so the removal team knows that the cat is in there.

#2 Before reopening the cat room, ensure all doors and windows in every room are closed so that your feline friend cannot escape.

#3 Once all the removals are complete, then put your cat into a travel carrier. Leave this until the very last minute, preferably when you have done your last check around of the home before leaving.

#4 It would probably be best to leave your cat in the car so that it does not associate your new home with disconcerting noises. You want your cat to associate the new home with a calm, safe environment.

#5 Obviously if it is the middle of a heatwave this would not be practical, and you should have a plan B for where to keep your cat the safest, away from the noise and upheaval of the furniture being moved.

You may also like to read: How to Survive Moving Day. Survival often relies totally on your state of mind, so if you are in control, have prepared well, and have this guide to surviving moving day it will be a breeze.

How to Settle a Cat into a New Home

Your cat will be settled into the new home in no time

Ideally, your cat will have spent the last day or so at a cattery, giving you the opportunity to unload the removal van, and set everything up for your cat’s arrival in its new home.

So before you let your cat out of its travel carrier, in exactly the same way that you set up a room for your cat when you were moving out, you should set up a room to help your cat adjust to its new surroundings.

Choose a room where there are no cavities or hiding places that it would be difficult to get your cat out of.

It may try to hide away if it is anxious or scared, although if your cat does do this, let them come out again when they are ready, do not try to force them to leave their safe spot.

Keep the piece of clothing or blanket from your old home in this new cat room. It will have all the smells that reassure and give your cat comfort if they are feeling stressed.

Ensure all the windows and doors of this room are kept shut, certainly for the first 24 hours. But remember to go into the room and play with your cat so they can be reassured everything is OK.

Have a good check around your new home to make sure there isn’t anything that would be dangerous for your cat.

Your cat will decide when it wants to explore its new home. Don’t force your cat to come out of the room if it doesn’t want to. But ensure that when they do start venturing out of the cat room, that the doors and windows to the rest of the house are kept closed.

You can also trick your cat into thinking it has already marked its territory.

Wipe your cat’s face with a cloth to collect its facial pheromones.

Then, at cat head height, wipe the cloth in various places around the home.

The cat will believe he has already visited and marked this spot.

You will probably need to repeat this process a couple of times.

Have a second litter tray set up where you intend to have it permanently after your cat has settled in. As your cat explores its new home, introduce it to the location of the second tray.

Gradually move the litter tray out of the cats’ comfort room towards the new box. Don’t just take the tray away from the cat room as this may unsettle your cat.

How long do you need to keep a cat indoors when you move? Ideally, you should keep your cat indoors for the first two weeks after moving home.

When your cat tells you it is time to start exploring outside, introduce them to their new surroundings slowly.

You might consider putting a screen door up so that your cat can get used to the smells and sounds of its new neighbourhood without the fear of it escaping.

Take your cat out for a short period, stay and play with them, then take them back indoors.

It is a good idea not to feed your cat before this first exploration, then they will be eager to come back to be fed or to get one of their favourite treats.

Of course, you know your cat best, and its personality will likely determine the pace it will want to explore its new surroundings.

Don’t try to force your cat to explore, let him do it naturally when he feels at ease with the new home.

You may also like to read: How to Make a New Place Feel Like Home. Here we look at how to make your new neighbourhood feel like you belong, like it is your home.

Moving Home with Multiple Cats

Moving home, whether with 1 or 4 cats, means a period of adjustment for your furry friends.

Follow the advice above and make use of products such as Feliway or other calming products.

Cats feel and project your emotions. So no matter how stressful things are, or how concerned you are about your cats settling into their new home, don’t let it show.

Take time to be with them and comfort them.

You may even find that the pecking order changes, as all the cats will need to establish their territory again.

Above all else, let them take their time to adjust and keep to set routines, which will help calm and reassure your feline friends.

Moving Home with an Outdoor Cat

Introduce your cat to his new environment slowly and it will soon be bushy-tailed and bright-eyed.

There is a train of thought that moving home is an ideal opportunity to turn an outdoor cat into an indoor cat.

Often other cats will have already staked their claim to the local neighbourhood and a newcomer may put the cat amongst the pigeons so to speak.

Also, consider if you are now living near a busy road when previously you were not.

Again, you know your cat best and whether this is the right course of action.

Fence off a secure area so that your cat can have a safe outdoor environment in which to get accustomed to their new home. It is best if this secure area is totally enclosed so that there is no chance of your cat jumping over the fence, never to be seen again.

Then gradually let them explore on their own but within your sight.

But cats will generally return to where they get fed. So let your cat adjust to its new outdoors gradually, but just before its regular feeding time.

It is very important that you stick to regular feeding times. That way the cat is more likely to return to be fed.

When the cat is outside, leave a window or door open (if it is safe to do so) so that he can return as he wishes to his safe haven.

For the first week or so try to keep your cat in at night until they become familiar with their new surroundings.

You could even buy a tracking collar, which transmits your cat’s location to your phone if you are particularly worried about him running off or getting lost.

You may also like to read: How to Make Your New Home Feel More Relaxing. If you are relaxed, your cat will be relaxed. Here we offer some suggestions to make your new home super relaxing.

The Myth of Putting Butter on Cats’ Paws When Yhey Move Home

There are stories of people putting butter on a cat’s paws after they have moved into a new home.

The thought is that the cat will spend time cleaning the butter off its paws, which will give your pet time to adjust to its new surroundings.

But professional advice is this is unlikely to work and will only serve to make a greasy mess in your new home.

Yes, it’s a myth.

We hope you think our guide to moving home with cats is the cats’ whiskers, so feel free to share it with your friends.

And if you have any top tips for moving home with a cat, why not share them with other movers in the comments below?

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