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How to Move Long-Distance with a Cat

How to Move Long-Distance with a Cat

Long-distance moving can prove a challenging experience, especially when your feline friend is by your side. The thing is, cats love their private space and tend to have unique personalities, so moving, let alone for a long distance, can be disturbing and upsetting for them. But with good preparation and planning, you can make the trip to your new home seamless for both you and your furry friend. Whether you're relocating only a few states away or across the country, there are a few pointers you can leverage to help your cat adapt smoothly to the situation.  This article will explore several long-distance moving tips and tricks you should know before moving long-distance with your cat, including how to prep them for the journey, measures to guarantee their safety during the move, and more. Now, without further ado, invite your feline buddy; both of you buckle up, and let's embark on a short excursion.  Man and a cat

Getting Your Cat Ready for the Long-Distance Move

To render any move successful, you must conduct meticulous preparation and planning. Whether you're moving with your parents, a group of children, or just alone, the same concept applies—come up with a checklist and adhere to it. Pet owners, on the other hand, will have an extra task in preparing their little feline buddies for the task at hand and ensuring their safety and comfort during the actual move. To help prepare your cat for relocation, try the following:

Get Your Cat to Love Car Rides

Car travel for pets is typically limited to a few visits to the vet every now or then. If that’s the case with your cat, you may want to prepare them for a long-distance journey, which you can do through regular car rides. Bear in mind that this strategy aims to alleviate your cat's stress during the trip.  Better put, it is normal for your cat to despise any kind of travel. But over time and with frequent rides, they will gradually perceive the car as a safe space and feel more at ease. Having said that, ensure the car rides are as cozy as possible for them.

Allow Your Cat to Familiarize Themselves with the Carrier

Getting your cat accustomed to the carrier and leash is good practice, as the familiarity will help minimize the stress associated with long-distance moving. Besides picking one that's comfortable, you must also ensure it is spacious enough, allowing your cat to stand inside without touching the ceiling. It should also be well-ventilated. With a suitable carrier, you can guarantee a comfortable trip and safety for your cat in the event of an accident.

Practice Leash Walking

Do you usually walk your cat on a leash? No? It's understandable. Leash walking may not be as common for cats as it is for their canine friends, but it is doable with little patience and practice.  You can start by getting your cat acquainted with the leash, after which you can proceed to use it on your lawn or some other safe area. The last thing you want is your cat fleeing at a random stopover while on your way to your new place.

Plan for Stopovers

Keeping in mind that cats are typically poor travelers, it might be a great idea to plan for a few stopovers, depending on the length of your journey. Allow your cat to rest during the trip. You should look into the top pet-friendly hotels along the way and plan your stay ahead of time.

Visit the Vet

Before your long-distance move, it's prudent that you take your feline buddy to the veterinarian for a quick checkup. Inform your veterinarian of your plans to relocate long-distance with your cat, and follow their professional advice. Moreover, let them test for motion sickness or anything else that could disrupt the journey, as far as your furry friend is concerned. While sedation might not be the best idea, you may consider it to alleviate your cat's stress. Nonetheless, if you opt for this option, ask the vet about the proper dosage.

During the Move

You're done preparing, and the actual moving day has come. Now, what's next?

Feed Your Cat Before Setting Off

You may want to feed your little feline friend at least four hours, if not more, before travel. Depending on the length of the journey, four hours are ideal. This is because your cat will barely feel hungry before the planned stopover or during the trip, making this period the best for proper digestion. Some cats tend to feel car sick, so feeding them before the trip could help prevent puking mishaps. Nonetheless, don't feed your cat the regular ration, but rather a slightly lesser amount to avoid the likelihood of them having an upset stomach mid-trip.

Confine Your Cat

We can't stress enough how much most cats dislike traveling, and the only way they can bear it is if the trip is stress-free, comfortable, and safe. Use the seatbelt to secure the cat carrier properly. This will not only prevent any needless movement during travel but also enhance safety in case of an accident. Moreover, see to it that the carrier's opening is tightly secured to ensure the cat doesn't escape and roam around while inside the van, potentially causing accidents.  

Ensure the Journey Is as Comfortable as Possible

Now that your cat carrier is secured, it's time to focus on the trip. Avoid bumpy roads and potholes as you possibly can! Also, bear in mind that a trip with your cat should be a silent one. Why? Cats hate loud noises and prefer silence, so you might want to turn off the radio. But, if necessary, a low volume will do. Furthermore, it's always advisable to have no distractions and noise from outside sources, as these may lead to unpredictable reactions by cats throughout their long trip home.

Time to Settle In

Now that you've completed the long journey to your new home, there are some measures you need to take regarding your cat's facilitation. Remember, you're now in a new environment, and your furry friend will need to adapt to it. If given the option, your cat would choose to remain in familiar territory, so you'll have to make the eventual acceptance and transition as easy as possible for them. And with the tips below, you will.

Spend Some Quality Time with Your Cat

The fact that our feline friends are deemed as arguably the most dependable life companions is no surprise. Whether you adopted a stray one after relocating into an apartment or always loved cats, we can all agree there's something special about having one or two hanging around. And the best part? Our feline friends feel the same way!  It's understandable if they don't appear fond of their new environment straight away. However, with some quality time spent together playing games, chatting, and possibly even training them to use their litter box, everything will return to normal. 

Outspread Your Cat's Toys and Other Items

Bringing a familiar atmosphere into your new home is a fantastic approach for helping your cat feel comfortable. As you all settle in, ensure your cat's surrounding comprises the things they love by simply scattering their favorite play toys and teasers around.  Since these items carry familiar scents, they could help your cat feel at ease. Also, set up the food bowl, water bowl, and litter box with the same thoughtfulness as in your prior residence to enhance your cat's sense of familiarity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving Long-Distance with Cats

Should I cover my cat's carrier during the move?

Your cat's carrier should be adequately ventilated. However, you may also cover it with a light towel or blanket to create a dark, sheltered space for extra privacy and to help minimize outside distractions.  

How long can a cat travel in a car?  

Most cats can travel in their carriers for lengthy hours, provided you offer them food, water, and the chance to use their litter box—ideally every two to three hours.

How long until my cat adjusts to the new surroundings?

Cats are famously resistant to change, so they may take a while to adapt to their new surroundings. This could be a few hours for some or even months for others, particularly shy or nervous cats. Ideally, however, it may take a few weeks for your cat to transition to the new situation fully. So, you might want to practice patience, and your feline friend will get there eventually.

Your Professional Movers of Choice in Texas

Again, moving a long distance with a cat can be tricky. But it's not rocket science either, and it is certainly doable with proper planning and care. With the insights discussed in this article, you can keep your cat calm, safe, and comfortable throughout your cross-country move. But to fully pay attention to your cat during the move, you might want to let professional movers do the grunt work associated with long-distance relocating. Well, that's what our team of expert movers at Evolution Moving Company does best. Having been in business for a decade, we've gained much experience in long-distance moving. Whether you're relocating cross-country or just out of state, we have what it takes to guarantee a seamless relocation, letting you attend to your cat during the move. So, if you're looking for professionals to help move your stuff a long distance from Texas, we're your guys. Contact us today for a free quote and more information about our services.


11884 Greenville Ave #100A, Dallas, TX 75243

PHONE: (682) 651-5505

Fort Worth

3320 Dooling St, Fort Worth, TX 76111

PHONE: (682) 651-5505

San Antonio

11955 Parliament St #1308, San Antonio, TX 78216

PHONE: (210) 944-8858

New Braunfels

1383 Village Inn, New Braunfels, TX 78132

PHONE: (830) 542-8608


PHONE: (512) 595-3003


120 N Dooley St, Suite 5, Grapevine, TX 76051

PHONE: (682) 651-5505


313 Harwood Road, Suite 217, Bedford, TX 76021

PHONE: (682) 651-5505