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Moving House With Your Cat

07-07-17 | Cat Chatter

Clare Hemington DipCAPBT

Cat Behaviourist


We all know how stressful moving can be for us humans, but it can also be a time of enormous anxiety for our pets.

In particular, moving house can have a significant impact on our feline family. Cats are territorial creatures and will not only be subject to a huge disruption to their routine, but who will suddenly find themselves in a new territory and having to cope with all the stresses that this can produce.

So whilst it’s important for us to consider our cats during a house move, it’s unlikely that anything we do is going to make the experience enjoyable! However, the following guidelines might help to minimise opportunities for them to feel stressed on the big day:

  • Although easier said than done, try and remain as calm as possible in the run-up to the move and on the day itself. Any stress you feel will be picked up by your cat and reinforce any anxiety he may already be feeling.
  • Even though it’s likely that your home will be in a state of chaos whilst you pack for the move, it’s important to keep your cat’s routines as close to normal as possible.
  • Clear one room completely of all furniture and on the day of the move keep your cat shut in this room along with his bedding, litter tray, food, water, scratching posts and toys.
  • Place a notice on the outside of the door to let family members, helpers and removal men know that they must not go into the room and the door must be kept shut at all times to prevent him escaping and possibly going missing.
  • Plan ahead and allocate a room in the new house where your cat can be kept while the furniture is unloaded into the rest of the house. Ask the removals team to store the furniture for that room in the van in such a way that it can be unloaded first.
  • When the removal van has left with all your possessions, take your cat in your car to your new home with his belongings. 

    When you arrive, the room you have allocated for your cat will hopefully have the furniture in it that you have requested. You can then leave your cat undisturbed in that room with his bedding, litter tray, food, water, scratching posts and toys.
  • Re-use the ‘Keep Door Closed’ sign to ensure he doesn’t disappear.
  • Although it is usually recommended that a cat is kept in for a period of 2-3 weeks following a house move, the actual amount of time is usually determined by your cat’s character. If he is a confident, outdoor-loving cat it might be difficult to keep him in!
  • When he does go out to explore for the first time it’s as good idea to do this at a weekend when you have more time. Letting him out just before a mealtime will also help to provide him with the encouragement to come back in for his dinner!
  • In the eventuality that your cat does decide to wander a little too far when exploring his new territory, ensure he is microchipped and is wearing a safety collar showing your telephone number.

©2017 Clare's Cat Care

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