Moving house – Tips to help your cat through the changes

By: Anoop Nain

If you have ever moved house, you might be familiar with the stress and excitement that comes with it. The change and unfamiliarity causes stress and anxiety in not just us but our furry companions too. Just like us, our pets too like familiarity, routine and order. The changes in routine, chaos and unfamiliarity of a new place are reasons enough to make them stressed. Cats, in particular tend to get very stressed as they are territorial animals and they often try to return to their old places. Planning ahead can ensure that your feline friend will be comfortable and stress-free in their new home. Here are some tips to make the transition smooth and as stress-free as possible.

When the removal van arrives

  • Place your cat in a comfortable room before the removal van arrives. Put a cat bed, cat carrier, water bowl, food bowl and litter tray in that room.
  • Keep the door and windows of that room shut and place a notice on the door so that no one from your family or removal team opens the door accidentally
  • The contents of the room where you have placed your cat should be placed in the van last. Before the furniture is removed, place your cat in the cat carrier and put it safely in the car to make the journey to the new home.
  • NEVER transport your cat in the removal van.
  • When traveling with your cat, make sure the car is well ventilated. If it’s a long journey, take brakes to offer your cat water and a chance to use the cat tray.

Making your cat familiar with the new surroundings

  • Once you arrive at your new home, the bedroom furniture should be the first to be installed your new home. Confine your cat in that room and place a synthetic feline facial pheromone diffuser in a floor level socket in that room. The feline facial pheromone diffuser should ideally be placed several hours before your cat is introduced to its new surroundings. These pheromones that mimic natural cat pheromones have a calming effect on cats.
  • Don’t forget to keep a food bowl, water bowl and litter tray inside that room. Always keep the door shut. If possible ask a family member to sit in the room with your cat while it explores its new surroundings.
  • Once the removal has been completed, allow your cat to explore the rest of the house. Make sure all the external doors and windows remain closed during this time.
  • Stay calm and composed during this critical time to signal your cat that it is a safe environment.
  • Give your cat at least two weeks to get used to the new environment. During that time, keep her indoors.
  • Follow the same routines adopted in your previous house to provide familiarity and continuity to your cat.
  • Continue to use the synthetic feline facial pheromone diffuser till your cat settles in.

Keeping your cat busy and mentally stimulated

  • You can play hunting games with your cat by hiding dry food around the house.
  • Provide your cat lots of scratching posts that your cat can climb
  • Introduce new items to explore, like – paper bags and boxes.
  • Spend as much time as you can with your feline friend as he/she will feel more comfortable when you are there to provide reassurance.

Last but not the least – stay calm and positive around your cat. Cats have an amazing ability to sense anxiety, so if you act stressed and irritated around them, they will get that vibe from you and will become anxious themselves. Moreover, staying cool and positive will also help you adjust better to your new surroundings and you will be better equipped to anticipate any bumps along your journey.


Anoop Nain is a proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer/blogger and an educationist, with more than 6 years experience in the field of content writing. Blog:-