Top tips on moving house with a cat


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Moving house is an exciting time. Although some level of stress is hard to be avoided, there shouldn’t be anything too overwhelming. Especially if you’ve planned and prepared efficiently. However, moving house with your cat might be playing on your mind.

Rest assured, there are ways to transport your beloved animals to your new home without causing them too much disruption or discomfort. With help and advice from Alice Potter, Companion Animal Welfare Expert at the RSPCA, we’ve pulled together the top tips to ensure you feel confident about moving house with your cat.

Initial steps of moving home with a cat

Before moving, make sure your pet insurers, vets and any ID tags have updated contact details with the address of your new home. If you’re moving far away, you’ll need to register with a new vet – making sure there’s no day where your cat is without cover.

It’s also important to take a visit to your current vet to ensure your cat is fit for travel and for upcoming changes. This can be a good time to talk to your vet about pheromone products which may help your cat to feel more settled in their new home.

Prepare your cat for the move

Cats are very territorial animals which means they can become very attached to where they live. This trait can make moving quite stressful for cats. However, there are things you can do to help ease this and prepare them for the change in scenery.

Around a week before moving, it can be a good idea to clear out a room in your current house, and dedicate this to your cat. Fill it with its bed, toys, scratching posts, litter trays and food and water. Another good idea is to place their cat carrier in the room filled with comfortable blankets. The desired effect being your cat gets used to being in it willingly.

While you don’t need to shut your cat in this room at this point, it’s a good idea to feed them their meals in this room throughout the week.

Only shut them in the night before the move. This will ensure your cat doesn’t wander off. And as they now should be familiar with the room, shutting them away shouldn’t distress your pet.

How to safely transport your cat to its new house

Firstly, ensure you plan the quickest route possible to your new home, to minimise travel time for your cat. If you’re moving far away, then make sure you have planned breaks during the journey and keep checking on your cat throughout. Keep your vehicle cool and well ventilated, and ensure you have water and bowls available if needed.

Alice, of RSPCA, says it’s safest to put your cat in its carrier when transporting from property to property. She says: “It’s important that the carrier is secure so if you put it on a seat in needs to be belted in and unable to move around.

“Alternatively, you can place the carrier on someone’s lap but again it needs to be really secure.”

How to help your cat settle into its new house

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, its time to help your cat settle into their new environment. Just like yourself, this can take a while so don’t be alarmed if you notice any changes in your cat. In particular, cats tend to hide away when they get scared or feel uneasy. So whilst there’s unpacking happening and lots of visitors, you may find your cat hiding away underneath beds.

However to make them feel as comfortable as possible, start by dedicating a room to your cat. Just like you did in your previous home before moving. Put all of the same items in this room, as well as something which smells like your family. So that your cat has some familiarity. Avoid buying everything new when moving, including a new cat bed. Alice says it’s best keeping your old one for comfort while your cat is settling in.

Following this, keep your cat inside for around two to three weeks. This gives your cat time to explore, and get used to their new home. Then, gradually build it up letting them out for short periods of time.

Alice says: “When first letting them out, do so before meal time, so you know they will return for food.

“It’s always a good idea to stock up on their favourite foods. Have something you can shake such as a bag of food or a tin, so you can encourage them to come back in.”

What to do if you have concerns about your cat in your new house

If you are concerned about moving to a new home with your cat or feel like your cat isn’t settling in as they should, then be sure to speak with your vet. However, with these tips, it should take the stress away and ensure your move is as straight forward as possible.

If you’re looking to start a new build home journey with your family (and pets too), then discover a Barratt Home’s development near you.