How To Move Cats Across Country - Earthrelo
How To Move Cats Across Country - Earthrelo
  • January 7, 2021

Moving can be one of the most stressful things one can do especially when moving with cat. It feels as if you don’t have a single second to think clearly because you’re thinking of plenty of things to do all at once. We get so caught up in the process of moving that we overlook taking care of our beloved cat Mittens. Now we have to think about how to move cats across country.

Top 10 tips for moving with cats across the country:

1. Go to the vet

To keep your cat and yourself safe make sure to schedule an appointment with your vet.

When visiting the vet, you would want to make sure that your cat has all he or she needs to be able to move.

This includes:

  • Making sure all vaccines are up to date
  • Asking the vet if the cat is safe for travel and obtain signed documents
  • What medication can the vet prescribe to the cat
  • Request full medical check-up and copies of medical records

Depending on if you’re going to be traveling through air or car the vet may be able to prescribe some anti-anxiety medication to your cat. This will make moving cross-country with your cat more comfortable and manageable.

2. Have A Proper ID Tag

If you choose to fly with your pet, you need to make sure you have a proper ID tag. The reason to put an ID tag on your cat is just in case it gets lost or the cat runs away.

You will need to update the tag with your current phone number and your new listed address.

3. Buy a Secure Carrier to move cats across country

Before you head anywhere you must purchase a carrier for your cat.

It’ll be great if we have the ability to take our cat with us while they sit on our lap. However, when moving cross-country with cats we cannot do this.

Having a carrier will make it easy for you to travel cross-country with your cat. It will keep your cat safe and secure during the trip.

If you’re thinking about taking your cat with you while you fly, then you must first lookup the airline’s regulations on cats.

Once you look up the regulations read them carefully because they might have a specific size carrier that you need to bring with you on the flight.

So, before buying that cat carrier that your friend recommended to you because it had pretty gemstones make sure you have the correct size.

Buy a Secure Carrier to Move Cats Across Country - Earthrelo

4. Have a Comfortable Environment

Whether you’re traveling by air or the car your cat should always feel comfortable.

Think about it this way, the more your cat feels at home or comfortable the less your cat will annoy you in the travel.

Some things to implement so your cat can feel comfortable are:

  • Having a nice carrier size
  • Putting a blanket at the bottom of the carrier
  • Take your cat’s favorite toy and put it in the carrier
  • Have food and water available for the cat.

5. Get Your Cat used to the Carrier when moving cats across country.

One of the worst things you can do is wait till the last minute for your cat to get used to its new travel carrier.

If you wait till the last minute, then the cat might not acclimate to it well and will start to fuss and the cat would then want to get out of it quickly.

So, put some time aside and introduce your cat to the new carrier and have the cat stay in there as well from time to time.

Most cats enjoy the dark and enclosed spaces so when it comes to a carrier normally, they will go in and out of their own free will.

If by any chance the cat does not seem to like the carrier due to them associating the carriers to those of the vets. Then what you can do is try and feed them inside the carrier.

That way they are forced to enter and adapt to the new carrier.

6. Consider Leashing Your Cat

If your considering moving cross-country with cats, then putting them on a leash might prove beneficial.

Cats normally like things to stay the same. Once they feel or see that their environment has changed then they might panic.

Once a cat begins to panic, it might run away or hide and if you’re in an unknown location then the chances of finding the cat will be low.

Unless you’re prepared to chase after the cat then it will be best to put the cat on a leash.

The cat doesn’t need to stay on a leash the whole time. Only if you’re out and don’t have a cat carry on.

Consider Leashing Your Cat - Earthrelo

7. Moving with My Cat Cross-Country, Should We Fly or Drive

Whether you go on a plane or drive cross-country both options have their benefits and disadvantages. However, this will depend on your situation and how comfortable you are.

Driving with a Cat

Driving long-distances is tough as-is for a normal individual and it can be very difficult for a cat.

Considering how far you have to drive and what kind of car you’re driving, many concerns with bringing your cat along may arise. Such as will the cat gets car sick, will the cat be meowing for the whole ride.

Before driving go to your vet and ask if they can prescribe some anti-anxiety medication.

This will be beneficial for you and the cat so you guys can have a smooth drive for the most part.

Depending on which anti-anxiety medication you have make sure to follow the recommended dosage and use.

Some anti-anxiety medication needs to be given to the cat alongside food every morning before the car ride.

The most common side effect of the medication will be drowsiness, so you won’t have to worry about your cat making a fuss while on the road.

Many people when packing, they stuff their car with all their moving items while forgetting they need space for the cat.

Make sure to leave a seat available in order for your cat to go inside the crate or carrier for safety reasons and try to buckle them up.

When you’re on the road it’s best to take frequent road stops in order for your cat to stretch its legs and go to the bathroom.

This will be more for the comfort of your cat but when you’re taking the cat outside consider leashing your cat.

Flying with a Cat

Flying with a cat can be more stressful than driving because when you’re driving you have the ability to stop and take breaks. Whereas if you fly you do not have that luxury.

For a cat to fly on an airplane with you, you must first go to your vet and have them examine the cat. If all goes well with the examination, then the vet will give you a health certificate that you need to present when you go to the airplane.

Also, talk with your vet about prescribing some anti-anxiety medication for the plane ride.

One of the biggest concerns with moving cross-country with cats on a plane is the decision to take the cat as a carry on or go under the plan with the other baggage’s.

Before making a decision, you must contact your airline to determine what is their policy when it comes to pet travel.

You must ensure that you’ve read the airline rules and regulations when it comes to pets flying. If not, your cat might not be able to fly.

Some airlines include fees and have some type of restrictions.

For instance, if you decide to have your cat with you in the cabin then you must have a carrier that is able to fit under the seat.

Having the cat under the seat will be considered a carry on so, you will not be able to take another carry on with you.

Other requirements for most airlines include: 

  • You need your pet vaccination reports and documentation.
  • For international relocation the identification tags and vet certificate are mandatory
  • The combined weight limit is 20 pounds for cat and carrier. (it may be different on every airline.)
  • A leak-proof bottom and well-ventilated Carriers are necessary.

Having your cat with you in the cabin can more relieving because you can check on your cat now and then.

On the other hand, if you decide to put your cat in the cargo area then you will not be able to see your cat.

If you give your cat some anti-anxiety medication depending on how long the plane ride is, the cat may wake up in the middle of the flight and be scared.

Flying With a Cat - Earthrelo

8. Stay in a Pet-Friendly Hotel while moving cats across country

If you’re planning to move cross-country with cats while being on the road then you must make a pit stops and sleep somewhere.

Depending on where you’re moving too, it may be thousands of miles and to drive all those miles in one go is almost impossible.

Before you go on your road trip take some time and map out the trip to determine where you will be planning on making stops.

When you map out the pit stops such as restaurants and bathrooms you will need to consider the hotels and where you’re going to stay.

In order to be prepared, try calling ahead of time to see what their pet policy is.

No one wants to go to a hotel when they’re tired to be told that they have no pet policy and now you’re going to have to scour the city to find a hotel that accepts pets.

So do your proper research before hitting the road.

9. After the Move Have Your Cat Stay Indoors

Once you move cats across country and reach your destination you will now need to get your cat use to the new place.

To do so, simply put the cat in a designated room and have them stay there after moving cross-country with cats.

When you take them to the new room make sure that you supply them with enough food and water in case, they get hungry or thirsty.

The cat may be frightened by the sudden change of environment and it might make them want to escape.

So, before they do escape close off any entrances, windows, or holes that they might be able to escape from.

If your cat is reluctant to eat or you see that your cat is just scared and stressed out, then you may leave the carrier open in the room.

Having the carrier open will allow them to go inside where they feel safe and most comfortable.

10. Watch Out for Feline Depression

You may have been acclimated to your new place but with cats especially, they may not have.

Some cats go through feline depression after moving cross-country and they become sensitive to the changes in their environment.

Some of the most common symptoms that coincide with feline depression are loss of appetite, aggression, excessive sleeping, prolonged periods of the cat not meowing

If you believe that your cat is showing any of these symptoms, then you should consider scheduling an appointment with your vet.

Hopefully, you made copies of your cat’s medical records then when you visit your new vet, it will make the transition go smoothly.

You will need to monitor your cat’s behavior more frequently for any worsening symptoms. As well as being there for your cat as much as possible.

Now and then try to have them play with you and show them as much love and attention as you can.

Whether you’re planning to move cross-country with cats, the best thing you can prepare ahead of time and make sure you have everything ready.

If you’re confused about what would be better either to fly or drive, then talk with your vet first to determine which of the two your cat is qualified for.

So, plan accordingly and when you move cross-country with cats it will make the transition easier.


 How do I move my cat long distance?

To move your cat long distance, you must make sure that your cat has all the proper documentation needed for travel.

To obtain the documentation, you need to visit or schedule an appointment to see your vet.

If you have all the documentation needed for moving cross-country with cats, then you will need to invest in a carrier and find out if you’re going to drive to your location or fly over there.

How much does it cost to ship a cat across country?

Normally to ship out a small cat via cargo and with a pet-friendly airline, it will cost anywhere from $275 USD to $300 USD.

However, if you’re going to travel international then the cost of shipping out a small cat maybe two or three times the amount.

All the expenses that you should consider include:

  • Travel crate
  • Airfare
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Vet visits
  • International health documents and permits
  • Customs fees
  • Quarantine fees
  • Food and Water

Make sure to call the airline before booking any type of airfare and talk with them about their airline requirements.

 How do I move my pet across the country?

To move your pet across the country, contact various airlines to determine which are pet-friendly and which are not.

Once you do so, talk about any specific requirements that your pet needs to have such as:

  • Vaccine reports
  • Medical records
  • Desired weight of the cat
  • Dimensions of the cat carrier

Although these are some of the specific requirements they may ask you for, it may vary depending on the airline. So, talk to them beforehand to acquire the correct information.

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