Help With Moving Pets

Your pets are family. They're part of ours (the puppy you below is Abby, our office mascot, official greeter, and company keeper for those working late at the office) . So we know you want to make their move to a new home as smooth as possible.

Since your pets are likely territorial they may have problems being abruptly picked up and moved to an entirely new environment, And their problems can become your problems so you'll be glad to know there are ways to help your pets adjust to their new home with less stress for you and them.

Moving Your Cat


  • Cats can have a very difficult time when their territory is changed. The unpacking and disruption typical of a move is very unsettling.

  • Before the move, make sure your cat has a collar and name tag with your new address and phone or cell phone number on it.

  •  Contact a veterinarian in your new area so that you will be established with them should an emergency arise.

  • Transport your cat in a safe, well-secured pet carrier and leave it in the carrier until a room can be set up for the cat.

  • Set aside one room as the cat's "acclimation" room and confine it to this room while you are settling in to the rest of the house Stock the room with familiar objects such as the cat furniture, litter box, food and water, a blanket its likes to sleep on, etc. Once the house is set up, introduce the cat to the rest of its new home gradually


Consider using phermone spray in the acclimation room and then the rest of the house as the cat is allowed to explore. This spray is available through veterinarians, and has a calming affect.

Cats that are normally allowed outside should not be let out for several weeks. They may attempt to return to their old familiar house and become lost or injured. When outdoor cats are initially let outside again, trips out should be very brief, on a leash or supervised and then rewarded by a tasty meal back inside the house. This process should continue for days until your cat seems to be accepting your new home as its new home too.

It is advisable to find out what pets your neighbors may have that your outdoor cat could come in contact with such as other outdoor cats that may not be welcoming, loose dogs, etc. Inform neighbors about your pets as well.


Moving Your Bird

Travel tends to be very stressful to birds. When traveling be sure to cover the bird's cage well to avoid drafts as well as subjecting the bird to as little visual stimuli as possible. Use a small carry cage for the move so there is not too much room for the bird to move around and injure itself if startled. As with other small pets, have the bird's familiar caging, toys, and food set up in the new house away from excessive noise and activity. Once the movers are gone, most birds would like to be able to investigate their new surrounding visually from their cages as well as be able to see their owners.

Moving Your Dog


Dogs are very adaptable, but a move to an unfamiliar place will be confusing for them and problems such as straying and accidents in the house can be lessened through proper preparation.

Before the move, make sure your dog has a new name tag with your new address, phone number or cell number on it.

Contact a veterinarian in your new area so that you will be established with them should an emergency arise.

Contact the local animal control authorities in your new area to find out what licensing or other regulations affect your dog.

If your dog does not already use a crate, purchase one and get him acclimated to it ahead of time. Special treats given in the crate, favorite toys and comfortable bedding will help your pet adjust. Keep the crate in a place where your dog likes to be, such as near your bed.


Thoroughly inspect the yard that you dog will use for hazards that may have been left behind by the previous owners like toxic plants, poisons, or debris that could cause injury. If the yard is fenced, walk the entire fence line and look for breaks or other escape routes.

On moving day keep your dog secured in its crate while items are brought in and doors are left open. Your dog may attempt to return to its old home if it is let loose and become lost or injured.

Let your dog sniff around the house under your supervision. In a new place it may get itself in trouble that you did not foresee if left unattended.

Be prepared to do a refresher course in housebreaking. Take your dog outside on a leash frequently for potty breaks and reward the correct behavior. Expect that there may be an accident as your dog he needs to learn the appropriate place for elimination in the new environment.

It is advisable to find out what pets your neighbors may have and to let them know about your pets as well. Be alert if small children live nearby and speak to them about your dog.



Moving Small Mammals and Reptiles

  • Small mammals and reptiles should adjust easily since most likely their homes will not change; they will still be in their own cages. 

  • Be sure to secure them in a safe, warm, escape proof container for the trip to the new house.
  • Have the proper caging set up upon arrival. Your little ones will need the correct temperature, lighting and food.

  • Place cages in a low traffic area during the move in and be sure they are placed away from hazards 

  • Be sure there is plenty of food and fresh water.

  • Rabbits are especially sensitive to disruption in their environment and stress easily, so it is very important to have them set up in a quiet area of the house while all the activity of the move is going on.

For More Information Contact : The Humane Society of the United States

Information Above Provided by the Pet Friendly Folks at the 
Milwood Animal Clinic

CENTURY 21® C. Howard
CENTURY 21® C. Howard
(269) 381-9292