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Steps for moving house with a cat

Steps for moving house with a cat

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With the upheaval that a house move can bring, it is important to consider how you can make the process as smooth and untroubling for your cat as possible. Moving with cats will require you to take many steps to ensure your feline friend isn’t put under undue stress and can get settled in their new home as soon as possible. Give our advice a read to learn how best to move house with a cat.

Steps for moving house with a cat

Before moving

  • Make sure your cat has a collar with up to date contact details on it – a mobile phone number will be most useful as you will be changing landlines. What’s more, you should update the address and contact listed for your cat’s microchip too.
  • Your cat will most likely have to be moved in a cat carrier in your car and so get her acclimatised to it beforehand. Put comfy bedding in the carrier, feed her meals and treats near it, and then in it, to create a positive association.
  • The change and disruption packing creates can be confusing and unsettling for your cat. Letting your cat get used to the boxes that will inevitably become a large part of your home prior to packing can be a good step to take, particularly if your cat is nervous.
  • Dedicate a cleared room to your cat which can become a peaceful haven for them during this time and includes all they’ll need, including food, water, a litter tray, toys, bedding and their carrier. On moving day, shut them in this room with a clear ‘do not open door’ sign to keep them safe and away from the removals chaos.

During the move

  • Feed your cat only a small breakfast to try and minimise any stomach upset during transit.
  • Get your cat into her carrier and pack her things into the car last so as to keep the confined travelling time to a minimum.
  • Anti-anxiety sprays can help calm your cat down for the trip – just spray some into the carrier before setting off. These can be bought online or at large pet stores.
  • Keep your cat carrier secured within the car, not in the boot or in the removals van.
  • It is best to keep your cat in the carrier at all times as they may bolt if let out, but make sure they stay cool and comfortable. For longer trips, you may want to get a leash for your cat to let them out on food and water breaks. Alternatively, placing the carrier in a larger dog crate will create extra space for food, water and a litter tray whilst still keeping your cat safe and contained.

After moving and settling in

  • In your new home, dedicate a room to your cat for settling her in, setting it up as you did in your old home before moving to give a sense of familiarity. Include everything she will need including food, water, a litter tray, toys, bedding, carrier and potentially a plug in pheromone diffuser to help calm your cat.
  • Keep this room closed off and signposted accordingly whilst your removals men unload your boxes and furnishings and you do the unpacking. Let your cat get used to this new space gradually by keeping them solely in this room for a day or two.
  • Once you’ve unpacked, you can think about letting your cat out of the room to explore her new home. Try to go a room at a time, letting her explore each space, to ensure it’s not too overwhelming. Having familiar furnishings already set up should help reassure.
  • Cats are territorial and by rubbing their heads against things, they spread their scent through pheromones, making the space familiar. Gently rub a cloth on your cat’s face and neck and wipe this on cat-level surfaces of your new abode to help it feel and smell more like home to them.
  • If you plan to let your cat outdoors, you should keep them indoors for at least two weeks as they settle into and accept their new home. Gradually introduce them to the new outdoors, accompanying them outside at first and leaving the door open so they can bolt back in if they become scared.
  • Remember all cats will respond differently to change so if your cat has a nervous disposition, they may take longer to acclimatise. Try to continue their routine, give them extra attention and be patient.


Whether you’re moving a mile down the road, across the world or somewhere in between, Britannia Sandersteads are here to help. We have over 50 years of experience in helping customers successfully move home, so you can depend on us to make your move go smoothly. Our experts are on hand to advise and our team operate a careful and friendly removals service. Get in touch to discuss your requirements with us today – we serve customers across London, Surrey, Croydon, Kingston upon Thames and Epsom.  



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