Moving With Your Cat

No one likes moving! It’s stressful for everyone involved, especially your pets! Cats can be distressed and take time to adjust to a new environment. Here are some things to be mindful of that will make the transition between homes as smooth as possible for your feline friend.

Before the Move:

  • Give your cat lots of love and care during the packing period. Try to keep your cat’s routine (feeding times, playtime, etc.) as normal as possible despite the chaos of boxes and packing.
  •  Leave all your cat’s belongings (food bowls, litter box and scratching posts) in their normal locations as long as possible.
  • If you haven’t already, consider getting your cat microchipped for permanent identification, especially if moving out of the province or country.  
  • If you are moving out of the country, make sure you plan well ahead to collect the necessary documentation for your cat to cross international borders.

Moving Day:

  • Keep your cat in a safe and secure environment. This may mean a day at your veterinary clinic, a boarding kennel or confined in a secure room at the home of a friend or family member.  
  • If possible, move your cat with its own litter box, bowls and scratching post to your new home ahead of your actual moving day. Make sure that the cat has a starter or sanctuary room with a secure door (a locked door is ideal) which will not be opened by anyone until the move is complete. Learn more about starter rooms.

After the Move:

  • It is best to continue to use a Starter or Sanctuary Room for the first few days, or even longer if your cat is very stressed. A starter room allows your cat to calmly and quietly adjust to their new surroundings as well as new sights and smells. It may take a few weeks for your cat to fully settle into the new home – this is normal!
  • Be sure that everyone in the family and any visitors to your new home are very careful about open doors and windows during these first few weeks of settling in. If possible, have everyone in the family choose and use one door that is the least likely to offer an escape route to a nervous cat.
  • If after several weeks of settling in you wish to take your cat outside, provide constant supervision while using a secure body harness and leash or build a secure cat run.  
  • Remember to update your tattoo information at the veterinary clinic that did the tattoo and/or update their microchip information with the microchip company. Up-to-date owner information dramatically increases the chance of you being reunited with your pet if they ever get lost!
  • If your cat is still having trouble adjusting to your new home after a few weeks, consult your veterinarian.

Hopefully, these tips and guidelines will help make moving as smooth and easy as possible for both yourself and your cat!