How to Safely Move With Cats

Updated on July 12, 2019
JynBranton profile image

I love cats and enjoy giving tips on how to move a long distance with them.

Underfoot is finally feeling at home in the new house
Underfoot is finally feeling at home in the new house | Source

Goodbye Tuscaloosa, Hello Chicagoland. The Branton Felines Are on the Move

For months, my husband and I had been planning out every detail of our move northward. The both of us were originally from Chicagoland; now the Brantons were finally coming back. I was instantly nervous about the long haul with our cats.

A little research helped allay my fears and helped make the move for them as comfortable as possible.

Find the Right Carrier to Suit the Cats' Needs

Our pet children consists of one kitten and two senior cats. Carriers should be hard sided if possible, as well as sturdy with a locking door. The size we purchased were for a cat, or roughly up to a 15-pound dog. Cats should have enough room to turn around, but they are more comfortable in a tighter space.

In the weeks before, get your cat used to going in the carrier. If their only exposure to being in the carrier or in the car is going to the vets office, you might experience some crabby kitties. If possible, get them used to entering the carrier on their own.

Placing familiar objects in the carrier or practicing feeding your pet inside could lessen their anxiety. If you can get the cat in the carrier, practice taking short rides around the block or on small errands to get them used to being in the carrier inside a moving car.

Be sure to have a collar with an updated name tag and any vet documents you might need for a new landlord.

On Moving Day

Put your pet in their carrier in a safe and secure section of the car. We put the carriers behind the driver and passenger seats on the floor so they couldn't tip or be moved about on turns and were out of the way if airbags were to deploy.

Do not feed on the morning of the trip if you think your pet might experience nausea. Do put a small amount of water in the carrier if possible or when safely stopped for the night. Be careful not to open the carrier for any reason. A loose cat in the car is dangerous for your furry friend or a potential escape risk.

Be Calm

Keep your composure even if your pet is loudly protesting and singing the song of his people at the top of their lungs. Your pet will feed off your reaction and if you stay calm, they will be calmer. They will probably still be very upset, especially in our case of an all day drive, but they will be calmer.

When Arriving at the New Home

  • Resist the immediate reaction to let your pet out of the carrier. We in fact left the cats in the carriers with supervised time out for about a day after moving in.
  • Make all the doors to the outside are closed and window screens are secure. Our vet recommended starting the cats off in a small area and slowly expanding their territory.
  • After securing a safe room, fill it with their familiar sights and smells before letting the cats out. We set out some of our clothing, set up the bed, and had saved some of their old litter which we put in their litter box. While under supervision, we let the cats out for a bit to explore.
  • Keep the cats in the same room for several days if they are stressed out or frightened. It will depend on your cat when they are ready to be exposed to more of the home. By the end of the week, our kitten was comfortable following us into every room of the house, whereas our 13-year old cat finally came out of his hiding place in a walk in closet after about three weeks.

You know your pet best and when they are ready.

Update Microchip to the New Address

Do this if you haven't already updated your pets microchip and tags to reflect your current address.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Jennifer B


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      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Supposedly all new articles are considered for the various niche sites so just write a good in depth article on subjects you know and hope for the best.

        They like it when the text is broken up with photos or supporting videos. Add things like polls. Use that upper right hand side of your page when writing to see how many boxes are checked. That will give you some indication as to how you are doing.

        Even if your subject ticks off all of the boxes it still may not make it if the subject is saturated with other featured articles. Good luck!

      • JynBranton profile imageAUTHOR

        Jennifer B 

        2 years ago from Bolingbrook

        Thanks! I still trying to figure out what types of articles are better for features. I have seen some sites something like a "how to" or "review" of some current book , tv show, etc are what gets all the traffic instead and here that seems to be looked more at like click bait. I have some ideas for more editorial style pieces but I didn;t know how much of an audience that would get

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 years ago from Houston, Texas

        I think that your vet gave you excellent advice. Moving to a new home with cats can sometimes be tricky as to them becoming adjusted in good manner.


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