Tips for moving house with cats and dogs
Humans understand that moving house is stressful, and we know ways to help us to better deal with the upheaval in our lives that a house move brings. Unfortunately, our pets also feel that stress, and helping them to reduce the stress of moving house can help them to adjust more quickly to their new home. Our team have moved their own pets (one moved her pets all the way from Switzerland!), and understand how stressful it can be for the four legged memebers of the family.
Things to do before moving day
- Have a new tag made for your dog with your new contact details
- Write your mobile number on your cat's collar with a permanent ink marker
- Update their microchip information - make sure your mobile number is up to date
- If you're moving far away from your current vet, research vets in your new area and make sure to note their contact details where you can easily find them in case of an emergency on or just after moving day
Moving to a new home needs preparation for your pets to ensure their safety during and after the move.
- Consider placing your pets into a trusted kennel, cattery, or (for dogs) with a friend for the day
- If you're moving cats, take a soft cloth and rub their faces with the cloth - keep this handy for when you're in your new home
- If you're keeping your pets in the house during your move:
- Place them in a room with the windows shut before the removal men arrive
- Lock the door if possible, otherwise let the removal men and anyone else there know that's where your pets are - also put a sign on the door telling people not to enter, pets inside
- Include a bed for them, water, a small amount of food, a favourite toy or two (especially for dogs)
- For cats, don't forget to include a litter tray
- For dogs, it is a good idea to put down puppy training pads in case of accidents
- Don't forget to put their leash and/or carrier in the room!
- Some people find their cats are happier if they're put into the carrier in the room, instead of having the run of the room - this will depend on your cat and how well they deal with stress
Arrival in your new home
Now that you're in your new home, you need to help your pets adjust
- On arrival, before the removal men get started, place your pets in a room in your new home and lock the door (and place the sign you had in your old house on the door in your new home)
- After the removal men have left:
- As much as you may want to go in and reassure your pets as soon as the removal men leave, take the time to sort things in the house, and make sure all doors and windows are firmly shut and locked
- Take the soft cloth you rubbed on your cat's face before moving and rub the cloth on surfaces in your home that are at cat level - this helps to put their scent on the new house, which will help them feel more like they belong in the new home
- Set up the area where you'll feed them, and put out food and water
- Put the litter tray(s) out and fill them with cat litter
- Do a walk through of the house to ensure there's nothing dangerous for your pets
Outdoor access for cats
It is very important not to let your cats outside for the first few weeks in their new home
Your cats may try to return to their old home or can get lost when they're exploring the area around their new home. It is best to keep them indoors for a few weeks to let them fully get their scent on their new home and realise this is now home.
Introduce them to their new outdoor space slowly - accompany them in the garden, and encourage them to only be outside for a brief period on their first few journeys outside. Only let them outside when they're hungry, and they'll be more likely to come home quickly when they're hungry.
You may want to let your old neighbours and the new occupants of your former home your new contact details in case your cat shows up at your old home
Talk to your veterinarian
While we've given you some general information to help your pet be safe and not be too stressed during their move, and settle into their new home, before you move talk to your veterinarian. They know your pets, and will be able to help you decide what's best for them.
How may we help with your home move?
Alternatively, you can fill in the contact form on this page or use our free online survey booking service to set up an appointment for your home removal survey - both services can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning you can contact us when it suits you.