Stress-Free Relocation-Part-3 – Moving House with Cats & Dogs

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Or any other furry member of you family 

We all know that moving can be a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement about the new place, a dash of sadness for what we’re leaving behind, and a sprinkle of stress about getting everything done. But here’s the thing: it’s not just us humans who feel this way. Moving house with cats, dogs, or even guinea pigs, can be a big deal too. They might not understand why their familiar playground is suddenly filled with boxes, or why their favourite napping spot keeps changing. This can lead to a mix of confusion and anxiety.

That’s why it’s so important to remember our four-legged friends in the moving process. From pre-move preparations to settling into the new home, ensuring they’re comfortable can make the transition smoother for everyone involved. So, whether you’ve got a curious cat or a doting dog, this guide is here to help make sure their move is as tail-waggingly good as yours!

Understanding Pet Anxiety

Let’s be honest, even the bravest of us can get a bit jittery with big changes. Now imagine being a pet, with no clue about what’s happening, and suddenly everything they know is being shifted around. That’s bound to make them feel a tad nervous, right?

When moving house with cats and dogs, like humans, they can experience feelings of stress and anxiety, especially during a move. But since they can’t tell us how they feel in words, they show it in other ways.

Signs of Stress when Moving House with Cats and Dogs:

  • Loss of appetite: Skipping meals or not showing interest in their favourite treats can be an indicator that something’s not right.
  • Hiding: Ever noticed your cat disappearing under the bed or your dog finding a secluded corner during a thunderstorm? They might do the same when they sense a big change coming up.
  • Vocalising more than usual: A sudden increase in meowing, barking, or even hissing can be a sign that they’re trying to tell you they’re not comfortable.
  • Changes in toilet habits: This can be a tricky one, but sometimes stress can lead to accidents inside the house or changes in their usual routine.

Remember, these signs aren’t just limited to the day of the move when moving house with cats and dogs. They can start appearing as soon as you begin packing.

The good news is, by recognising these signs early, you can take steps to make the move less daunting for them. It’s all about understanding their needs and giving them a bit of extra care and attention during this period.

Pre-Move Preparations: Setting the Stage for Moving House with Cats and Dogs

So, now that we have a grasp on the tell-tale signs of stress in our pets, what can we do to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible before the big move? Preparation is key when moving house with cats and dogs, and it starts well before moving day.

Familiarise with the New Environment

  • Take them for a visit: If it’s feasible and your new home isn’t too far, consider taking your pet for a short visit. A familiar scent or two can work wonders in making them feel more at home later on.
  • Bring in the smells: A week or so before the move, take some of their toys or bedding to the new place. This will get them used to the new environment’s scent.

Maintain Routine

  • Keep things normal: As much as you can, stick to your pet’s regular feeding and walking schedule. Consistency can help alleviate some of the chaos for them.

Safe Spaces

  • Set up a quiet zone: Amidst the packing and organising, designate a quiet room or corner where your pet can retreat to. Keep their favourite toys, bedding, and some water in there. It’s their little sanctuary from the moving madness.

Talk to the Vet

  • Check-up: Before moving, especially if it’s a long-distance move, get your pet checked. Ensure they’re healthy and discuss any concerns about the move with your vet.
  • Update microchip details: If your pet is microchipped, remember to update the address details.

Packing their Stuff:

  • Last minute packing: Save your pet’s belongings for the last. This ensures they have their familiar items around for as long as possible. When you do pack them, make sure they are easily accessible for quick unpacking at the new place.

By setting the stage early and keeping their comfort in mind, the transition of moving house with cats and dogs can be significantly smoother. Remember, a little bit of foresight and planning goes a long way!

Moving Day: Keeping Paws and Tails Safe and Sound

The big day has finally arrived! All the prep work has been leading up to this moment. While you’re juggling a million things, let’s ensure your pet has a smooth journey too. After all, they’re on this adventure with you!

Secure and Comfortable Transportation

  • Travel carriers: Make sure you have a sturdy, well-ventilated carrier for your pet. If they aren’t used to one, spend a few days prior getting them acclimated by letting them play or sleep in it.
  • Comfort items: Place a familiar blanket or toy inside the carrier to provide comfort. A piece of your clothing can be comforting too because of your scent.

Keep Them Away from the Action:

  • Quiet room: If possible, keep your pet in a quiet room while the movers are there. This ensures they don’t get frightened or run out amidst all the commotion.

Hydration and Snacks

  • Water: Always have water accessible, especially if it’s a long journey.
  • Snacks: But, keep their meals light to avoid any motion sickness during transit.

Frequent Stops for Long Distances

  • Stretch and toilet breaks: If you’re moving a long distance, schedule breaks for your pet to stretch a bit and do their business.

No Unfamiliar Faces

  • Movers and strangers: Pets can get overwhelmed with all the new people around. It’s a good idea to introduce them slowly or keep them away until things settle down.

Arrival at the New Home

  • Safe space: Much like you set up a sanctuary for them amidst the packing, set up a quiet zone for them at the new place. This can be where you place their items first, so they have a familiar spot to retreat to.
  • Explore together: Once things have calmed down a bit, explore the new space with your pet. They’ll feel more at ease with you by their side.

Moving day can be bustling, but with these steps, you can ensure it’s a day of excited tail wags or content purrs rather than one of stress. After all, it’s the start of a brand-new chapter for the whole family!

Settling In: Helping Your Pet Adjust to Their New Home

The hustle and bustle of moving day is behind you, and now it’s all about making your new place truly feel like home. And just as you need time to adjust and find the best spot for your favourite armchair, your pet needs a bit of time and support to acclimatise too. So, how can we make this as paw-sitive an experience as possible?

Patience is Key

  • Give them time: Every pet is unique. While some might bound around excitedly on day one, others might need a bit more time. And that’s perfectly okay. Be patient and let them adjust at their own pace.

Establish Routine

  • Back to the usual: The sooner you get back to your pet’s familiar feeding, walking, or playtime schedule, the quicker they’ll feel at ease.

Create Familiar Spaces

  • Their corner: Set up their bed, toys, and other belongings in a dedicated space. This continuity can be a comforting aspect amidst all the newness.

Explore Together

  • Guided tours: In the initial days, accompany your pet as they explore the house and garden. This not only reassures them but also ensures they’re safe and not getting into anything they shouldn’t.

Monitor Their Behaviour

  • Lookout for signs: While a little nervousness is expected, if you notice any prolonged signs of stress or unusual behaviour, it might be a good idea to consult your vet.

Meet the Neighbours

  • Friendly intros: If you have neighbours with pets or there are local pets around, make introductions slowly and under supervision. This can help prevent any territorial disputes or issues later on.

Safety First

  • Check for escape routes: Ensure there aren’t easy ways for your pet to get out, especially in the initial days when they might be more prone to running off due to nervousness or curiosity.

Positive Reinforcement

  • Treats and praises: Reward your pet for positive behaviour in the new environment. This can help them associate the new place with good things!

With a little bit of patience and a lot of love, your pet will soon be ruling the roost in their new home. And before you know it, they’ll have found their new favourite sunspot to nap in or a perfect window to watch the world go by.

When to Seek Professional Help

As much as we’d love for every move to be a breeze for our pets, sometimes, despite our best efforts, they struggle a bit more than expected. It’s essential, then, to distinguish between typical post-move uneasiness and signs that your furry friend might need some expert intervention.

More than just a bad day

  • Lasting Symptoms: While it’s normal for pets to be a bit out of sorts immediately after the move, prolonged signs of stress or anxiety (like hiding, refusal to eat, or excessive vocalisation) warrant attention.

Changes in Physical Health

  • Unexplained issues: Any sudden changes in their physical health, such as loss of appetite, diarrhoea, or lethargy, should be a prompt to seek expert guidance.

Call in the Experts

  • Consultation with a Vet: It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet if you notice prolonged signs of stress. They can provide guidance, suggest potential treatments, or even recommend a pet therapist if necessary.


Moving home, for many of us, signifies a fresh start, new beginnings, and exciting opportunities. For our four-legged companions, it’s a journey they undertake right beside us, every step (or paw) of the way. Ensuring their transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible is the least we can do for these loyal pals.

As we close this guide, always remember: a little patience, some extra cuddles, and loads of understanding can make all the difference. Here’s to new memories, shared adventures, and the joy of having your furry friend happily settled by your side in your new home. And if you need a hand, Cromwell Removals would love to help you move. Your four-legged family members too!

Until next time, may your moves be easy, and your pets even easier to please!

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