Moving cats to a new home can be pretty challenging. After all, cats are creatures of routine – and a major change like shifting homes can majorly stress them out. (Much like us humans, to be fair.)

So the minute you start your packing, expect your little buddy to begin their protesting – whether that’s meowing excessively, or even crying, scratching your furniture, peeing everywhere…or most commonly, hiding away from you. And even once the dust has settled into your new place and you’re finally done with assembling every last IKEA piece – you’re still more likely to find your cat MIA.

This is why having to move their cats often causes cat owners to worry. Because when cats don’t feel 100% safe in their new surroundings, they’re more likely to run away.

But here’s the good news: with a little patience, love, time, and effort, your cat can settle into their new home very well. Even better if you can stay on top of their hiding and escaping behaviors, by following their every step.

Moving cats to a new home: How to get started

Step one from the experts: start slow. Here’s how to proceed when you arrive at your new home with your cat – no matter if they’re an indoor cat, outdoor cat, senior cat, or even special needs cat.

Start exploring one room at a time

Go slow and take a few minutes to let your cat explore one room at a time. Their new surroundings can be overwhelming at first – especially since it’s a newer, bigger space with unfamiliar sounds and smells. So take your cat to your different rooms, one by one, and stick around. (So they don’t feel like you’ve abandoned them somewhere unfamiliar.)

A cat sitting on the floor of an apartment next to a pile of books

⚠️ There’s a reason we think cats are made of liquid – they often end up getting stuck in some weird spots! So keep an eye out for narrow spaces that your cat might get stuck in. (Like air vents or window blinds.)

Because if your cat hides away into a secure, “cozy” spot out of fear – it might just end up being a bit…too cozy. (I.e., they won’t be able to squeeze out of it or you won’t hear them crying for help.)

Luckily, here are 3 quick and easy ways to locate a hiding dog or cat indoorswith your trusty Tractive device.

Bring along a few of your cat’s favorite things

Like toys, their basket, crate, or blanket, or even a towel with your scent. Place these in your cat’s new sleeping area to help them feel a bit more comfortable in their new surroundings.

A cat sitting in a basket with some stuffed toys

💡 Cats are known to follow new smells or find shelter somewhere hidden when they feel scared. So make sure to always leave some furniture in the room, such as chairs or boxes, where they can hide when they feel a bit antsy. This can actually help them feel more comfortable and secure.

So don’t remove your cat’s carrier from the room just yet. Your cat might want to use it as a hiding place for the first few days. Maybe while exploring, they might startle from a new sound or unexpected movement – and scamper back to their carrier to hide. So keep the way back clear in case they need a hasty retreat.

Read more: Why Is My Cat Hiding? 5 Reasons For A Hiding Cat

Help your cat understand this is a “safe” zone

As undemonstrative as your cat might seem, they do love you and trust you. (A lot.) And if you, their “safe person” thinks a new environment is safe – they’re more likely to trust it as well.

So start with finding yourself a comfortable place to sit and stay in the room. Place your cat’s carrier in one corner – and let them explore. Stick around so your cat can understand you’re around in case something goes wrong.

A cat sleeping upright on a soft blanket

⚠️ Don’t confine your cat to any room. (It’ll majorly stress them out – and result in some heavy scratches on your new apartment doors.) Besides, if they’re an outdoor cat, they’re unlikely to enjoy too much indoor time either.

Be firm when introducing “no go” zones

Even the indoors comes with its dangers for cats. Besides narrow, hard to escape from spaces, other spots around your house might be dangerous for them as well. Your kitchen, for example, might include food items that are toxic for cats. So be extra careful when planning meals for your house-warming party!

Read more:

A man carrying a cat away from a kitchen while a woman slices apples in the background

So be firm (but not harsh or panicky) when your cat wanders off towards “no go” areas. Give them a little nudge or a firm “No!” when necessary. (A gentle spritz of water can also help.)

💡You could also set up a “safe” zone with your trusty Tractive device – around your home, for example. Plus, mark areas outdoors as “no go” zones, at least initially, as your cat learns their new environment. (Yes, even your outdoor cat.)

Now if your cat tries to escape any safe zones you’ve marked, you’ll get an instant escape alert to your phone. So you can pick them up and prevent them from escaping, just in time.

Cattery owner and trainer, Clair Chesterman

“Tractive is my #1 recommendation when it comes to cat trackers. It’s specifically designed for tracking cats so you are sure that it is safe for your cats to use.”

– Clair Chesterman, Owner of CFA and CCA-registered cattery and fostering company, FluffyMeowPaws3

Track Your Cat With Tractive

Let your cat create “their” space

No matter how sociable your cat might be, they still need a safe, secluded area to cool-off. Try and create a special play area or cat zone for them where they can retreat. (Filled with toys, scratchers, a blanket or sweater that smells like you, and maybe a puzzle toy.) All these can help an enriching indoor environment for your cat and keep them occupied when you’re not around.

Read more: 6 Easy Indoor Plants That Are Safe For Cats

A cat lying on a blue blanket and pillow

💡Keeping your cat indoors within “their” safe space will come in handy once your Christmas or New Year’s guests arrive. They’re less likely to get stressed out or eat something off-limits for them. (And also less likely to run away from fear if they hear loud noises.)

New outdoors? 4 must-do’s to protect your feline friend

Experts actually suggest you keep your cat inside for about 3 weeks before letting them go outside. (Especially once you’re done with moving cats to a new home.) Which can be difficult, especially if your new place has a gorgeous new backyard or outdoors space.

Or if your outdoor cat is itching to mark their new territory and show the other neighborhood cats who’s boss.

But there’s a good reason for it. The stress of an unfamiliar environment may cause your cat to run away. (Maybe even back to your older apartment or home!)

Or your outdoor cat might end up wandering off on a hunt, end up too far from safety – and not be able to find their way back home. (Because they’re still unfamiliar with the environment.)

Which is why it’s smart to introduce your cat to the new outdoors, step by step.

A woman sitting in a garden with her cat

Start with supervised outdoors time

Even indoor cats benefit tremendously from exploring the great outdoors. Besides the exercise and sensory stimulation, it’s also a great way to keep their instincts happy.

Plus, if you stay close, they gradually learn that the outdoors is a “safe” space.

So once you’ve helped them get more comfortable indoors, start with short outdoor visits. Get some playtime in your garden or backyard to help your cat slowly settle into it. (It’ll become their territory in no time.) Just make sure to watch out for any plants that are poisonous for cats.

Read more: Should I Let My Cat Outside? Pros & Cons Of Indoor vs Outdoor Cats

A cat sitting on a brick wall in a garden

Learn your cat’s favorite hiding (or hangout) spots

As your cat slowly grows familiar with their new outdoor space, you’ll find them spending more of their time in certain spots. In fact, over time, your backyard – and part of your neighborhood – might just end up as part of an outdoor cat’s territory!

Which may seem cute – until you realize your cat is busy invading your neighbors’ yards or picking a fight with the local pets . Or hiding away the minute your housewarming or New Year’s guests arrive. (Making you spend more of your evening playing an involuntary game of “find the cat” rather than enjoying yourself.)

A cat exploring a leafy garden

That’s why it makes sense to keep track of their favorite spots – whether that’s for hiding or just hanging out.

And which is where tracking their location in real-time can be a lifesaver. For example, if you notice your cat’s wandering off towards an unsafe area, you can pick up on it immediately – and go and fetch them right in time.

Which, like for this Tractive cat parent, turned out to save their cat’s life:

Tractive Trustpilot review
Tractive CAT Mini Location History

With a GPS cat tracker like Tractive, you can figure out where your cat spends most of their time – whether that’s hiding, hunting, sleeping, or (gasp!) cheating on you with a new neighbor. (Who might have yummy treats at home.) Or intervene if you notice them wandering a bit too far away from safety.

Track Your Cat With Tractive GPS

Ensuring your cat’s safety – if you’ve moved somewhere new

Whether you’ve shifted apartment floors, apartments, districts, cities, states – or even to a new country – it can be easy to forget small details which matter for your cat’s safety. Here are a couple to help you get on track.

Update your cat’s microchip details

Gotten your cat microchipped? Make sure to update your contact details with your new address or number. You want to avoid a situation where a vet or local shelter ends up calling the wrong number or turning up at your former address with your cat.

A cat sitting on a wooden shelf by a fence

Haven’t gotten your cat microchipped? Check your local laws. Microchipping all pets is a legal requirement in a large number of countries and a whole bunch of US states.

And it brings a ton of benefits – primarily since it works like a permanent ID tag for your pets.

  • A microchip is an electronic device the size of a grain of rice.
  • A vet can implant one in under 10 minutes into your cat’s shoulder blades.
  • You can then add your contact details to the microchip database.

Now if your lost cat gets picked up by a helpful stranger, a vet or a local shelter can scan their microchip, find your contact details, and get in touch with you. It’s how you prove that you’re your cat’s rightful parent.

⚠️ A word of warning: a microchip alone can’t keep your cat safe if, say, they’ve been picked up a pet thief. Or mysteriously “adopted” by a new family. Microchips can only help identify your lost cat. Not track them in real-time or follow their every step.

Read more: Is A Microchip Cat ID Enough To Find Your Lost Cat?

Track your cat’s movements in real-time

Initially, a new environment can freak out even the most seasoned cats. Which might result in an escape attempt – or two. (Or three, depending on how motivated they are – and how mindful you are.)

So imagine being able to track your cat’s movements – in real-timewith just a glance at your phone?

Or track them wherever they roam over an unlimited range?

Or even pick up early on a kidnapping attempt?

Tractive Trustpilot review

While your cat is still new and unsure of their new environment, there’s no telling where they might run or hide from fear, anxiety, or stress. Or other reasons, like finding newer (further) hunting grounds. Or a suitable mate – several miles away.

Read more: Why Do Cats Run Away? 10 Reasons + How To Stop ‘Em

In times like these, consider investing in a cat GPS tracker.

Which helps you keep track of your runaway cat with an entire sky full of satellites guiding your way to your little buddy.

Cattery owner and trainer, Clair Chesterman

“Tractive is the #1 cat GPS tracker in the industry. And it’s the highest quality cat tracker you can find. I was able to set the safe zone as my house area and once my cat gets outside I get an alert right away.

In fact, it probably saved my cat’s life that time she chased a bird and got lost. She was scared and I was able to find her with the help of the GPS tracker. Tractive’s chip frequently calculates your cat’s location and is updated on the map every 2-3 seconds. Furthermore, the LED will help you guard your furry friend at night.”

– Clair Chesterman, Owner of CFA and CCA-registered cattery and fostering company, FluffyMeowPaws

Because the pain and anguish of coming home and finding your cat missing is never worth it – and also 100% avoidable. And the joy and relief of finding them again always is.

Know everywhere your cat goes

See where they are in real-time, no matter how far they go. Get alerts if they roam too far home. Find out where they’ve been and discover their favorite spots. Let others track with you.

Never Lose Your Cat Again

Finding your cat scratching your newest IKEA masterpiece? They might still be a bit stressed moving into your new place. So here’s a short, sweet video with some tips to reduce your cat’s stress when relocating.

And if you’ve found this post helpful, share it with a fellow cat parent – and let’s help build a safer, stress-free world for our feline friends together.