Moving With a Cat? Here’s Everything a Good Pet Parent Should Know About

August 25, 2022 / Posted in Before the Move
Maya Brown

Born in Atlanta, Maya has called many places home in her lifetime. She's a content writer and moving expert who loves to help people relocate smoothly.

Relocations are almost always a stressful task, especially when you have to worry about your furry friends adapting to the entire process. Moving with a cat is a complicated thing, but it can go much more smoothly and pleasantly with the right tips. If you are soon planning on cross-country moving to a new house, this guide will help you with the entire process and make it more manageable.

Cat ready for a long-distance moving
Relocating with an animal requires informing yourself on all important matters

You Should Learn as Much as You Can to Make This Adventure Less Stressful for Both of You

Relocating to another state is a process that requires finishing tons of little tasks and constantly worrying about all the possible issues and how to solve them. When you’re relocating with pets, it can be even more difficult because they require constant attention, and you must know how to handle them and their needs properly.

To make the entire process stress-free and less hectic, it’s important to inform yourself of all the possible relocation hacks that will help both you and your furry friend to overcome this huge step much more quickly. This guide we have come up with will explain how to move with a cat more smoothly and safely without causing distress in your house.


When Moving With Cats – Preparation Is the Key to a Safe and Stressless Move

When relocating to a new home, you have tons of tasks that you must handle. Even if you’re hiring a long-distance moving company to help you out with the major tasks, you still have a lot of things to do on your own. Hiring long-distance movers will make the process more manageable, but these professionals usually can’t help you a lot with your pets as they are one of the things cross-country movers don’t move.

This task is completely on you, which is why you must learn how to handle it properly. One of the most important things is getting organized to move, so you prepare well and avoid any possible relocation mistakes.

Get a Comfortable Carrier for Your Cat in Which They Feel Safe

A carrier will be of great help, not only during the transportation process but also while you’re finishing your last tasks and preparing for the movers. If this is your first time relocating, you probably aren’t aware of how hectic relocation days are. People constantly get in and out of the house, move bulky furniture, and make noise, which can all be stressful for your furry friend.

Because you don’t want your furry friend to get confused, scared, or possibly run away during these hours, an important relocating day tip is to provide it with a comfortable carrier and keep them away from all the hustle and bustle.

So before the move, find a carrier, give your kitty some time to adjust, and decide whether it will work that way. Get them some toys that will keep them busy in the carrier. During the transportation and the entire move, they will feel safe inside it and won’t cause any problems.

Figure Out What Keeps Your Pet Calm and Comfortable

All pets are different and have their own way of functioning. What calms one animal may feel uncomfortable to another one, so be careful when choosing a way of relaxing your furry friend.

Many professionals recommend using some cat-calming pheromone sprays, which are specifically designed to reduce stress and anxiety. However, before the actual move, figure out whether your little friend likes it and if it really works. You want to ensure that you avoid unpleasant situations on the big day.

Prepare and Update Your Cats Documents and Important Health Papers

When organizing your important documents for the move, don’t forget to prepare the documents of your furry friend. Despite being one of the essential tasks on your relocation to-do list, many people forget to do this before the move. So while preparing your papers, remember to do the same to your cat’s microchip or collar with an ID tag. If you have other documentation like pedigree papers, organize them and prepare them for packing.

Figure Out How You’re Going to Transport Them to Your Future Home

When it comes to transporting your little friend to your new home, it is not going to be an easy task, and you should figure it out in advance. If you’re hiring a car shipping company to transport your car, you probably won’t be able to take your little friend in a car.

However, since buses, trains, and airplanes are more stressful to pets than family cars, you might want to reconsider hiring an auto transport company. You and your pet will be much more comfortable driving together, even if it’s an all-day drive to your future home. On the other hand, if your kitty is an experienced traveler and doesn’t mind being in a carrier for a while, feel free to go for it after consulting with your vet.

Cat with boxes lying around the house
Your furry friend probably won't enjoy the entire process, but if you prepare them well, it won't be too stressful

Talk to Your Vet About the Safest Ways of Moving a Cat

One of the most important things to do before you move to another country with your pet is doing the mandatory talk with the vet. It’s one thing to inform yourself by watching videos and reading blogs, but the most important advice you can get is the one from your vet.

Take your friend for a regular check-up and ask your vet any questions that you may have. Your vet needs to approve whether your pet is even healthy enough for a longer move and give you important tips on taking care of them during the move.

You can also ask the vet to recommend some medicine for calming your furry friend if needed and solve any dilemma you may have about relocating an animal. Once you get the thumbs-up from a professional, you’ll know you’re prepared to handle this huge task.

When the Big Day Comes – Keep the Important Tips for Moving With a Cat in Your Mind

Preparation is always the key to success, but when the relocation date comes, you will have to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but remember some of the most important things, and even keep a list with you in case it’s easier for you to remember what you have to do. There are some important tricks you should remember when the big day arrives, so everything can go smoothly.

Ensure You’re Not Disrupting Their Usual Routine Too Much

Every animal likes to have a certain routine, and they rarely feel comfortable with changing it. This is the main reason why relocations are so upsetting to them. If your pet has a certain routine that they enjoy sticking to, try to maintain it even during the relocation date. Meals, playtime, cuddles, or whatever they are used to need to be in a similar chronological order that it is like on all the other days.

The only thing you can consider changing is giving them less food to eat. With less food, it will be much easier for them during the transition since they’ll have fewer chances of feeling sick and nauseous. This way, they will feel much more relaxed during the move. If you wish to learn some more tips about relocating with your furry friend, watch this helpful video linked below.

Adjusting Your Furry Friend to a New Home Will Require Some Time and Effort

Suppose you finally got to your new home, and the entire space is filled with boxes that you’re about to unpack after the move – a pretty exciting yet chaotic scenario. How is your furry friend going to handle it? Cats probably won’t be too happy about the different environments at first. However, like you, animals need time to adjust appropriately to these profound changes.

Give Them Time and Space to Explore on Their Own

The most helpful tip would be to give your furry friend some time and space to decide on their own how they will explore unfamiliar surroundings. It’s best to leave them in an open carrier, with food and water, in one room and let them choose when and how they want to interact with the space.

Maybe they will get out of the carrier immediately and start exploring each room, and perhaps it will take an hour or two or even more. Don’t pressure them – let them figure out their own pace. If you feel as if they’re getting stressed, show them support and let them know they can feel safe around you.

Ensure the Home Is Well-Cleaned and Smell-Free

Cats can act pretty problematic if they sense the presence of some other animal in the home. This is why you should ensure every room is deep cleaned before your little friend enters the home.

Cleaning an apartment before you move in is always important, especially when you don’t know if the previous owners also had an animal. Once it’s cleaned, set up your cat’s litter box, climbing house, and some blankets that have their smell. This will be essential for the adapting process.

Cat exploring a new home
Leet your furry friend adjust to the environment at their own pace

What Are Some of the Most Frequently Asked Questions When It Comes to Learning How to Move With Cats?

Most animal lovers worry about many things when relocating with their furry friends. If you also fear this entire process, it may help to inform yourself more about any doubts you may have. Here are some of the most common questions pet owners worry about when it comes to relocating their beloved pets to a different home.

How long does it take for a cat to get used to a new home?

As we’ve previously mentioned, each animal is different and has different approaches to the adjustment period. The adaptation process will surely end at some point, so don’t worry too much about the period of time, but rather show calmness and support to your pet.

Do cats get stressed when moving?

Most pets do get stressed during relocations. However, if you follow our advice, you will lessen the chances of stress and help your little friend handle it easier.

Are cats OK with moving house, and will my cat be okay after moving?

Animals are much better at adapting than we think. Pets are almost always great after the adaptation period ends.

Do cats get sad when rehomed?

It’s more likely that your furry friend will get a slight feeling of stress and fear of the unknown than genuinely feeling sad. However, keep in mind that you are the only thing they are familiar with in this new environment, so be their biggest emotional support.

How can I calm my stressed cat after moving?

The best thing you can do is give them attention and love. If your vet allows it, you can also use some medications to help them with anxiety.

What if my cat starts running away from her new home

This is common with cats since they are very territorial and often reluctant to unfamiliar environments. If this starts happening, you can best keep an eye on them and make sure that their microchip is updated.

While You Are Focusing On Your Little Friend, Let the Movers Focus On Relocating Your Entire House

Let’s face it, you can not possibly handle every single relocation task and remain sane. If you’re already preoccupied with your cat’s safety, let the professionals deal with packing your belongings and providing you with all the necessary long-distance moving services.

Before getting their services, ensure you’re hiring a reputable company by researching them on the Better Business Bureau website and checking their license. To ensure you have no problems with the safety of your items, get relocation insurance, and save yourself from unnecessary stress. This way, relocating to your future nest will be a piece of cake!

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