Moving with cats!

Cats are not known for their affinity for change. Most cats are highly territorial creatures who prefer to spend their days in a familiar environment and are resistant to new routines and changes. But unfortunately for them, occasionally we do have to move, and that means they have to move too and that can be very challenging to you and your furry friends.

In addition how your cat reacts to the move has a lot to do with their individual temperament it’s your responsibility to mitigate the anxiety of the situation as much as possible. By putting in the time and effort to reduce your cat’s stress while moving, you can help ease the transition and lessen the likelihood of your feline companion developing fear- or anxiety-based behaviors in your new home.

Fortunately Intermove can help you accomplish this task and your beloved pet can be relocated in a way that can be less stressful.


Preparing your cat for a move starts long before the day the moving truck arrives. At this point cat is still in their normal environment and more curious than stressed about what is going on. It’s important to take these early steps to acclimate your kitty to the nuances of a move though, so that when moving day does arrive, they’re better prepared to handle it.

1.Make your cat  comfortable in his carrier! 

Your cat is going to be spending a good amount of time in their carrier on the day of the move, so you’ll want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. You’ve probably already experienced how your cat reacts to the carrier from vet visits, so if you know that your furry one strongly dislikes it this is your chance to help ease that dislike before the moving day.

Leave the carrier out, door open, in a room your cat frequents and give them a chance to explore it at their own pace. Put their favorite toy in there to encourage them to go inside, and start feeding treats around and inside the carrier. If your cat is very reluctant to go near the carrier, start feeding their regular meals beside it, and after a few days move the food dish inside the carrier so they have to step in it to eat. Move the dish further back every day. The more scared your cat is of the carrier, the earlier you’ll want to start this process. The goal is to have your cat comfortable going in and out of the carrier on their own, and associating it less with fear and more with good stuff like treats, toys, and meals.

2.Learn your cat to have fun with moving boxes! 

Cats love cardboard boxes which is a big plus for you when it comes the time for packing day. Take a few boxes out early and let your cat explore at their leisure. If you notice that they’re skittish, grab a favorite toy and play with them in and around the boxes or hide some treats in them. Any stress around moving boxes is likely related to their unfamiliar smell, so if your cat is showing anxious behaviors, spritz some organic catnip spray on a box to make them more enticing or use a spray which contains synthetic feline pheromones that can induce feelings of comfort and security.

3.Remember to keep a routine! 

It’s very important to maintain your cat’s routine during a move. That means meals, play time, and cuddles at the times they’re used to. Moves are stressful for cats because of the rapid change in both environment and routine, and while you can’t do much about the former, you can actively take steps to maintain the latter. You’ll want to be sure to maintain the routine throughout the move, including moving day and, also, a procedures that come later.

4.Advise with your vet! 

Some cats are naturally more anxious than others. If your feline companion is prone to stress and anxiety, have a conversation with your vet prior to your move about ways you can help manage it. There are a range of cat-specific products designed to help ease these kinds of feelings, including anti-anxiety medications, supplements, prescription diets, and calming aids. These can go a long way toward reducing the stress of moving and keeping your kitty more at ease and peaceful.

During the move

Once moving day arrives, your main goal should be to keep your cat safe and secure. There are still things you can do to help with stress at this point, but you’ll also just have to accept that this day will probably be a bit anxiety-ridden for your furry companion. Fortunately, with some attention and kindness, adviced here by Intermove team, you can help make it at least a little bit easier on them.

1.Feed your cat with small meal!

Stress and anxiety can be felt throughout the body, and the stomach is no exception. Help reduce the chances of your cat experiencing stomach upset by cutting down their meals a bit on the moving day. This will also be helpful if your cat has a tendency to get car sick during travels.

2.Keep your cat secured! 

You’ll be opening and closing your front door a lot when it’s time to load the moving truck, and that last thing you want to risk is your cat bolting out. Be careful about keeping your cat contained at all times, especially if you’re using movers and there are unfamiliar people around. You don’t have to put your cat in their carrier before it’s necessary, but you do have to keep them in one secure spot. You will have to be sure that your furry friend is secured and not in possibility of danger duing your move.

Before you start loading the truck, empty out one any room completely and put your cat in there with some food, water, and toys, as well as their bed and litter box. If friends or movers are coming to help you with the move, make sure to put a sign on the door noting that the cat is inside and the door needs to stay closed. While your cat might not love being shut in, you’ll at least have peace of mind knowing that they’re safe, and they’ll have the comfort of their familiar belongings and smells.

3.On the carrier! 

Load your cat into their carrier right before you’re ready to hit the road. While in transit, resist the urge to let them out, even if they’re clearly not happy in there. Stay as calm as possible, since animals are pros at picking up on our body language – the more at ease you are, the more at ease your cat should be. Only open the carrier to let your cat out when you are at your new home and in a room with a closed door. Then repeat what you did at your old place, keeping your cat secure in the room until all boxes are inside and the front door is firmly shut. Make sure to put their same familiar things in the new room so that they have comforting scents around them. Scatter some treats around the room to encourage them to explore while they’re in there.

After the move!

Now your goal is just to help your cat ease into the new home as peacefully as possible.

1.Introduce your pet to the new enviromnent. 

The more stressed your cat is, the more you’ll want to be about introducing them to their new space, but you must done that in a gradually tempo. It may be too much for a stressed cat to have free reign of the house right away, particularly since they’ll need to learn a new litter box spot in an unfamiliar environment. Choose a sort of home-base for your cat in the beginning, and keep their things, litter box included, in those space. Spend a good amount of time in the room as well, interacting with your cat and doing other normal activities. As your cat eases in, curiosity should replace fear and they’ll be ready to expand their explorations.

2.Clean your cats surroundings!

This is especially important if there were other animals living in the home before you moved in. Cats have a powerful sense of smell, and they can pick up on not just general animal smells, but any stress those animals had, which can increase their own. Shampoo and deep clean carpets, vacuum every square inch to remove any lingering fur, and deep clean all counters and surfaces.

3.Establish a permanent litter box space! 

Once your pet is ready to explore more, you’ll want to establish their litter box’s permanentspace. Keep a litter box in their home-base room, and put another one where you’ll want the main spot to be. Let both sit out for a few weeks, and then remove the home-base litter box so the only one left is the permanent one.

If you notice your cat isn’t adjusting after a few weeks, talk to your vet about possible solutions to make the transition easier. Hopefully though, being present and being aware will be enough to help reduce your cat’s moving-related stress. Show your cat that there is nothing to be scared of, and gradually they should start to come around and adjust to their new environment.

Keep your cats happy and Intermove will know that we done our job accordingly!

Meow away!

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