Moving with Pets- Five Ways to Simplify the Process

When preparing to move, every family worries about packing, leaving nothing (and no one!) behind, and transitioning smoothly to their new home. During all the commotion, however, sometimes the furry family members get neglected. Follow these five tips to make moving easier for you and your pets.

1. Pack a stash. Pack a supply of what your pets will need for the first few days (food, toys, litter). Keep this stash separate so you can access it anytime you need to, even while everything else is still packed.

2. Help your pet get used to car rides. Leo, a WOW Vidtographer, took his cat Rusty on short drives before the move to see how Rusty did in the car. Rusty liked riding without a car carrier, so when Leo moved, he covered his backseat with a blanket and gave Rusty a few toys. Though Rusty did fine in the backseat, Leo kept a carrier handy in case he got restless. Car carriers are the recommended method for bringing pets in the car; before you move, choose how you will transport your pet and get them used to it like Leo did. Test your carrier to make sure your pet can’t escape—Whitney, who works in the WOW office, said her twenty-two-pound cat escaped his carrier and ended up on her dashboard! She said next time, she might put her cats in the trunk if the drive is short or take them separate from each other to keep them manageable. Also, covering the pet carrier with a blanket can calm your pet by reducing the change they experience.

3. Pet-proof your new home. Hide electrical cords, cover outlets, lock medicine and cleaning supplies cabinets, and keep garbage and packing materials out of reach. Make sure outdoor plants, fertilizers, and mulches are not toxic if you let your pet run around outside. Eliminating hazards before moving day will make it easier for your pet to feel at home.

4. Wait as long as possible to remove your pet from their familiar environment. While moving, keep them in a quiet room until you can take them to their new home. The chaos of moving can scare pets, so it’s best to move them last, when you can give them all the attention they need to get used to their new home. If needed, ask a friend or family member to stay with your pet until you’re ready to move them.

5. Introduce one room at a time. Jacki, a WOW vidtographer, shared that keeping her cats in one room and “slowly introducing them to new rooms once they got comfortable with the one they were in” helped them get used to their new home. Place your pet’s bed, food, toys, and other familiar items in the new room. Include something that smells like you or your old house, or use a calming spray, like Jacki did, to help your pet relax and adjust to their new environment.


Moving with a pet can be challenging, but planning ahead makes the move easy. Be prepared with a supply of what your pet will need, get them used to riding in the car, and pet-proof your new home. Wait as long as possible to move your pet, and get them used to the new house room by room. Your pet will adjust to their new home in no time.

Have you ever moved with pets? What did you learn? Share your experience in the comments!