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Moving in

Moving with a cat

Written by Hannah

Our pets are part of our family. But what if we have to move house, city or even country? How do we explain to our furry friends what is happening? Well, short answer is we can’t, all we can do is make the ordeal as quick and easy as possible.

Cats in particular hate change and they have no qualms letting us know when they are unhappy, so here are a few tips on moving with your cat to Barcelona.

Moving country with your cat

suitcaseThe first thing is to ensure you have followed all the veterinary requirements. Every country has different laws when allowing new animals across their borders. The information can be found online.

Some countries like Spain tend to change their laws frequently so be sure you have found the most up to date website. Requirements can vary but in Spain at present your cat must be at least 3 months old, have been rabies vaccinated, microchipped and hold a cat passport.

Make sure who have seen a vet in your current country so it can be fully vaccinated and given a clean bill of health before leaving and, most importantly, you can re-enter the cat into your own country once again.

Here is the current info for moving to Spain with your pet.

Carrier Kennel

Let your cat explore the carrier kennel it will be travelling in a few days before the move. Putting its food bowl in the kennel will help the cat associate the kennel with a happy event i.e. dinner time. It is also important to check whether your carrier kennel meets the requirements of the airlines or freight forwarding service you are using.

Smells like a good idea

cat with kittens

As I mentioned before, cats hate change and love all things familiar, so by putting a blanket from home inside the carrier kennel should help lower the cat’s anxiety levels while moving. Another blanket over the top to block the cat’s view can also help. Finally for very long journeys or very skittish cats a spray called ‘feliway’ is very effective. It is a synthetic pheromone spray (it replicates the scent a mother cats secrets to her kittens) which relaxes the cat. A plug in diffuser is also available for when you arrive at your destination to help the cat relax into its new home. Here you can find out more about Feliway.

No bathroom breaks

It is better not to give your cat a large meal before moving. Cat treats can help keep your cat happy while it is in transit, in moderation of course, because there will be no bathroom breaks. Cats are not big drinkers so save yourself the hassle of bringing a water dish on your journey if it is less than 10 hours (unless you are travelling in extreme heat or your cat has a medical condition).

Home sweet home

Once you have arrived at your destination close all windows and doors. Set up an area for your cat, with its food dish, litter tray and bed, and if you have one to spare, an empty box. This will give your cat a place of its own and somewhere it can retreat to when scared and will help the settling-in process. Then let your cat out to explore its new home. Here are a few more tips on how to keep them happy.

Things we do for love

cat in boxIf you have an indoor cat the settling in process can be a smooth transition. Unfortunately, if you are moving an outdoor cat to an apartment, it’s a whole other kettle of fish. An outdoor cat won’t accept being kept indoors permanently without a fight. The problem is boredom, so you need to find ways to entertain your cat. Balls are great toys because they can play with them when they are alone. A scratching post will keep their claws healthy and your furniture safe. High shelves placed near the window so they can see out will also provide entertainment. And if you are feeling brave, you can teach your cat to walk on a lead. Barcelona is filled with parks, so a twenty minute walk a few times a week will keep your outdoorsy cat quite content and give your neighbours something to talk about. Here are a few tips on how to teach you cat to walk on a lead.


To ensure a happy and incessant meow-free life, try to stick to a routine. Feed your cat at the same time every day. If your cat sleeps in another room at night so not to claw your face while you sleep, then put it in there every night. They will settle into this routine eventually and life will return to normal.

About the author


Hannah is an English teacher from Dublin with a passion for journalism and a love for Barcelona.

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