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.

Cats moved to a new home sometimes want to return to their old surroundings. To avoid this, 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 above 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, making it less likely that he/she will want to try and return to the old house.

Once your cat is ready to go outside at the new house, follow the tips above. [link to When do I let my cat/kitten explore outdoors? Section] 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. The SPCA receives many lost cats who we cannot reunite with their owner because the microchip details have not been updated.

Update your microchip details at: www.animalregister.co.nz

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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