Cats are strongly territorial animals and have strong bonds with their surroundings. It is important that you take some time to plan the relocation of your cat as it can be a stressful time for your cat. How you decide to do the move depends on you and your cat.
Booking your cat into a cattery needs a little research. Visit them and make sure you are happy placing your cat in their care. You will also need to make sure your cats vaccinations are up to date. Try looking at this website for a local venue. Only you know if your cat would be happy with this option.
Keeping your cat with you requires more planning. Select a small room in your house that can be cleared of furniture and items a week in advance of the move. You will also need to choose a room in your new home into which you can put your cat after you have moved house. These rooms need to be in a quieter part of the house so your cat can be left undisturbed.
One week before the move place the following in the room: bed, litter tray, food and water bowls, scratching post, toys and cat carrier. Feed your cat in this room as normal. Cats rely on their smell and familiar scents will help ease them during the move. Their toys and bed will calm them. Ensure his collar is on and it has an identity tag. If he is micro-chipped remember you will need to update address details when you move. On the eve of your move, make sure your cat is in his room and do not let them out for the night.
Moving Day. If using a cattery they will hopefully have already gone. If not, take them there first thing before the removal team arrive and the house move starts. Stick to your normal routine of feeding but DO NOT let your cat our afterwards. Keep him in his room, with a clean litter tray their water bowl and shut the door. Tell everyone where the cat is. A sign on the door is a good idea too. If your cat is prone to travel sickness it might be worth withholding food for a few hours prior to the car journey. Obviously if only a short trip this isn't as important.
When the house is empty and you are ready to leave place your cat in the carrier and put him in your car along with those items in their room. To help settle your cat in their room at the new house take a cloth or blanket that the cat sleeps on or has been rubbed around the cats head and face. The cloth should then be wiped around edges of their new room. You could also try an artificial cat pheromone diffuser such as this one found on this website. They are a great way of helping to alleviate stress in your cat during a house move.
At your new home. Once you are at your new home take your cat straight to his new room and set it up just like his room in the old house before the unloading starts. Give him food and water, a clean litter tray and shut the door. Again, tell everyone where he is and do not open the door. A sign will help.
Keep your cat in their new room for a few days to allow them to calm down once the move is over. An unfamiliar house can be disorientating and overwhelming. This depends on your cat and you should know when your cat is asking to be let out of the room. Make sure the rest of the house is secure with all external doors, cat flaps and windows shut. He is not ready to ready to venture outside yet.
Letting your cat outside. Keep your cat inside the new house for 2 weeks after the move. Your cat must feel safe in his new. Cats can go missing after a house move that is why it is so important to not rush. If you have moved locally it is quite likely that your cat will find his way to your old house. An explanatory note with contact details left at the old house for the new owners will help.
When it is time to let your cat out, do it just before a meal time, when he is hungry and the lure of his favourite food will keep him from going too far.
Open the door and step outside, encouraging your cat to join you. Do not carry them out but let him decide to venture out on his terms. If he gets spooked he can run back inside easily. Keep the first 'walk' short and gradually build up over time.