Moving with your pets

Before you start packing up your house, ensure that you make a plan for your pet/s. If you think a move is stressful for you, imagine what it must be like for an animal. Cats in particular can be extremely territorial and may become upset by a sudden change in surroundings.
Since cats generally hate upheaval and are "creatures of habit", it is up to you to do everything possible to minimise the effects of a move. Remember – you have taken on pets and it is your responsibility to provide them with a safe and secure home environment wherever possible. Avoid applying for accommodation that does not allow pets and make an effort to find a
pet-friendly landlord or estate agent if you are renting.

Tips for Moving with Cats

  • Try and get your cat used to his / her carrier by leaving the door open and by hanging toys from the roof etc. Allow your cat to have positive and enjoyable experiences in and around the carrier.
  • Cats love playing in boxes and packing time can easily become playtime!
  • Lock your cat/s indoors on the night before as they easily sense change and can disappear.
  • On moving day it is best to keep your cat/s in a separate room or locked up at a friend or neighbour's house. You can also board him / her for the day at a cattery or veterinarian.
  • Set up a room in the new house for your cat and place familiar things that have his / her scent on them, inside the room. Don't forget the litter tray!
  • Let the cat explore the rest of the house gradually until s/he is accustomed to the new environment and all the unpacking has been done.
  • Keep your cat/s indoors for at least two weeks.
  • Ensure that your cat has a collar and disc on with your new phone numbers and address. You could also get them micro-chipped beforehand in case they stray from their new home.
  • Cats can be given Rescue Remedy for a week before and again after the move.
  • Locate the veterinarians in your new area beforehand and keep their numbers ready in case of an emergency.
  • Don't despair if your cat develops a few (temporary) behavioural problems after the move.
Cats and Boxes
Playing in boxes is a favourite pastime for cats, but this behaviour can also be related to insecurity. If a cat sits in a box, the enemy only has access from one direction and this ensures that the cat is facing the right way. If you don't give your cat a box to sit and play in, s/he will simply take one of yours!

Did you know? Pets are often the first casualties and suffer the most when people move home. They are often given away, abandoned or handed in at an animal welfare society when their owners relocate.