When Can I Let My Cat Out after Moving? – Help is here!

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Welcome Crazy Cat People

So you are excited about moving into your new home and rightly so.

This can be a very exciting time but also it can be stressful for you and your kitty. In this post, I answer your question about when you can let your cat out after moving and also share some tips on what you can do before and after the move.

As a general rule, a cat should be kept indoors for 3 weeks when moving into a new home. The cat will need to get used to its new surroundings and leave its scent all over so it can find its way home. If a cat is let out too early it may get lost and find its way back to its previous home.

We can now look at what needs to be done before the move and after the move to make things as stress-free as possible for you and your feline friends.

I sought the advice of Becki from The Sheffield cat shelter who is the deputy Cat Welfare Manager at the branch.

Feel free to read on to find out more.

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Keep cat’s indoors for 3 weeks

This is the biggest important step we must take when we move our cats into a new home. The moving process is very stressful for cats.

Cats love familiarity and they are highly ruled by their strong senses, when moving into a new home there will be new smells, new noises and even the texture below them will feel foreign.

Cats are very territorial and being introduced to new surroundings will cause them to feel fearful and wary.

Please keep your cats indoors for the full 3 weeks to make sure that they get a chance to learn that this new home is going to be a place they can relax, have their needs met, and have fun.

They will also need to leave their scent everywhere in their new home. You will see your cat rubbing their cheeks across everything at first while they slowly claim their territory.

Only when your cat feels at home can you start letting them out. The last thing you want is for your cat to leave the new home and find its way back to your old house.

There are so many stories of cats travelling miles to get back home when they have escaped.

There is one story of a cat called Pooh who travelled over 200 miles after his parents left him after their daughter developed an allergy to cat hair and guess what he managed to find them!

Read more amazing stories of cats travelling miles to find their owners in this post by pets4homes.

What can I do so my cat doesn’t run away after I move?

Make sure cats are microchipped

The one thing Becki from The Sheffield Cat Shelter stressed more than anything was to

”Please make sure they are both neutered AND microchipped BEFORE they’re allowed outside. Even Indoor cats should be neutered and chipped in case they escape”.

Please also make sure that if the cat is microchipped that you remember to change the details to the new address and change the details at the central database.

It’s also a good idea to get a breakaway collar with a name tag.

I LOVE this cat collar on Amazon. It is reflective and they personalise the ID tag for you as seen in the pictures below.

Keep the cat in a safe room in the old house one week before the move

To reduce stress while moving and packing things into boxes it is a good idea to confine the cat to a safe room one week before moving. Fill the room with everything the cat needs such as a litter tray, toys, food and water.

The cat will be moved into a safe room when you get to the new home for a while so this gets Kitty used to being in a separate room for a while so it’s not so stressful when you do this at the new house.

Make sure the room you choose is big enough for the cat to play in, as you don’t want it to feel like a prison cell. It needs to be comforting and fun for the cat.

When cat arrives at the new home create another safe room.

It is a good idea to keep your cat in one room at first when you move to the new home as letting them have full run of the house can be stressful and overwhelming at first.

Use the same items from the previous safe room so your cat has plenty of familiarity with them and also include a garment that has your scent on as this will comfort the cat.

Keep them in this room for a day or two while you unpack and arrange your home. Please remember though to spend time with your cat.

After the first day or so you can then open the door and let them explore their new territory in their own time but always leave the safe room door open so kitty can retreat to their familiar place if they need to.

It is a good idea to have a Pheromone diffuser or a cat collar that contains pheromones which will help to relax your cat throughout this stressful process. Pheromones are calming hormones cats release through their scent glands.

The diffusers and the pheromone cat collars mimic these hormones to send calming messages to your cat!

How cool is that!

A good Collor infused with lots of pheromones are these, you get 3 in one box! – Check them out here on Amazon.

Or if you prefer the Diffusers that plugin then have a look here.

Letting your cat outside for the first time

This can be a very scary time for you and also for your cat but if you have followed the advice so far things should be a lot easier.

When they first go out, you should go out with them and take toys and treats into the garden (Leave the door open at all times in case they want to go back in). Have 5 or 10 minutes outside then call them back in for breakfast or treats. Do this a few times until they feel more confident”.

Becki at the Sheffield Cat Shelter
  • Make sure the garden is safe and there are no hazards.
  • Supervise cats whilst in the garden at first.
  • Don’t pick cats up and force them to go outdoors.
  • Make sure cats have a quick-release collar with your name and address on it.
  • Gradually increase time outdoors to 30 minutes then 60 minutes.
  • Let them outside just before mealtime so they are hungry and come back when you call them for food.
  • Put soiled litter around the edges of the garden to leave the cat’s scent and to mark their territory.

By following this advice and allowing cats to mark their territory and gradually introducing your cats to the outside you will then be able to let them out unsupervised and on their own.

That is when the fun starts and Kitty starts to bring home presents such as dead mice and rats. Yuck!

What to do if your cat goes missing?

Watch this video from relaxing my cat on tips on how to find your lost cat.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing your baby girl or boy!

I lost one of my cats once, it’s a very long story but my friend decided we should take my cat camping with us and this was a very bad idea I know.

To cut a long story short there was a bit of a disaster and we nearly got drowned with a burst river bank and had to run away fast and leave our belongings behind including my little boy.

I was heartbroken, I spent the night crying my eyes out and had accepted that I wasn’t going to see him ever again but when I went back the next day after the water had receded he was there waiting for me.

Seeing his little face made me so happy but it was a scary time.

Conclusion – Letting your cat out after moving

So as long as you make sure your cat is used to their new environment and that they are spoiled with love, treats, and food and they have left their scent in lots of places then they will want to stick around.

I know you are like me otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading my blog. We adore and love our cats and sometimes it’s good to put yourself in their shoes.

If someone treats you right in your life and they give you love, shelter, and warmth you will keep coming back for more and so will your beloved pussies.

P.S I hope you enjoy your new home 🙂

As always take care of yourself and your babies.

Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)


Mark loves Cats, he is the Daddy to two little cats who you will see throughout his blog. He has a passion for Cat care and enjoys everything cat-related. You could call him the crazy cat man.

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