Moving House with Cats in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide


Moving house is a significant event for everyone involved, including your feline friends. Cats are creatures of habit and can find the process of moving house particularly stressful.

However, with careful planning and consideration, you can make the transition smoother for your cats. Here’s a comprehensive guide to moving house with cats in the UK.

moving house with cats

Before the Move

1. Visit the Vet: Before the move, take your cat to the vet for a health check-up. Ensure vaccinations are up to date and discuss any concerns about the move. Your vet may recommend calming products or medications if your cat is particularly anxious.

2. Update Microchip Information: Ensure your cat’s microchip information is updated with your new address. This is crucial in case your cat gets lost during the move.

3. Prepare a Safe Space: Create a safe space in your current home where your cat can stay during the packing process. This space should have their bed, toys, food, water, and a litter box. Keeping them away from the chaos will help reduce stress.

4. Introduce the Carrier: If your cat isn’t used to travelling, get them accustomed to the carrier well in advance. Place treats, toys, and bedding inside to create a positive association.

Packing and Moving Day

1. Maintain Routine: Cats thrive on routine. Try to keep feeding times and play sessions consistent to provide a sense of normalcy.

2. Pack Gradually: Pack over several weeks rather than all at once. Sudden changes can be alarming for cats. Leave their belongings until last to minimize disruption.

3. Safe Room During Moving: On moving day, confine your cat to a quiet room with their essentials while the moving process takes place. This will prevent them from becoming frightened or escaping during the commotion.

4. Traveling: When transporting your cat, ensure it is securely in its carrier. Cover the carrier with a blanket to reduce visual stimuli, which can help keep it calm. Ensure the carrier is well-ventilated and placed securely in the car.

Settling into the New Home

1. Create a Safe Space: Before bringing your cat in, set up a safe room in your new home. This room should contain the cat’s bed, toys, litter box, food, and water. Allow the cat to explore this space first to get acclimated.

2. Gradual Introduction: Gradually introduce your cat to the rest of the house. Once it seems comfortable in its safe room, allow it to explore one room at a time while keeping the rest of the house closed off.

3. Maintain Familiar Scents: Bring familiar items like blankets, toys, and scratching posts that smell like your old home. These familiar scents will provide comfort and help them adjust more quickly.

4. Monitor Behavior: Keep an eye on your cat’s behaviour for signs of stress or illness. Common signs include hiding, decreased appetite, excessive grooming, or aggression. If these behaviours persist, consult your vet.

Tips for Outdoor Cats

If your cat is used to going outdoors, it’s essential to keep it indoors for at least two weeks after the move. This allows the cat to become familiar with the new environment and reduces the risk of getting lost. When you do let the cat outside, start with supervised short periods and gradually increase the time.

Final Thoughts

Moving house with cats in the UK can be a challenging experience, but with proper preparation and care, you can make the transition as smooth as possible for your feline friends. Remember, patience and consistency are key. By maintaining routines, creating safe spaces, and closely monitoring your cat’s behaviour, you can help them settle into their new home and ensure they remain happy and healthy.