How to Move to a New Home With a Cat

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Before moving to a new home with your cat, update his address to your new one on his tags and microchip and obtain paperwork from your vet for the new vet, if necessary. Pack your cat's belongings last and unpack them first in a small secure room to help him acclimate to his new surroundings.

Before the Move

If your cat has a microchip, contact the microchip company to update your address to the new address where you are moving. Additionally, put an identification collar with a safety release on your cat with your contact information or update his existing identification collar. Leave the collar on your cat until he is comfortable and fully settled in your new home, or indefinitely if he is allowed outside. These measures identify your cat if he gets loose and tries to return to the old home that he sees as his territory.

If you are moving out of the area, have your cat checked by your veterinarian and get the following documents, if needed:

  • Health and vaccination records to be given to your new vet
  • Health certificate issued by your veterinarian 10 days prior to your move
  • A permit for the state you are moving to

Pack the items in your home well in advance of your move so as not to disturb your cat by packing in a furious rush. Pack your cat's items last on the day of the move. Removing his toys and dishes too early can cause great stress to a cat.

Moving Day

Transport your feline friend to the new home in a cat carrier with a secure door to keep him from getting loose and lost. Place the carrier in the cabin of your car or truck. When you get to the new home, unpack your cat's box of belongings in a small room, such as a utility room or bathroom. Place the cat carrier in the room and leave the carrier's door open so he can return to that area if he is uncomfortable. Place his food and water bowls in the room as well as his litter box and scatter his toys on the floor. Close the door to the room and place a sign on it that says "Keep out" to deter anyone from opening the door, releasing your cat and stepping on him or accidentally letting him outdoors. If you do not have a small room for a safe room, place your kitty in his carrier in a quiet area of the home, possibly in an open closet.

After the Movers Leave

Leave your cat in his safe room with his belongings until after your boxes and belongings are all in your home. Check all of the windows and doors to make sure they are shut. Open the door to your cat's safe room and allow him to explore his new home. Give your cat a lot of attention after the move to help him settle into his new home. Wait a week or more to let an outdoor cat outside, and then take him outdoors on a leash until he has adjusted to the new area. When your outdoor cats seems confident, you can remove the leash and just accompany him outdoors for several days. Eventually he will be exploring his new neighborhood on his own.

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