Thursday, 8 May 2008

Moving House with Your Cat

By Laura Marsh

Moving house is a stressful time for the whole family, and often it is our pets who suffer the most. Cats are especially susceptible to the stress of moving house, as they are normally family animals and like to be involved; the confusion of moving house can be very traumatic for them.
There are however a few things you can do to make the move a little less disturbing for your cat.

When you start to empty and box up the contents of the house, start with one room first, and completely empty it. When you have done this, put the cats’ bed, toys, food, litter tray and a lockable carrier in the room. Having the lockable carrier in the room, will make it less intimidating for the cat when it needs to use it for the journey.

Introduce your cat to this room, as it will be its home for the next few weeks. Although the room will be empty, your cat should be quite happy as it contains the things your cat is used to seeing such as its bed. The good thing about using this empty room is that should you need to keep the cat away from something (when you are moving house a curious cat might jump in to a box being packed), you cat should not be upset as it is used to going in to the room.

When you have moved house, your cat should be your first priority. Find an empty room and place all the same items in it as you had in the empty room before. This will be your cat’s room for the unpacking time. Only let your cat out once the entire house is unpacked and sorted out.

Your cat will want to explore the house, however it may be nervous of the new surroundings, so talk soothingly to it, and try to calm it.

Also make sure you show the cat where its food bowl and litter tray are. Your cat will then being to explore the house by itself.

If you let your cat outside, try not to let it out too soon. Make sure your cat is used to the new house first, otherwise it may run away. Let the cat in to the garden in short, supervised intervals, and when your cat seems happy with the garden and how to get back in to the house, you can happily let your cat go and explore its new territory.

Once you move, you need to remember to update the contact details on your cats collar, should your cat get lost in your new neighbourhood, people will need to be able to contact you.

For more useful information on cats and cat behaviour visit