How To Move A Cat From One House To Another

If you are about to move into a new house it may be an exciting thing for you to do but for your cat it’s a completely different story. Cats get very attached to their environment such as the visuals and the smells and if you take that away from them they will get very stressed out and scared.

So what you need to do is move them to your new home in a way that will be as comfortable for your cat as possible. Here is how I would go about doing this.

Before The Move

First off you’re going to be moving so you’re going to have to bring your cat into the car and you can do this in two ways. You can either put them in a carrier or you can put a harness onto them. If your cat has not been in either of these things odds are they won’t enjoy it too much so let them get used to whatever you decide to do if you can.

If they have experience doing any of these things this part will be easy for you. If you are moving far away it might be a good idea to read this article that I wrote about traveling with cats long distance “Traveling With Cats In A Car Long Distance”.

Traveling By Plane

If you need to get to your new house by going on a plane you should really do some research on what airline you are going to and what their pet policies are. You want to look up what they allow and don’t allow. Not all airlines are the same so its nice to be prepared.

A lot of airlines allow you to put your cat in cabin so you can just put them under your seat until you reach your destination.

If you want to learn more about flying on a plane with your cat and some information about airline policies here is a guide I wrote on that here “How To Travel With A Cat On A Plane“.

Get A Pet Carrier

Getting a pet carrier is an absolute must if you are traveling around especially on a plane. Planes do not allow pets unless they are in a pet carrier. You should probably get a soft carrier if you are going on a plane as well as hard ones are harder to fit under your seat.

You could either buy one or you could just make you own. If you want some ideas on which carrier you could get here is an article I wrote on that “Best Cat Carriers For Long Distance Travel

If you want to make one of your own here is a guide on how to make your own as well “How To Transport A Cat In A Car Without A Carrier“. I would not use this type of carrier if you need to go on a plane.

You will also want to get them adjusted to the carrier before you move as well since cats aren’t too fond of being in one unless they are accustomed to one. This goes for the car itself as well as this is another things cats aren’t too fond of.

You could also get a “pet seat belt” if you don’t really want to buy a carrier and are just going by car. You will however have to buy a cat harness if you want to go with this method. Its also a good idea to cover your seats just in case you cat happens to stain everything in your car.

Visit Your Cats Vet

Before going to your new home it’s always wise to visit your vet before hand. This would be a good time to get your cat microchipped and to get all of your cats health documents as well.

Cats might not take the move well so you might want to ask your vet about pheromone treatments such a Feliway or some type of sedative your cat can use while you are moving.

It might take a while to find a new vet after you move so its probably wise to refill your cats medication if they happen to take any.

How To Settle A Cat Into A New Home

• Check The New Home For Hazards
Check for anything in the new home that might be dangerous to your cat before moving them in. Move any chords or fix anything that they might possibly get stuck in and most importantly make sure the windows are closed and have screen on them so they don’t escape and get lost.

• Treat Your New Home For Fleas And Ticks
You never know what might be in your new home so its wise to do this so you and your cat won’t have to put up with nasty unwanted bugs crawling around.

• Bring Your Cat Last
When you are about to move them into your new home I would suggest doing this until you have everything settled in first then bring your cat to the new home. The noise of moving boxes and pulling things around can be very stressful for a cat especially in a new environment.

• Give Them A Small Meal
You want to feed them a very small meal when moving day comes so they don’t get an upset stomach and possibly throw up all over the place.

• Keep Them In One Room At First
Once you are at the new house don’t let them wander around in other rooms because it can be overwhelming for them. You want to do this gradually. After they have been there for a while bring them into different rooms one at a time. Open the door and let them wander into a new room on there own terms.

Make sure they also have food and water as well as their toys and other belongings such as their litter box. If you have movers it’s a good idea to put a sign on the door or tell them personally to not open the door so your cat doesn’t try to get away.

• Bring Familiar Items Of Theirs
Obviously you are going to do this anyway but if for some reason you thought about throwing them out I wouldn’t recommend it. You want to bring their favorite toys and other belongs like a scratching posts and place them in similar spots like in your old home. Doing this will make them feel much more comfortable and secure.

• Spend Time With Them
I would hope you were doing this regardless but spending time with your cat like playing, watching tv, and talking to them will help them associate the new house as a positive place to be in and will make the adjustment period much quicker for them.

Some cat’s however don’t really like the company too much. If they are the type of cat that would rather be alone then that’s what you should do to make them more comfortable.

• Give Your Cat Sedatives If Necessary
If your cat is really stressed out you might want to give them a sedative to make the transition of the moving into a new home a lot easier on them. You could also get a pheromone diffuser to help them relax and take off that edge while they are getting used to the new house. Make sure to ask your vet about what you should give them of course.

• Get New ID Tags
You’re in a new home so naturally you want to update the tags to reflect the address. If you don’t do this, your cat gets lost and someone finds them and wants to return them to you they won’t know where to take them to you.

• Microchip
You would get one of these for the same reason as ID tags. It’s nice to get your cat microchipped because if someone happens to take your cat and refuses to give them back to you the chip will be able to prove its your pet and you can get ownership of them again.

• If You’re Happy Your Cat Will Be Too
If you come off like you are stressed out odds are your cat will end up feeling like this too. If you want them to feel relaxed it’s a good idea that you do it first and it will make it easier for your cat to do the same.

Introducing Multiple Cats To A New Home

In this situation you would do the same with one cat or if they start fighting with each other its smart to put them in separate rooms until they are used to the new environment. Once they have been in your new home for a while you can let them interact with each other again.

Moving To A House With An Outdoor Cat

Outdoor cats and feral cats are two different types of cats. Depending on which one you want to relocate this can either be relatively easy or you might have a much harder time.

Outdoor Cats

If you have an nice, friendly approachable outdoor cat that isn’t really feral like you will have a really easy time getting them to your new home. You could probably move them simply by getting them used to a cat carrier and relocating them that way.

Feral Cats

If you have a feral cat that you want to bring to your new home you are going to have a much difficult time. In these cases you will probably have to trap them in order to get them to your new home.

I also do not advise moving entire colonies either unless you are forced to do so. If you don’t have to do this getting a neighbor to take care of them would probably be your best bet.

How To Keep An Outdoor Cat From Running Away When You Move

This can be a potential problem when moving your cat to a new place and they were always outside. The best way to do this is keep them inside of your new home for a while. They may not like it at first since they are so used to being outside but they will eventually adjust to the change.

I would do this for about a week then let them outside again. By this time they should be used to the new environment and they won’t have the urge to run off and find their old home. But do this gradually. Letting them out longer and longer each time.

How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Get Used To a New Home?

After everything is said and done your cat will have to get used to being in your home. This period usually last one or two weeks then they will relax and go back to normal.

How Long Should You Keep Your Cat Inside After Moving?

You cat can eventually go outside but for the meantime you want to keep them in your home. You will want to keep them in the house for about two weeks and others say as long as a month. Some people say you should consider turning your cat into a indoor cat when you move but you don’t necessarily need to do this.

Make sure when you open doors your cat isn’t around. If you don’t do this they will try to leave and go to the old home you used to live at and they will get lost. Luckily this is a rare situation but it does happen at times. This is why its important to have ID tags on your cat when you go to a new home.

Is Your Cat Meowing A Lot After Moving?

If your cat won’t stop meowing after you moved into your new home I would not worry about this and is very common for cats to do this after a move. It will pass and they will adjust over time if you follow all the guidelines I mentioned in this article.


Moving your pets can be very stressful for them for the first week or two but once they get adjusted it will be as they never moved at all and they will be happy and normal again.

If you follow this guide you should have no problem achieving this and getting everything back to normal again like you were in your old home.