Moving is stressful for humans and pets alike, and when it comes to cats, we know that our felines have a strong connection with their territory. That’s why most cats will want to go back to their previous home when they move to a new place.
So, keeping the cat in the house is always the best option when you move to a new house. But, how long should you keep a cat in after moving house? You can keep your cat in for three to six weeks after moving house. Some cats need one week to adapt to a new place. So, you can allow your cat to go out if it gets bored and starts acting crazy.
Let’s discuss in detail moving house with cats and how you can settle a cat after moving.
How Long Should You Keep A Cat In After Moving House?
According to experts, you should keep a cat in for one week in the house at a minimum. The time cats take to get out of the stress and make themselves feel secure depends on the nature of the cat.
So, there is no specific amount of time for keeping a cat in after moving house. Ideally, this time is anywhere between three and six weeks. If your cat adjusts quickly, you can keep it in for a week and then let it explore its surroundings to relieve the stress.
When Can You Let A Cat Out After Moving House?
You can let your cat out after moving house when you’re sure it feels safe inside the house and is ready to explore the outdoors.
Cats can suffer from anxiety and stress when they move to a new location, and that’s why it’s necessary to make it familiar with the indoors before you let it go out.
Some cats will take a week to get familiar with the new house, while others may take up to six weeks. When you see your cat is getting back to normal and bored inside the house, you can let it out.
But, make sure your cat is microchipped to trace it. Also, a better idea is to go with your cat outside for the first few times to give it a sense of security.
How To Settle A Cat After Moving House?
As moving to an entirely different place is stressful for cats, here are some tips on how to settle a cat after moving house.
Confine it to one place
Making the cat roam in the whole house at first is not the best idea. It will make the cat panic, and it might want to run away.
The best idea is to introduce the house to the cat gradually. You can make it familiar with one room in the beginning and tell all the other family members to avoid going into that room.
But, make sure your feline has all the necessities like food, water, and litter box, and you visit your cat to make it feel secure.
Give it time to settle
As cats are territorial and will want to go back to their previous place, the best idea is to give them time to settle in the new home. Rushing things can make it worse, and your cat will take more time to adapt to the new environment.
You can tell your family members to visit the cat one at a time and let the cat come to other rooms slowly.
Provide it with familiar things
As cats will definitely feel anxious at a new place, it’s better to provide them with things familiar to them. Cats have a strong sense of smell, and they can instantly sense things and smells familiar to them.
So, you can provide your cat with its blanket and bed to make it feel comfortable in the new place. Another idea is to put some of your clothes in the room. The cat will immediately recognize your smell and know that you’re around.
Make it visit the house gradually
When you know that your cat has become comfortable in the small room you first provided, it’s time to make it visit the rest of the house and make it familiar with it as well.
But, make sure that you take it to other rooms and the garden for a few minutes. In the beginning, a short trip just to let it see the house is enough. Even if the cat is afraid in the beginning, it will develop curiosity with time and would want to see the house.
If it happens, your cat has adjusted to the new environment, and you can now let it go to other places.
Close all routes of escaping
If you notice your cat trying to escape from the new house, you shouldn’t be surprised. Cats take time to adjust to a new place and try to escape and go back to their previous home out of fear and stress.
So, closing all routes of escaping is necessary, especially if your old home is nearby. Your cat may try to take advantage of an open window or door and run out to find a safe shelter.
As mentioned before, you need to keep the cat inside for at least two weeks after moving house. Otherwise, it will go out and try to find its previous home.
Use a pheromone diffuser
Some cats will take a lot of time to adapt to changes because they’ve bonded with their previous homes. For this, pheromone diffusers can come in handy.
You can also use them before leaving the old home, while traveling, and after moving house. They help release anxiety to a significant extent and encourage your cat to stay calm and relaxed.
Pheromones also come in other forms, and if diffusers don’t feel comfortable to you, you can use them.
Give it attention and love
When your cat feels alone and insecure in a new place, your affection is all it needs to feel comfortable. So, don’t get too occupied unpacking boxes and setting your new home. Your cat also needs your time.
When it already feels stressed out in a new place, your ignorance will make it feel left out, and it won’t want to stay there.
A better idea is to visit your cat often, even when it’s confined to one room, and pet it to make it feel secure. When your cat knows you’re around, it will feel comfortable and won’t get afraid.
Extend the time for outdoor visits
By outdoors here, we mean the other rooms and garden of the house. When you see your cat has become familiar with the house, you can let it go out of the house and explore the world.
After letting your cat spend a few days in a confined room, you can make it visit the rest of the house and gradually extend the time of these visits.
Let it roam freely in the house while ensuring that all the windows and doors are closed to prevent it from running out.
Then, you can extend the time of these visits, and later, you won’t have to keep your cat confined to a room.
But, make sure that the cat always has access to the room it was staying in initially. Your cat only feels secure there, and after it visits the house, it will definitely want to go in that room to sleep or whenever it feels uncomfortable.
Limit the visits of guests
As your cat is already stressed moving into a new place, frequent visits of guests and strangers will increase the stress.
If your cat doesn’t socialize enough, a better idea is to limit the visits of guests or keep your cat in its safe space whenever some guests come over to avoid interactions with the cat.
However, some cats like to play with other pets and people and feel safe. It all depends on the nature of the cat.
If your cat becomes afraid of seeing new people, you should keep it away from strangers until it gets settled in the new house.
Related Post: How To Keep An Outdoor Cat From Running Away? (10 Tips)
Moving house and settling in a new place is often more difficult for cats than humans because they are territorial and don’t want to leave their safe space.
So, you need to take effective measures before and after moving house to help it adapt to the new environment quickly.
But, it’s essential that you give time to your cat and introduce the rest of the house slowly to it. This step will help your cat become familiar with the whole house, and once it happens, you can allow it to go out and explore the surroundings.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.