Moving House with Cats | Glen Iris Vet

Cats can be very territorial, so moving house is stressful for them. Planning ahead will ensure that the transition from one home to another goes smoothly.

If your cat is particularly nervous it may be advisable to place them in a cattery the day before the move and collect the day after you are established in your new home.

Moving day

Before the removal van arrives put the cat carrier, cat bed, food bowl, water bowl and litter tray in one room and ensure the door and windows remain shut. Place a notice on the door, so that removalists and family members know that this door must be kept shut!

When all other rooms have been emptied, the contents of the cat’s room can be placed in the van last. Before the furniture is removed your cat should be placed in the cat carrier and put safely in the car for the move.

Transporting your cat

If your cat is a nervous traveller, please contact us as they may be able to prescribe a mild sedative. Feed your cat as normal but ensure the mealtime is at least three hours before travelling.

Spray the inside of the cat carrier with Feliway half-an-hour before you place your cat inside. Feliway is a synthetic analogue of a cat facial pheremone and will make your cat more relaxed.

Place the carrier securely in the back of the car where it cannot move around. Do not transport your cat in the removal van or in the boot of the car.

At the new house

Place a Feliway diffuser in a floor level socket in the new room where your cat will be temporarily confined. Once the room is ready, your cat can be placed inside with their bed, food bowl, water bowl and litter tray and the door shut. If possible, a family member can sit in the room with your cat for a while as they explore.

Offer your cat some food

Once the removal has been completed your cat can be allowed to investigate the rest of the house one room at a time. It is important to remain as calm as possible to signal to your cat that it is a safe environment.

Helping your cat to settle in

Keep your cat indoors for at least 2 weeks to get her used to the new environment. Try to maintain the same routine you had at the old house, to make your cat more comfortable.  Continue to use a Feliway diffuser. Preferably use 2 or 3 so the effect is felt throughout the entire house.

Letting your cat outside

Keep your cat indoors for a couple of weeks to get used to the new property. Make sure your cat has some form of identification with their name, address and contact phone number. Remember to inform the microchip registering company of your change of address and phone number.

Introduce your cat to the outdoors gradually by initially opening the door and going into the garden with them. Always keep the door open initially so that they can escape indoors if something frightens them.

Preventing your cat from returning
to their old home

If your new home is nearby, your cat may try to find familiar routes that take them back to their old home. It is wise to warn the new occupants that your cat may return and ask them to contact you if they are seen.

It is important that the new occupants do not feed them or encourage them in any way. If you have moved locally it would be beneficial to keep your cat indoors as long as possible. However, this is rarely a practical option since those cats likely to return to previous hunting grounds will not relish being confined for such a long period.


For more information, please contact us at Glen Iris Veterinary Hospital & Cattery.

We are conveniently in the City of Stonnington and Glen Eira. The pawfect location for pet parents living in Glen Iris, Malvern, Toorak, Kooyong, Armadale and surrounding areas!

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