Planning a move is an exciting, but often stressful time for everyone, especially your pets. Cats are often very territorial and very rarely do they like change. Moving cats from one apartment to another requires some finesse and a lot of tender, loving care.

You’ll want your cat to be comfortable and happy in your new apartment, and that means setting them up for success both before, during and after the moving process. Here are simple tips to help smooth the way for your cat, so you can move in and truly feel at home.

Schedule a Trip to the Vet
Before your moving date, schedule a trip to see your vet for a check up. Anxious cats may need an extra boost to help them stay calm, especially during long distance moves. If your cat has any medical conditions that need addressing, your vet can help you to take care of them before you move.

Update Their Microchip
Whenever you move, it’s important to update your cat’s microchip. It’s the safest and easiest way to get them back to you if they become lost, and it’ll give you extra peace of mind during your move. You can usually do this online, or by visiting your vet or humane society.

Put Out Boxes & Their Carrier
Sudden changes can scare cats into thinking that something terrible is happening. Ease them into the transition ahead by setting out a few boxes, as well as their carrier. Let them smell them and even play around inside. Just be sure not to place any items inside or tape up boxes without checking to make sure your kitty isn’t cozied up inside!

Set Up a Place for Them During the Move
FInding a calm, comfortable and quiet place for your cat during your move is an imperative. Close them into a bathroom with a noise machine, their bed, toys, food and water, and leave a sign on the door telling the movers to stay out. This will help to ensure that your cats have a cozy place to rest during the chaos of the move.

Stay Calm
When it’s time to place your cats into their carriers and move them to your new apartment, try to stay calm and relaxed. Your cats can sense your mood, and can often react to how you’re feeling. If you stay calm, it helps them to know things are okay.

Start Small
Once you’ve moved them in, start by placing them into one room only, and bring all of their favorite things into the room with them. Place water, food, litter box, toys, bedding and any other comfort items in the room. Let them explore on their own terms, and give them lots of time. You may want to leave them there for a day or two to adjust, depending on their temperament. Start small, and slowly let them move throughout your new space, going one room at a time if you must. The more time you give them to adjust to new smells and sounds, the better they’ll adjust in the long term.