Tips and Tricks That Will Make Moving With a Cat Easy

If you are in the process of moving with a cat across the country, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Cats are notorious for being fickle creatures, and changing locations can be a stressful experience for them. Luckily, there are some tricks that can make the process much easier.

A cat inside a cross-country moving box overlay
August 26, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

No one ever said that moving was easy, but relocating with pets is a whole other bag of shrimp. Adding one or two (or even more!) cats to the equation can make things especially complicated. Getting everything in order and making sure your furry friend is as comfortable as possible can make this complex process more daunting than it already is. But all it takes is a little preparation, and your cat will be settled into her new home in no time! Now, before you invest in long-distance moving services, let’s see how to move with cats.

Keep Your Pet in Mind When Searching for a Home

Pets are family, too, so when you’re planning a move, don’t forget about your furry (or scaly) friends! While residential moving solutions don’t include taking care of pets, you should start handling everything you can on your own and on time. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are wondering how to move with a cat:

  • Check your lease agreement if you are planning to rent an apartment. Most apartments and rental homes have rules about pets, so make sure you’re familiar with the guidelines before you move in. A domestic feline named Merlin holds the Guinness record for the loudest purring with 67.8db, and if your kitty is that loud, you might want to check with neighbors about the noise, too.
  • Get your pet’s paperwork in order. This includes vaccinations, health records, and any required licenses or permits. Sort through important documents at home, and find the necessary paperwork for your feline friend. If there’s something missing, don’t make a relocation mistake to forget to ask the vet.
  • Research pet-friendly amenities in your new neighborhood. Find out where the closest park is or whether there are any animal hospitals nearby.
  • Make a travel plan. If you’re driving to your new home, figure out how often you’ll need to stop for bathroom and exercise breaks. If you’re flying, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and that your pet is comfortable with being in a carrier.

In the end, you should be patient when moving with cats. It may take your pet a little while to adjust to the long ride.

A cat on a fence
A domestic cat can run at up to 30 mph, so it might be better for them to have a backyard

When Moving With a Cat, Start Preparing Them for the Carrier on Time

One of the best tips for moving with a cat is to let the feline get used to the unknowns that await it. It means that you should set a travel carrier out a few weeks before your anticipated move to another state if it’s not accustomed to using one. Fill it with soft blankets, favorite toys, and other goodies to make it a welcoming hideaway while you give the kitty time to get acclimated to it. Even their food bowl might fit inside of it.

The idea is for your cat to view the carrier as his own personal haven rather than a terrifying prison. Allow your pet to come and leave as it pleases, so keep in mind that you shouldn’t confine the cat in the carrier. However, if you plan to ship your car using auto transport service and travel to your new destination by airplane, check the American Airlines website for additional information on pets.

A cat in a pet carrier
The longest domestic feline ever measured is 48.5 inches, and if your pet is as nearly as long, ensure the carrier fits

Have a Trip to a Vet Before the Move

If you’re moving with your cat, you’ll need to visit the veterinarian ahead of time to make sure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations and are healthy enough to travel. You might also want to get them microchipped in case they get lost during the move. Once you’ve got everything squared away with your cat’s health, you can start planning for the actual move to another city.

With a little moving day preparation and care, you can help make everything less stressful for both you and your cat. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about them so they can help you make the best decisions for your pet’s health and well-being.

Ask the Vet About All the Ways You Can Keep Your Cat Calm

If you’re relocating to a new city that’s far away from your current one, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition easier for your cat. One of the best things you can do is ask your veterinarian for advice on how to keep your cat calm during the move.

Plan Out a Space for Them

There are a few different ways that you can help your cat stay calm during the move. One way is to provide them with a safe space, such as a carrier or a quiet room in the new house, where they can go to feel relaxed and secure. You should also make sure to keep their routine as normal as possible, including feeding times and playtime.

Ask the Vet for a Calming Medicine

If you’re worried about your cat’s stress levels during the move, you can ask your veterinarian about giving them a calming supplement to help them relax. There are also a number of natural remedies that can help, such as lavender oil or chamomile tea.

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Have a Cat-Friendly Room In Your Home During the Moving Process

The last thing you want to happen once you start to pack glasses or any other fragile items and when cross-country movers arrive is for the cat to leap out the door. Especially as the long-distance moving company crew starts carrying furnishings and boxes and loads them onto a relocation truck.

Make your cat’s temporary safe haven in the bathroom or bedroom once you remove all the toiletries and pack clothes. Include a litter box, water, food bowls, and the familiar cat carrier for your pet. Keep the door locked and leave movers a note letting them know that there is a kitty inside.

When Long-Distance Movers Arrive, Ensure You Have a Pet-Sitter

It’s important to make sure you have a pet sitter lined up before your chosen long-distance movers arrive. You don’t want your furry friends to be in the way when the movers are trying to do their job, and it’s also important to make sure your pets are taken care of while you’re dealing with the stress of the relocation. Having a pet sitter will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what’s important. So as crucial as it is to search the web for “long-distance movers near me,” it’s essential to find an arrangement for your pet.

A woman holding a cat
Leave your kitty with a friend or find a reliable sitter to take care of it while the movers do their job

Prepare for Traveling to a New Home

Do you have more than one kitty in your household? Before you start feeling any anxiety about moving out with your kitty crew, you should know that multiple cats can be handled using the same techniques as for a single animal. If your cats get along well, they can go places where they can be consoling to one another. However, if they value their privacy, you’ll need to get a hold of multiple carriers.

Even the calmest, most devoted feline might get loud when you first start driving. Once they are accustomed to traveling, most cats will become calmer and may even fall asleep. Keep your cool and wait it out. Knowing that begging your cat to quit doing something won’t work is common knowledge for cat owners.

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When You Arrive at Your New Home, Help Your Cat Adjust to the Unfamiliar Space

Once you’ve moved into your new home, there are a few things you can do to help your cat adjust to the new town and the unfamiliar space. First, create a cozy spot for it to call it’s own. This could be a corner of a room with a soft bed and some toys, or even a small room just for it. If possible, try to keep their litter box in the same place as it was in your old home. This will help them feel more comfortable and make it easier for them to find when they need to use it.

Encourage your cat to explore its new space at its own pace. Let them sniff around and investigate as much or as little as they want. If they seem scared or overwhelmed, try to provide some reassurance with gentle petting and words of encouragement. As much as you might be suffering from adjustment insomnia, your feline friend might be struggling in their own way, too.

It’s also important to give your cat plenty of attention and affection during this time. They may be feeling insecure in their new surroundings, so your love and attention will be a big help. Be patient with your cat, and give them time to adjust. Eventually, they’ll be exploring their new home like they own the place!

The following video offers some DIY ideas for preparing a kitty corner.

Take a Breather, if You Are Calm Your Pet Will Be as Well

If you’re calm during the moving preparations, your pet will be as well, so you should primarily ensure you invest in packing services to have less hard work on your hands. Dogs and cats can sense our stress, so it’s important to stay calm and relaxed while packing up your home. But these tips can help keep your furry friend calm during a move. In the end, keep their routine as normal as possible. If possible, stick to the same feeding and walking schedule they’re used to. Keep them in a quiet room away from the packing and moving activity.

Moving a cat includes giving them plenty of attention and reassurance and letting them know everything is going to be alright. Amidst all the chaos, you should always make sure they have their favorite toys or blanket with them. By following these tips, you can help reduce your pet’s stress during a move, be efficient and make the transition smoother for everyone involved.

Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.



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