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Moving With Cats Internationally

Posted Moving Tips / October 1, 2019

Are you planning on moving with cats to another country? Then you should know that there are certain steps that have to be taken to ensure a safe and stress-free relocation with pets. Your beloved animal won’t really know what’s going on, so it is crucial to take special care of it during this time. That’s why we have decided to put together a guide to relocating with your feline friends.

Preparation for Moving with Cats

Before you begin the process of international relocation, there are certain preparatory steps you should take to ensure everything is ready for your pet’s move. Here are some of the most important things to take care of.

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A Quick Guide Through the Paperwork

Just like you need a passport to travel to another country, so does your cat, depending on where you are moving. In fact, in the European Union, pets have actual passports that allow their owners to take them across borders. Do your research and find out what paperwork you’ll need in order to bring your pet abroad with you.

Make Sure Your Cat is Healthy

Around a month before the relocation, take your cat to a vet for a general checkup. Tell them about your plans and check that there aren’t any undetected health conditions or illnesses your cat might have. 

Slowly Introduce New Routines

Most animals like having a routine they can follow. Packing up your home is bound to disrupt that routine. That is why it is important to slowly introduce new changes in your pet’s everyday life. For example, we suggest bringing boxes into your home and leaving them scattered around the house a couple of days before you’re planning to start packing. This way, your cat will get used to their presence.

The Moving Day

The day of the relocation will probably be the most challenging for your pets. There will be unknown people coming in and out of the house, boxes will be taken away, furniture moved and removed, and so on. Here are some tips on what to do to decrease your cat’s stress level while all this is taking place.

Keep an Eye on Your Cats

The most important thing you should do is make sure your pets don’t run away. With all the ruckus going on, they will likely be prompted to try. That’s why we suggest closing your cat into the room that will be moved the last, which is usually the bedroom. Put its carrier, bowls, and toys in the room with them to keep it occupied. Don’t forget to give them food at the usual times and maintain their typical diet. Once the time comes to empty the last room, make sure your pets are locked in their carriers.

Consider a Kennel or a Pet Sitter

If you feel like all of this will probably be too much for your furry friend to handle, consider having someone look after it during the moving day. You could drop it off in a professional kennel and pick it up once your new home is ready. Alternatively, you can hire a pet sitter for a day or two.


Now that all your household belongings are being shipped overseas to your new home, it is time for you and your pets to make your way there. Here are some tips on how to transport your pets to another country.

Find an Animal-Friendly Airline

Since you’re moving abroad, you will likely be flying to your destination. In order to be able to take your animal or animals with you, pick an airline that allows the transportation of animals. Make sure to get all the necessary information about the related rules.

Keep the Cat in Its Carrier

If your pet is traveling with you, and not in the luggage area, do not open the carrier. It will be likely to try and run away as soon as the door opens. To avoid this, simply try and comfort it through the gate of the carrier. In addition, go easy on food and water, as they could upset the animal’s stomach due to stress.

Consult Your Vet

If you’re worried about how your pets will take the stress of flying, consult your vet about anti-anxiety medication. Under no circumstances should you medicate the animal on your own accord.

Set the Cat Free in Your New House

Once you’ve moved into your home, it’s time to let your pets settle down and get used to the unfamiliar house or apartment. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Maintain a Routine

Keeping a similar routine to the one your feline friend had in the old home will help it adjust to the new environment more easily. That is, don’t change around the food and nap time. You also shouldn’t change the food and diet your animal is used to. Keep its old toys and blankets, as they are familiar objects that will help the animal relax. Let them explore room by room so that they slowly get acquainted with their surroundings. 

In addition to this, you should keep a close eye on your pets and pay attention to any unusual behaviors, such as refusing food or being overly friendly or distant. Your cats have just been through a very stressful event and it might have left some consequences. The sooner you notice these things, the easier it will be to deal with them.

Find a New Vet and Look for Advice on WebMD

As soon as you’ve settled down in your home, do some research and find the best local veterinarian for your pets. You never know when you’ll need one, so it’s crucial that you do this early on. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, look for advice on WebMD and pick the best possible option.

The Best Cat Breed for Travel

If you’re still only thinking about getting a feline friend to follow you on your relocation, you’re probably interested in finding out which cat breeds take travel better than the others. Persians and Scottish Folds definitely take the crown on that top list. However, you shouldn’t underestimate siamese breeds and Russian blues either.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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