Make Your Move Stress-Free For Your Pet

Make Your Move Stress-Free For Your Pet
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Most of your family is excited about the move, that is except for your pets. A cross country move can be very stressful for our furry family members so you want to do everything you can so the transition is easy and safe for them. Here are our top tips for moving with animals.


Dogs are creatures of routine, so during the process of moving do your best to keep them on their regular schedule. Also take your time packing, you don’t want to shock your dog with an immediate change. During the move, include your dog in the process with positive reinforcement, make them feel like they are an important part of the family.

Then when you arrive in your new home, introduce your dog to the space slowly with lots of encouragement. Show your dog where their food will be, where they will sleep, and where they will use the bathroom. Dogs are pretty good at adapting to change, so if you just make them feel like they included, the move will not cause them stress.


Cats are very territorial, so they hate to move. So it is really important to make sure your cat is comfortable during this transition. Start by putting out your moving boxes, so your cats get used to them. Then pack your house slowly, cats do not like sudden changes to their environments. A few weeks before the move, familiarize them with the cat carrier. Keep it a safe clean space they will enjoy being in.

The day of the move, keep them in a safe quiet space away from the commotion. Also feed them a light breakfast to prevent their stomach from getting upset. During transport, keep your cat in their carrier with food, water, and a place to use the bathroom. Keep the carrier as clean as possible.

Then when you arrive in your new home, take your cat into a quiet room with familiar possessions. Let them come out of the carrier at their own pace, giving them positive encouragement and affection. Show them where they will eat, sleep, and use the restroom. If your cat is very anxious, talk to your veterinarian about possible medicines to reduce their anxiety and help them sleep. If you do all these things, you will reduce the stress of the move.

Also, before you move, with both cats and dogs, you want to make sure you get them new ID tags with your address and phone number. If they are microchipped, contact your vet to have them updated with your new information. Also register your pet with the new city you are moving to so that if something happens, they can be returned to you.

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  • Lisa

    Nice article, and yeah you’re right, cats hate moving! I remember we tried to move our cat to a different apartment and it was like hell just getting them out the carrying cage. Sometimes when brought to a new home, cats just need to be left alone and they will eventually adjust on their own time.

  • Mori Webster

    Great advice, cats definitely need things to happen slowly. And good reminders about updating new information before the move.

  • Hannah

    When we moved two years ago, my cat looked very tense so I took him out of the carrier and played with him. He felt safe sleeping in my lap.

  • April O.

    Dogs are indeed pretty much well adopted to change more than cats but either way owners should also take into consideration how their pets will cope with change specially when moving.After all animals have feelings too.

  • Bob Smith

    Do you do carry cases for over weight cats?
    And does it come in green?

  • Hannah Cortes

    My cat is very sensitive so he must have been so stressed out when we moved two years ago. I placed his little teddy bear with him in his carrier so that he will feel comfortable during the process.

  • Pam Blubaugh

    This is all sound advice. Dogs should be fed light meals as well, as they can experience stomach upset through travel and nervous tension. It’s also important to note that, with dogs in particular, being with their family is much more important than changing location. Many people abandon their dogs when they move and this is incredibly traumatic for the dog.

  • Shamkant Sukalikar.

    If you agree that pets do have feelings then take a routine care about them, same as you take care about your kids. With little time everyone gets used to new place and environment, let that be human or a pet!

  • Jhei

    I think the descriptions of dogs and cats being creatures of routine and territory, respectively, are true. My experiences with my pets are probably just isolated incidents. I had 2 dogs and 5 cats on my on one move. No issues with them in my then new place. On another, I had 3 dogs and 3 cats. No issues with the move or adapting to our new home either. Maybe its my smell…

  • Penelope

    When we moved a month ago, my dog got really restless, he became fussy about every little thing. He wouldn’t eat anything. So to make him feel better the first thing I did was setup his little bed and food bowl just like in the old house by the kitchen bench and he started improving. Now he’s totally normal and loves his new house.

  • Wendy

    Yes, cats do really hate moving. I remembered when we got hit by a Typhoon and we were forced to move to another place and brought our cat by just carrying it in a bag. She was shocked by the noise and the new environment and with many people inside. She ran away and it made the whole ordeal that much more shocking. Make sure you have a proper crate for moving with a cat, they get spooked easily!

  • Hari Sutantya

    Having pets is indeed fun. And once we have to travel, often we find it hard to leave them home.
    But once you have to travel with them abroad, do not forget to pay attention to the regulating laws… they differ wildly from place to place and can sometimes take months to get approval.

  • Amy

    I had quite a little bit of trouble with my cat when our family moved to the west coast and it was a very long ride. I had her on my lap almost at all times and petted her so she would be calm. Though, I still got a few scratches.

  • Michael

    Me and my wife are dogs lover and we have 3 adorable puppies. We are thinking of moving to another state and this article is very handy for us to keep in mind.

  • Yosleidis Fleitas

    In my experience if your dog is used to ride with you in the car and staying in different places he won’t have mayor issues in adapting. For cats is harder but the advise of letting him play in the moving boxes really works. Just keep one of them around in the new plan so he still feels save.

  • Florian Laur

    Our cats hated to move! She already didn’t enjoy getting near the car or having to ride anywhere in it. I guess the best way to handle this might be to have a vet inject your pet with a tranquillizer before you’re on the road.

  • Teri

    Great article! and I just love the intro pic of that cat in the carrying cage. It’s really captures the perfect essence of a cat: Curiosity!

  • Lattin

    I just lure my dog with a lot of treats and he’s good lol… As long as there’s food around he will have no probs settling down.

  • Debbie P.

    A lot of good information for pet owners trying to make that move. I like the tip at the end about the ID tags. P.S. not sure if it’s my computer screen but text seems kinda light and bit hard to read, but again great information and keep it comin!

  • Cecil Jackson

    Pets are like our kids that really never grow up. I agree with Shamkant in that you should take care of them as such and with a bit of time everyone will become familiar and comfortable in the new environment.

  • Nancy

    Really enjoyed your article! I will share it with some pet groups I’m involved with on Facebook.

  • Chupacabra

    Sort your things. This is a great time for you to get rid of those thing that you can’t use or don’t need any more. If you have planned ahead, you won’t be overwhelmed about sorting your things since you can do one room or perhaps one closet at a time. You can get rid of other spices that will expire in months or may be donate some of your unneeded stuffs to the needy. You can look into your library if you have books that you can donate.

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