Moving may be one of the most disruptive life changes—for both humans and pets. Cats are averse to change, which can make moving day extra stressful for all.
When it’s time to pack up the house and make your migration, you can take steps to make the transition easier for your kitty. The goal is to keep them calm and comfortable. This will help you avoid messes, meowing, aggression, and attempted escapes.
Preparing Your Cat to Move
Update information. Make sure your cat’s ID collar is secure and up-to-date. It’s best to microchip your cat before the move, in case they get scared in the new space and run off. Reunions are much more likely when microchip info is kept current.
Make a “new normal.” Leading up to the move, keep your cat’s routine as normal as possible. The sudden appearance of new people and moving materials, along with the disappearance of favorite furniture or objects, can cause stress for cats. To reduce this stress, introduce boxes to the home before you start packing. This helps create a new normal landscape for your cat. It also reduces the number of new stressors on moving day.
Introduce the cat carrier. Introducing your cat to a good pet carrier a few weeks before the move can make it easier. Choose a carrier that is well-secured, designed for travel, and cozy.
Set the carrier in a safe, quiet corner of your current home before you start packing. Place treats, a favorite blanket, and familiar toys in the carrier to build positive associations with the carrier. Allow your cat to freely enter and leave the carrier whenever they would like in the days and weeks leading up to the move. Placing the carrier in a quiet place will encourage the cat to seek refuge there as packing and moving activities become more hectic.
Moving Your Cat
On the big day, keep your cat in the carrier while people are moving in and out of your current home. If your move includes a major road trip, make sure your cat is used to car rides in the carrier.
It might be tempting, but don’t open your carrier mid-travel to soothe your kitty. This increases the risk of your cat making a dash in unfamiliar territory.