Cats and Moving to a New Home: Making the Transition

Cats are strong animals and it can be a great stress for the cat to move from its safe territory to a new, completely foreign territory. Therefore, it is important to do the best for the cat when moving.

If the cat is used to going outside, it can sometimes be difficult to make the cat feel comfortable if it is only allowed to be indoors in its new home, but you can always give it a try. It is then extra important that you enrich the cat’s indoor environment, read more in the article about enriching the cat’s indoor environment.

If the plan is to let the cat go out even in the new home, the cat should first have some time to get used to and feel safe indoors before introducing the outdoor environment to the cat.

Try to get ready in the new home as much as possible. So that you have had time to unpack all your things, put the furniture where it should stand, etc. to avoid changes and stress for the cat once it enters the new home.

Optimal is that if you can take something from the new home to the old home to let the cat get acquainted with the new scent. If, for example, you are two owners who are moving together, you can take a blanket or rug from the new home to the old one to get the cat used to the new scent. If it is a completely new home you move into, you can take a blanket there and leave it there for a few days and then take it back to the old home and let the cat get acquainted with the scent from the new home.


The next step is to, for a few days, if possible, otherwise just immediately before the cat arrives at the new home, put your cat’s scent in the new home. Iron the cat with a towel or cloth over the back but also on the side of the neck and under the chin so that the cat’s pheromones, fragrances, end up on the towel / cloth. Then you iron the same towel / cloth around the corner, at the main entrance and around the furniture in the new home. That way, the cat’s scent will already be in the new home when it gets there.

The cat’s litter box, sleeping places, claw boards, climbing frames, toys, food and water bowls must be in place before the cat arrives at the new home. Do not buy new things in the first place and do not replace the sand, but have the old one first so that the cat gets its security in things and smells it is used to.

If you are moving to a home with several rooms and floors, introduce the cat to one room at a time. Then have litter boxes, sleeping area, claw board, food and water bowl in place. The litter boxes should be placed as far away from the rest as possible.

As long as the cat sniffs around, hides or strokes itself, it should remain in that room. When the cat is no longer hiding and you see that it is relaxed, you can open up and introduce another area. But even here, make sure to first place cat boxes, food and water bowls and sleeping places, before you let the cat out.

Different cats take different lengths of time when it comes to feeling safe in their new territory. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. You should be patient and take everything at the cat’s pace.

It is not uncommon for the cat to start yelling a lot in its new home, this is often because the cat feels anxious and insecure. It may also start to mark urine or behave differently. If the cat moans or does something you do not want, do not give the cat any attention, do not scold the cat, do not give it food or the like, because then it can learn that through its behavior you get attention. When the cat behaves this way, ignore the behavior until it stops. In the beginning, the cat may try even more out of sheer frustration, but after a while it usually understands that the behavior will not lead anyone anywhere. But even here it is important to be patient. When it comes to urine marking, read the article about what to think about when the cat does not use its litter box, it also says a bit about how to make the cat’s indoor environment as safe as possible.

Feel free to take the help of Feliway, these are synthetic scent pheromones that can help the cat feel safe in its environment. Use both the one you plug into the socket and the spray. Feel free to insert the contact adapter a week before the cat comes to the new home, one extends over an area of ​​50-70 sqm. Also use the spray in both the old home and in the new one so that the cat then associates these pheromones to its safe territory with the new territory. Spray in the new home for about 15 minutes before letting the cat in. You can order Feliway at many different online stores.

If there is already a cat in the new home, read both this article but also the one about what to think about when you get another cat. This introduction must also be slow and at the cat’s pace.

Then when it comes to the move itself, it is best if the cat is used to going in a cage. Try to always have the cage in front and let the cat associate it with good food, sweets, a cozy sleeping place and safe scents. Here, too, you can have good use of Feliway spray. If it is a slightly longer move, you can also try giving the cat Zylkene, a sedative that can get the cat to feel a little calmer with the situation. You can also buy and read more about Zylkene at our blog.

Good luck with the move!

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