If you’re like many pet parents, you know that moving with a cat is going to be tough – but the good news is that there are five things you can do to make the whole process easier on you (and the cat).

5 Expert Tips for Moving With a Cat

Cats thrive on routine and sameness – and that makes moving a big challenge. However, if you follow these five expert tips for moving with a cat, you and your pet will be much better off:

  1. Get your cat used to her carrier.
  2. Stick to your routine.
  3. Make sure his microchip is up-to-date.
  4. Consider hiring a pet sitter for moving day.
  5. Let your cat explore at her leisure after you arrive.

Here’s a closer look at each.

Expert Tip #1 for Moving With a Cat: Get Your Cat Used to Her Carrier

If your cat hates her carrier, moving is going to be a lot harder than it has to be. Fortunately, you can get her accustomed to it without traumatizing her. Start by leaving it open near her food and water dishes; she’ll sniff around and may even go inside. Even if it takes some time, as she becomes more used to the idea of the carrier, you should eventually move her food and water dish inside; that way, she’ll discover that there’s nothing to worry about.

You can also:

  • Put her favorite toys inside
  • Give her treats and praise every time she goes in the carrier (or goes near it, if she’s particularly nervous about it)
  • Leave it open at all times so she can explore it when she’s ready

Expert Tip #2 for Moving With a Cat: Stick to Your Routine

Cats aren’t known for loving change, so try to minimize your feline friend’s stress levels by keeping to your normal routines as much as you can. Playtime, feeding times and cuddles should remain the same until you move – and then you should pick them back up again as soon as possible.

Expert Tip #3 for Moving With a Cat: Make Sure His Microchip is Up-to-Date

Visit your vet or call your microchip company to ensure they have your new address. If your cat accidentally gets outside, having the most current phone number and address associated with his chip is essential to getting him back where he belongs: snuggled up in your lap.

Expert Tip #4 for Moving With a Cat: Consider Hiring a Pet Sitter for Moving Day

Because moving day can be pretty hectic, you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter to keep your cat for the day. If you can’t hire a pet sitter or take her to a trusted friend or family member’s home, clear out an entire room the night before the move. Move your cat’s litterbox inside the room, along with her favorite toys, an article or two of your clothing, and her cat bed. That way, you can close the door to the room and keep her safe – she can’t dart out the door if she’s confined to a closed room. Just make sure that your movers know not to open the door for any reason.

Expert Tip #5 for Moving With a Cat: Let Your Cat Explore at His Leisure After You Arrive

Watch your cat for signs of stress when you arrive at your new home. Look for things like laid-back ears, forward-facing whiskers, or a nervous gait. If your cat seems really stressed, close most of the doors in your new home. He can explore the rest of the rooms later, when he’s more comfortable in the space.