Tips for Moving to a New Home with Your Cat

Whether you’re moving down the block, to a new town or across the country, the key to making moving day easy and stress-free is planning ahead. If you’re moving to another state, nearly every one has laws applicable to the entry of pets. Contact the state veterinarian in the capital city of your new home state before you move, for specific laws concerning entry of your pet. A majority of communities have pet control and licensing ordinances as well as rabies tag requirements, which you should know about beforehand. Local laws may also limit the number of cats permitted in one household. Don’t forget your cat’s health certificate and medical and vaccine records. Remember to fit your cat with a collar and ID tags and have it microchipped in advance.

On moving day, your cat should be secured in its carrier while you’re in the process of packing up as well as when loading into your car. Your cat should not be transported in the moving van.

It might be handy to pack and label a separate box for your cat’s supplies—with extra litter—and one that you have access to at all times. It is unwise to try to introduce your cat to new brand of litter or food at your new home. Try to keep daily routines intact, i.e., feeding time, play time, naps and sleep. Using your cat’s favorite food bowl, bedding and toys will help greatly in getting it to feel right at home.

Your cat will be less overwhelmed by the move if you gradually introduce it to the new home. Let your cat explore a quiet area of the home for a few days and then expose it to the other rooms, windows, closets and stairways. Immediately show your cat where the litter box is by placing your cat into the box. Provide plenty of scratching posts and toys throughout the new house so your cat won’t have the urge to mark the new territory or use the new rug, couch or kitchen floor.