Pre-Moving Anxiety


TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Aug 1, 2012
Hi all,

This site and its users have been extremely helpful to me in the past, so I’ve returned again for your advice 😊

In July this year, I will be moving to a new city. I live in regional Australia, have my own property and it has a great garden that I’ve worked on over the years with my Mum. My two cats are safe in this place and live both inside and out. (They are brought indoors every night)

I’ve never moved house with my cats, let alone to a new city, and while I’m excited about the move, I’ve been stressing a lot about how my cats will cope, their happiness is everything to me.

Here are a list of my concerns (yes, I know I’m worrying before the event has even happened haha)

Travel: my new city is about 5 hours drive away. I’ve got one cat who is very chill but my other is the complete opposite. Patti (the stressy one) would be comforted being with Willie (my older boy) so I thought I’d put them in a large cage together. Not a carrier as such.
My vet has also suggested a gentle sedative for the trip as well.

The “adaptation” time: my two cats will be going from indoor/outdoor to primarily just indoor for several weeks. Neither of them use a litter tray, they go out in the garden and know to stand near the door if they need to be let be out for that.
They’ve both used litter trays in the past, just never at the same time.
I feel worried about how stir crazy they will get and how this will affect my transition as well. I feel guilty about this already.
I will also be renting so I can’t afford for them to damage or have accidents within the property.

Lastly, I just feel so selfish. I love my animals so much. But this has to happen, the move. But I worry about their quality of life, going from a garden with secret hideaways and a place they’ve known for years. I’m trying to find a rental with garden spaces like mine but it is difficult within my budget and looking at rentals.

I know I’ve got a lot of pre-worries but I’m lying here at 4am not being able to sleep thinking about it.

Also, I know the outdoor cat thing is unusual for friends overseas, but it is common here, and I do what I can to protect them and our wildlife.

Sorry for the long post, but any comments or feedback is appreciated, especially successful stories of moving.

Last edited by a moderator:


May the purr be with you
Dec 22, 2005
First, good luck with your move. :goodluck: I'm glad you're bringing your cats with you. I can understand your concern and worries but more than anything as long as the cats are with you it will cause them less stress. TCS has a very helpful Article about how to move safely with your cat: How To Move With Your Cat To A New Home In A Safe Way – TheCatSite Articles

I completely agree with your vet to give Patti a mild sedative especially if she has anxiety. Putting her in the same carrier with her BFF, Willie, is a good idea and will help comfort her. Since they will be totally indoors for several weeks and are accustomed to doing their business outdoors you may want to put several litter boxes in their room. A Feliway diffuser might help too. Bring anything they like with their scent to the new home, e.g. blanket, toys, etc. This Article will have some advice on how to help your cat adjust to it's new home: How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles

Please don't feel selfish, many members have had to make a long distance move and their cats adapted to the new surroundings. Be patient and I'm sure it will work out well. Best of luck! 🤗


Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Oct 16, 2015
Havelock, North Carolina
A couple of tips in addition to what you already have, and what neely neely gave you.

First, a couple of weeks before you move, throw an old sheet or two over pieces of furniture that the cats love to lounge on. Just before the move, take the sheets, cut them into squares (18" or so), fold them with the fur side in, and tuck into plastic bags that you can access easily. When you get to the new apartment/house, even before you let the cats out, unfold the squares and scatter several of them in each room. This gives the cats "instant territory." It will look unfamiliar, but it will smell like home.

Second, think about starting some harness and leash training now. Let them get used to the equipment, and to going out on-leash. That way, even if you cannot let them run free where you are, they can enjoy outside time with you!

And last, but certainly not least, if they are microchipped, be sure to update the information AS SOON AS you get into your new home! That will be invaluable if one of them slips out. If they are not microchipped, get that done!


Kitty on the half shell, tortie power!
Top Cat
Apr 4, 2018
Littleton, CO
I understand how stressful moves can be - my husband has anxiety taking the cat to the vet (and the cat does pretty good honestly). We have moved with our cats many times over the year, and this last time was across the country on a plane. They do really well mostly and they adapt faster than you think.

Our girl Olive we adopted from an outdoor stray at 2 or 3 years old and she is now an indoor cat. Play therapy helps a lot. I slept with her in the safe room and every time she got antsy to go out I played with her. It helps during the transition. The cross country move was her first time moving with us and it went mostly fine. A few hotels, car rides, planes buses and she did really good. I with we had sedated her a little more in the plane as she fought it a lot but in the end she’s been happy in the new place.

Relax, you sound very prepared and you are doing a lot of effort to make them comfortable. They will be happy with you no matter what.


TCS Member
Top Cat
Mar 27, 2017
I agree with Mamany1953

I would also add that you might request a weeks worth of light sedatives for each cat. Sedatives made a huge difference when my mom’s reformed feral needed a daily saline IV & to have to use a litter box(instead of outside like normal.) So just in case one or both of your cats have a difficult time with the move; to get them over the hump.

I would also look at buying/making secure screen(s) so they get at least one window they can look outside of. If you have to keep them indoors except for harness time, this might be a good compromise weather permitting.