How to Move without losing your Mind: Moving Pets

Since leaving Texas, we have moved our 2 cats, Shade & Huey as well as our 1 medium sized dog, Asher. There are certain things to keep in mind when moving with animals, especially if all they have ever known is that place. Packing can be stressful, make it lighthearted. My cats loved filling empty boxes with their furry selves and seeing how high they could climb on our stack of filled boxes. (Be careful and don’t let them get to high or let the boxes fall)

The key to moving pets is to make it as least stressful as possible.


  1. I always brought Asher’s bed into the room I was packing so he could be in there with me. Most of the time he slept or chewed a bone, he didn’t really care what I was doing. The cats loved to run in and jump in the boxes and find all the spaces that had been filled that they never go to enjoy.
  2. Before hitting the road, change your pet’s home information for their microchips to the NEW location and call your Vet to let them know you are moving.
  3. When the movers arrive or you are packing up the uhaul, go ahead and have one room completely clear. Keep the cats or pets in this room. Give them food, water and litter box access. People moving about their home can be and often is stressful. My cats wanted nothing to do with them. Asher was better off running around giving kisses and playing catch with one of our friends for friends kids. Assigning someone to babysit Asher with a ball is everyone’s favorite job when we pack. But remember, every animal is different. Just keep in mind what calms your pet and stresses them out.
  4. Before loading everyone up make sure everyone has done their business. For cats this can be a little trickier but just be sure they have access to their litter box until the moment they have to go in. (some people leave a litter box in the crate while on the road, mine want nothing to do with a litter box, food or water) I always take Asher on one last walk or to the yard just before loading up.
  5. In the car, both the cats and Asher rode with me in our moves. I have a 2009 Pontiac Vibe, I put my back seats down flat and the cats fit in a small/medium dog crate together. I add their bed and give them treats when loading them up. For Asher, I load his bed next to the cat crate and he stays there. I don’t seatbelt him in, or put him in a crate. In fact that may stress him out even more. During our drives I would catch glimpses of the kitties touching Asher’s face or feet, they love each other so much!
  6. In addition to my survival tote, that I discussed in a previous post, HERE, I also keep a tote of Pet supplies in my car for the trip, it has cat litter, a small litter box, cat food in a Glade tub, dog food in a Glade tub, extra water bowls and a few toys.
  7. While on the road, my pets wear all their identification tags. This is especially annoying for Asher with a rabies tag, ID tag, Micro tag and past location license tag, the cats just have a ID tag and micro tag. Asher also wears a harness and I keep 2 leashes in the car. One tucked into the side of his bed, for road side potty breaks and another at my feet/passenger feet for quick access while in the car.
  8. My moving binder holds all their records, rabies, microchip numbers, past vet info, EVERYTHING. Should any emergency happen, you need photos of your pets with all their identification information on your phone and in your binder.
  9. If you are spending the night at a hotel, be sure it is pet friendly. I take Asher on a good walk around the hotel after arriving and letting the kitties out to explore, rehydrate and potty. This allows Asher, to get out, stretch, smell, potty and familiarize himself with the outdoors after a full day on the road.

Check out my Pinterest Board full of all the packing and moving tips and articles I have read and tried!

3 thoughts on “How to Move without losing your Mind: Moving Pets

  1. Thanks for the tips, Shelby! When we move, our pets are always our biggest concern as it was definitely not easy on them the last time we moved.

    1. I totally understand, it is actually much more stressful for Asher after we have arrived at our new place. It takes him about a month to acclimate to the new sounds, smells and schedule. Especially when we have always had a house then moved into an apartment last year.

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