SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Tips on moving house with a cat

Moving can be a stressful experience for both cats and owners. Here are some tips to make things easier.

SPCA supports keeping cats indoors or contained to a safe and secure area such as a fenced garden, cat enclosure or “catio”. If you have moved to a home that is near a busy road or a sensitive wildlife area, you should consider keeping your cat contained for his/her safety, and that of local wildlife. If you do keep your cat indoors or contained, you need to provide a lot of enrichment for them to make sure that they have a full, happy and interesting life – we have some great tips here.

Cats moved to a new home sometimes want to return to their old surroundings. If you are going to allow your cat to be outdoors, contain your cat indoors for at least two weeks, feeding as usual and providing a litter tray. During this period introduce the cat to the new home as described here for introducing a new cat to your home. Once the cat has been introduced to the whole house, let the cat roam the house to get his/her bearings, keeping doors and windows closed; this will help your cat feel more at home and establish his/her new territory.

If your cat is stressed with the change in surroundings, talk to your veterinarian about calming products such as Feliway. It is helpful to keep other aspects of your cat’s life as consistent as possible around a move (for example, maintaining the same routine, feeding the same, and keeping familiar objects with the cat, like favourite beds or toys) and to spend lots of time keeping your cat company in the new house and helping him/her to feel secure and at home.

It is essential to update your cat’s the microchip details up-to-date if you move house or your contact numbers change. Update your microchip details here.

Lost cats

Moving house is a higher risk time for losing your cat; if your cat is missing visit our lost animal page for advice.

Download our full Cat and Kitten Care Brochure (PDF)

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