How to Prevent a Run Away Cat

Moving to a new apartment or house? There are good measures you can take to keep your cat from running away once he/she’s in an unfamiliar environment.

Before they get acclimatized to the new surroundings, feelings of stress may arise and it’s best to be prepared for them and to deal with them effectively and not let your pet out of your sight.

Use a pet carrier whenevr you're travelling with your cat and always leave food and water out for them while you settle in to the new place. If you don't want to leave in a confined space, be resourceful and block any entrances or exits in the mean time.

Doing this during the acclimation period can not always be achieved so you can use other methods that work just as effectively to prevent your cat from running away.

Step by Step

Use a Pet Carrier. If you’re planning a move and have cats or another pet of a similar size always consider a carrier. These are manufactured so that your pets are kept safe and don’t escape whilst traveling.

Wait until you’ve reached your destination before letting your cat out. Let your cats wonder around an enclosed space.

Use a Safe Room. Now that you’ve reached your new home. Use a vacant room in your new surroundings and make this a temporary home for your cat while you unpack. Put a litterbox, a bowl of water, food, toys and a comfortable blanket or towel for a bed. Leave them alone in the room while you move into your new home.

Let Your Cat Explore. Once you’ve settled into your new home, make sure your doors to the outside are shut and allow your cat to explore and sniff the entire surrounding.

Keep an eye on your Cat. If you usually let your cat(s) roam around the house or outdoors, don’t leave them unsupervised for a few weeks, they might return to you last home, for surroundings they are more familiar with.

Spray your cat litter outside your home. Put it in the yard or anywhere you find suitable. If your cat gets lost, he/she will recognize the smell and know it’s their house. Other cats will know it’s not theirs as well.

Create a 'homie' atmosphere. After one week your cat should be acclimatized to his new surroundings and recognize this as his home turf. Other techniques you can use is to use a harness when going outside and making your cat smell the cat litter outside.


Build or purchase your own outdoor cat enclosure to be sure your cat doesn’t run away.

Have a custom made collar for your cat with the necessary details if he gets lost and somebody finds him.

Un-clawed cats should be kept indoors, they can’t climb or defend themselves outside, so keep them indoors.

Cats are active at night, keep this in mind if you shut the cat flap at night.

If your surroundings are traffic abundant, keep your cat indoors.

An old trick is to put some butter or cream cheese on your cat’s paw, he’ll lick it after going outside and ingest the soil it sticks to and feel at home quicker.


•Keep your cat vaccinated especially against FIV to avoid transmission of diseases like rabies from neighborhood cats or stray animals.

•Stay aware of the dangers around your area like busy roads, wolves, coyotes etc to keep your pet safe.

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