Tips for Moving House with a Cat

As a cat owner you will likely know all too well just how much cats rely on routine and familiarity, especially when it comes to their home. If you’re planning on uprooting and moving locations, it’s important to consider how this will impact your pet. Think ahead and assess what is the most efficient way to move house without your cat getting overwhelmed and stressed.

Whether you’re adopting a cat from another home, or starting the moving process with your own cat, the first few days in a new house can be difficult, but with the help of our pet experts here at Direct4Pet, we’re here to advise you on the best products and tips on how best to make the transition as smooth as possible. Keep reading to discover our top tips and tricks for keeping your cat as comfortable and happy as possible whilst moving house.

What to do with a cat when moving house?

When it comes to the physical process of moving your belongings from one home to another, finding a practical way to keep your cat settled and out of the way at this time can be tricky. Some cat owners may choose to put their cat in a cattery during the move, however this may cause more stress to your pet, particularly if your cat isn’t well socialised and much prefers to keep their own company. If a cattery isn’t a suitable option for your cat’s behaviour and temperament, you could choose to leave your cat with a familiar friend or family member. If neither of these are a viable option, we suggest allocating a safe, enclosed room in your current home and a room in your future home for your cat to stay in during the moving process. 

On moving day, while this may seem straightforward, we recommend making sure your cats  have access to food, water, a clean litter tray and a comfortable place to rest in the house you are moving from. It can be easy to get swept up in a house move and simple comforts your cat will likely be familiar with may be overlooked, so it’s imperative to keep these creature comforts in mind and carve out a safe space they can relax in while you move.  

Keep your cat in a designated, secure room with access to food and water whilst you move all of your belongings and, when you’re ready to leave, put your cat in a carrier to transport them safely to the new home. Once you’re in the new house, take your cat to their newly allocated room which should have blankets, cat beds and toys that already have your cat’s scent on to make them feel more at ease. 

We recommend that you keep your cat in this room for the first couple of days so that they can adjust to their new environment, particularly if you’re implementing this method for a newly fostered or adopted cat. Giving them their own space also gives you, as a new homeowner, valuable time to move furniture, unpack and organise your new home. After a couple of days, you can then let them freely explore the rest of the house and mark their scent, however, it is important that the door to their room is left open so that they can easily retreat to a safe space if they start to feel overwhelmed.

Eco Lined Recycled Pet CarrierHenry Wag Folding Fabric Crate

Eco Lined Recycled Pet Carrier £12.49 and Henry Wag Folding Fabric Crate £33.59  

To safely transport your cat to your new home, we recommend a pet carrier such as this Eco Lined Recycled Carrier. This cat carrier is made from the equivalent of 30 x 1 litre plastic bottles, recycled to create a durable and practical carrier for your pet. Available in a variety of sizes to cater to any size cat, this carrier features a door that can be opened from all sides, is easy to clean and has integral seat belt clips to safely attach the carrier to your car for secure transportation.

Another secure transportation option for your cat, especially for travelling in the car, is this Henry Wag Folding Fabric Crate. Lightweight and easy to assemble, this crate features fabric mesh window panels on all sides with flap covers and a foam insulated floor panel for a more breathable and comfortable travel option. For anxious cats, this crate is great as the faux sheepskin padding provides extra comfort to help keep them settled and can also be used after transport as a safe space for your cat to curl up and relax in their new home.

Rosewood Grey Teddy Bear Hooded Cat Bed Rosewood Bamboo Radiator Cat Bed

Rosewood Grey Teddy Bear Hooded Cat Bed £19.99 and Rosewood Bamboo Radiator Cat Bed £22.49  

Cat’s love places to hide and burrow, especially when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, therefore, a cat bed such as this Rosewood Hooded Cat Bed is a perfect accessory to consider investing in to offer up a soothing space they can enjoy. Made from extremely cosy and soft teddy bear fabric, this bed provides your cat with the perfect place to rest and hide away when feeling stressed. Soft, comfortable and made from durable quality fabrics perfect for pesky cat claws, this cat bed is a must have for your new home.

Similarly, this Rosewood Bamboo Radiator Cat Bed is another great choice for cats who love to hide away. Designed to hang over your radiator, this cat bed is easy to assemble, durable and made from 100% bamboo and eco fibres. Featuring a plush inner cushion and three entry points, this bed is ideal for cats who like to sleep off the ground and be hidden away. 

Browse through our full range of cat beds and furniture to find the perfect option for you and your cat.

Will my cat be okay when moving house?

Yes, your cat will be okay when moving house, even if it takes them a while to adjust or they seem scared or anxious at first. Moving home is a big change for pets but with time and lots of love and affection they will become comfortable and happy in their new home. If you’re worried about any anxiety your cat may be suffering from due to the move, there are a range of calming pet products available here at Direct4Pet that we recommend trying to help keep your cat as relaxed as possible.

Beaphar Calming Collar For CatsPet Remedy All In One Calming Kit

Beaphar Calming Collar For Cats £6.69 and Pet Remedy All In One Calming Kit £30.99 

If your cat suffers from anxiety or is prone to stress, the Beaphar Calming Collar is an ideal solution for keeping your cat calm when moving house. Using a mixture of valerian and lavender which have been proven to naturally relieve stress, this collar helps to effectively reduce anxiety and help your cat feel calm, settled and relaxed in stress-inducing situations, such as a house move. Once fitted, this collar will immediately release valerian and will help to relax your cat within one hour and will stay effective at reducing stress for up to 6 weeks. 

For this collar to have the best desired effect, we recommend your cat wears this a few days before the move so that they are already feeling some of the calming effects when it comes to the move. This calming collar will help keep your cat at ease during transportation and throughout the adjustment period to their new environment.

An alternative to the cat collar but still just as effective, this Pet Remedy All In One Calming Kit includes a calming diffuser, two calming sprays and a pack of twelve calming wipes. All of these products feature a unique blend of essential oils that help to calm the nerves of anxious pets. We recommend installing the calming diffuser into your cat’s new home environment, in the room they will spend most of their time in to work gently alongside their own natural calming mechanisms. The calming sprays and wipes can be used on your cat at any point, however, a great time to reap their benefits is during the transportation to the new house to help keep your cat at ease.

How long does it take for a cat to adjust to moving house?

The length of time it takes your cat to adjust to their new environment will be different for every cat - some may adjust quicker than others. Generally speaking, it can take between 1-4 weeks for your cat to adjust to a new home, however if your cat has a more nervous disposition or you have a multiple pet household, it could take longer. Keep this in mind when moving house, consider the ways in which you can help make the transition smoother to keep your cat comfortable and at ease in their new space. Here are some of our helpful tips on making the move as stress-free as possible for you and your cat:

  • Plan ahead - Make sure you have a solid plan in place for moving home, this includes knowing where your cat will be most calm and safe during the move, both before and after the move, and ensure that there’s already familiar scents in the new designated room. By staying organised ahead of the journey, it will help both you and your cat stay calm during a stressful time.
  • Make sure your cat has comfort items and enrichment available - As mentioned above, your cat should be kept in their own room for the first few days of moving and one of the best ways to ensure your cat is comfortable in this room is to fill it with familiar comfort items and stimulating toys to keep them calm and occupied.
  • Register with a new vet if necessary - If you’re moving to an area that is a long distance away from your usual vet, make sure that ahead of the move you are registered with a new local vet so that all of your cats’ medical records are transferred over in good time.
  • Help your cat settle in - Ensure your cat has all of the necessities such as a clean litter tray, water, food, bed, toys etc. in an easily accessible place, ideally in their own separate room so that they have a space to feel safe to help them settle in a new environment. If your cat has a usual routine, try to keep feeding times the same and be sure to give them plenty of love and affection to help keep them calm.

How long after moving house can I let my cat out?

If you have an outdoor cat it is important that once you have moved to your new home that you keep them indoors for around 3-4 weeks. This is to ensure that they don’t get confused about where their home is and try to run away to the old house. Give your cat plenty of time to settle into their new environment and make their mark so that they now know this is their home. Remember to update your cat’s collar and microchip details with your new address so that when you do let them outside, if they get lost they can be safely returned.

When letting your cat outside for the first time in their new home you should take these following things into account:

  • Start with small periods of time at first - some cats may be hesitant to go outside in a place they are unfamiliar with, so it’s important to slowly introduce them to ensure they feel comfortable
  • Go outside before them if they’re hesitant - if you cat doesn’t seem keen to go outside then try going out first to see if they follow, if they are still unsure make sure to not force them outside if they don’t want to
  • Let your cat outside just before a meal time - if your cat is hungry they are less likely to run away from home as they know where the reliable food source is and won’t stray far from it.

How do I get my cat to settle into a new home?

Those difficult and overwhelming emotions us humans feel when it comes to settling into a new home aren’t too dissimilar to how pets feel in a new space. Because of this, it’s important to remember that It may take a while for your cat to adjust to their new environment, meaning they may be on edge and show different behaviours than usual until they are settled. Here are a couple of the signs to look out for that often show your cat is stressed:

  • Eating or drinking less
  • Hiding away and withdrawing from people 
  • Becoming less tolerant of people
  • Hissing, growling or excessive meowing 
  • Destructive behaviours such as scratching furniture and urinating in places other than their litter tray
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea.

If your cat starts to show any of these signs, try not to be too concerned, it is normal for your cat to show these behaviours in the first couple days of a move due to how overwhelming the situation is. However, there are many ways you can reduce these behaviours and help your cat settle into their new space. 

As mentioned above, ensuring your cat has their own comfortable space is key to giving them a sense of comfort and familiarity. Be sure to give them attention if they look for it and opposite to this, if they are avoidant or aggressive, give them space. Give them regular treats, especially catnip as this will help to keep them calm and reduce any out of the ordinary behavioural patterns.

KONG Naturals CatnipRosewood Natural Tarragon Cat Scratchers Scratching Catnip Toy Post

KONG Naturals Catnip £6.29 and Rosewood Natural Tarragon Cat Scratchers Scratching Catnip Toy Post £31.59 

Catnip is a great, natural way to help keep your cat calm and entertained, promising hours of irresistible fun. The KONG Naturals Catnip comes in an original and oil spray that can be used in toys, scratchers, beds, food and more. Designed to appeal to the natural instincts of your cat, this catnip provides fun with a purpose and encourages innate behaviours in an intentional way, when used in conjunction with a scratching post or catnip toy.

To keep your cat entertained during the moving period, a scratching tower is a great way to encourage them to release energy and engage in innate behaviours. This Rosewood Natural Tarragon Cat Scratcher features three seagrass scratching posts in varying heights with stylish wooden base with various hanging toys for playtime. This scratcher is perfect for providing a surface for your cat to get their claws into that isn’t your furniture. Infused with catnip to maintain your cat’s interest and provide hours of fun and enjoyment, this scratching post is a must have for your new home.

Making the time to play with your cat to help keep them entertained and release any pent up stressed energy is also a great place to start. However, the most important tip of all is to be patient with your feline friend, it will take time for your cat to adjust, but if you are worried about how your cat is coping, at Direct4Pet, we would always recommend contacting your local vet for advice.

Browse through our full collection of cat toys to find products from tried and trusted pet brands that are guaranteed to provide endless hours of entertainment for your cat.

Make moving house with a cat stress-free with Direct4Pet

With all of our helpful tips and advice on how best to move with a cat, you’re one step closer to a smooth sailing house move. Be sure to plan ahead and provide your cat with all the love and care they need to make the transition to a new home as stress-free as possible. If you’re in need of the necessary cat products to help ease this transition, simply browse through our full collection of cat products from cat food and calming cat treats to cat toys and cat healthcare, such as calming collars and anxiety relief, here at Direct4Pet.