Cat Tips

Moving with Cats? Follow These Tips

New school, new friends, new neighbors, new everything; that’s what it feels like when you move from one house to another. It becomes difficult for children to adapt to all these changes. But what about our four-legged babies? Do cats also feel weird and difficult to move into a new space? Is it just a feeling or does it even have some medical implications? All questions are answered below!  

Moving houses is a bit like herding cats—literally and figuratively. But while your feline friend may be an expert at slipping into boxes and hiding in the most unexpected places, they probably won't be as thrilled about the new space as you are. But now that you’ve asked Google this question, you’ve either already moved or are planning to move. Here’s a quick guide for you in either case. 

Is Moving House with Cats Hard?

Yes, it can be difficult for both you and the cat to move into a new house. Your cat will have to learn to adjust to the new environment. Cats love order and schedules. The slightest change disturbs them. They are habit lovers. While you cannot do much about keeping the environment the same for the cat in case you’ve already decided to move, you can surely keep all other things unchanged. Here are some tips for you to follow while moving with your cat -  (1)

  • On the moving day

Keep your cat in a closed room to ensure its safety. Feed your cat a couple of hours before moving and not while sitting in the vehicle to avoid motion sickness. Keep your cat in a basket upon arrival in the new house. 

  • In the new house

Find an empty room and place all your cat’s belongings like the bed, toys, litter box, scratching post, etc. in the room. Try to create a similar look. You can even use some clothing items that smell like your old home. Keep the windows and doors closed as the cat might get lost if it gets out. 

  • Settling your cat in

Cats usually rub their scents around an area where they feel confident. The new house will lack it, making the cat feel anxious. You can take a cotton cloth, rub it gently on your cat’s face and then dab it around the house on furniture and walls at your cat’s height. You can repeat this for a couple of days. This may help bring some familiarity to your cat. Keep the feeding times unchanged. Try not to introduce the entire house on the very first day to your cat. Go slow and take it one room at a time. 

  • Letting your cat outside

You should not be thinking of letting your cat outside for at least 2 weeks. This is the time an average cat takes to get familiar with the new environment. Once you see your cat being comfortable, you can let it out for some time. (you can read our article on Cat Body Language to identify the signs) But before that, sprinkle some of the used litter outside the door and in the garden (if any) to let the cat feel that it’s a familiar setting because of the smell. Even other cats in the area would know that there is a new ‘Goddess’ in the area. Also, do not forget to microchip your cat and ID it as there is a chance of it being lost. 

  • Letting your cat be

This phase is when you can now start behaving the same way you used to in your old house. You can leave your doors open. Your cat will not just run away the first chance it gets. Most cats will check if it’s safe to leave and then start to wander about. Even if your cat hops over the fence, you can let them explore. They will return after a few minutes. You can reward the getting back by offering a treat. 

Are Cats Color Blind

A home is like a territory for cats. They rub their scents off on almost every part of the house to mark it. This is their way of even telling other cats that this is their territory. Moving houses with a cat, especially to a far location can make it difficult for some cats to cope with. However, if you follow the above-mentioned tips carefully, you and your cat will be good. 

One thing that we’ve seen with cats that are moved to a new house is that they often try to find a way back to their old house. This happens especially if you’ve moved to a nearby locality and passed through some familiar roads with your cat. If your cat tries to explore the old routes, they may not have adjusted well to the new house yet. What you need to do here is. – 

  • Tell your old neighbors to not let the cat stay if it reaches till their houses.

  • Extend your cat’s indoor stint to a month. 

  • Spend some extra time with your cat and build a better bond. 

  • Create routines and schedules around feeding or playing at the new house that will encourage the cat to be in time back at the new house at those times.

  • Start letting your cat out once a week initially after the probation period of 2 weeks after moving. 

When Do Cats Stop Growing

Best Ways to Move Cats Across Country in a Car

We were talking about moving houses to a nearby community or a different city above and saw how much prep it takes to ensure your kitty feels safe and secure. When it comes to cross-country travel in a car, it can be more challenging, especially the travel part. Cats tend to get anxious and sick during long travels. But here are some tips for you to make sure your cat feels safe and comforted during the journey. (3)

  • Firstly, take your cat to the vet. Get it checked for any existing health conditions that can worsen during a long road journey. Your vet may suggest losing weight for your cat. 

  • Familiarize your cat with a crate before the journey as they would be spending most of the time in the crate during the trip. 

  • Get your cat’s toys, blanket and other belongings that carry its smell along. This will make the cat feel safe. 

  • You can even use pheromone sprays on your cat’s belongings. The chemicals in them can help your cat relax when feeling stressed or anxious. 

  • Remember not to sedate the cat before travel. It may seem like an obvious best option, but the drugs can make your cat disoriented and unstable during travel. 

Take care of these things and your cross-country journey with your feline baby should be fine. 

More About Spot Pet Insurance

We’ve given you the best tips for moving houses and cities with your cat. If followed carefully, you should not have any problem. However, some things are out of your control. New environments can develop stress and anxiety in your cat. New environments can also cause behavioral issues with your cat. You may see aggression, excessive grooming, decreased appetite, excessive meowing, hiding, etc. They may also end up injuring themselves during exploration of the new setting as they are not used to it. 

At such times, we would not want you to worry about the finances of the treatment over and above the stress of getting your cat adjusted to the new surroundings. With pet health insurance you can save up to 90% of the treatment costs. And we know how serious behavioral issues can get. Plans at Spot Pet Insurance, hence, cover behavioral problems, alternate therapies and much more. 

Cat Insurance helps to provide pet parents with additional financial support and peace of mind when it comes to the health and wellness of their pets. With a Spot plan, pet parents can receive up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills. This way pet parents can focus on caring for and supporting their pets. Spot's also offers preventive care add-ons, which can help cover the eligible costs of spaying and neutering, dental cleaning, vaccinations, and other routine care services.

Get a quote today!


  1. Cross, B. (n.d.). Moving house and travelling with cats. Blue Cross.

  2. Ferndale Kennels and Cattery. (2023, November 29). 7 Vet-Approved tips for moving cats to a new home. Ferndale Kennels & Cattery.

  3. PetRelocation. (n.d.). Shipping cats across country: How to transport a cat with care | PetRelocation.

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