I was recently told a trick about how to get your cat used to a new house, after moving. The trick is to put butter on the cat's paws. The cats will lick the butter off their paws, and as they associate cleaning with places they like, they'll start associating the new house with a safe place. It's NLP anchoring for cats, apparently.

Is this correct? Can this really be used to make a cat feel comfortable in a new house?

  • 2
    Is this for the good of the cat, or the comedic value of videoing it?
    – BanksySan
    Dec 22 '14 at 19:40

It's an old wives tale, but has a germ of truth in it. Cats do find grooming relaxing and stress relieving, as you can see whenever a cat makes a big mistake jumping or falling and instantly starts licking a paw...quickly at first, then slower as they calm down.

But I don't know that it is any better than just putting the cats in a room in the back of the house, away from the noise of moving and leave them their until the commotion has settled down. That's what I always did.

  • Agreed, having a "safe room" and gradually allowing the cat to expand their territory is probably the best bet.
    – augurar
    Dec 27 '14 at 22:27


That makes absolutely not sense.

To help a cat get used to a new home you can make sure they know where their water and food is and the location of the litter box.

It can help if you can sort of give the cat a tour of the place.

If you have a strong bond with your cat, you should be able to simply be there and provide extra attention if they seem stressed out.

I've never moved with a cat but we have taken in a lot of cats over the years and had little difficulty getting them use to their new home.

I recommend you just "play it by ear." Keep a watch on the cat and if it seems to be frightened or confused, give it as much attention as it will allow.

In the long run, that cat will adapt just fine to the new home, even if it takes a while. There really is not actual action you can take to move it along any faster.

As to putting butter on his or her paws, I can tell you what my buddy Simon (I use his name sort of in his honor) would have done. Just what he did when we put the recommended "laxitive" paste on his paw - he would carefully, walk so as to not wipe off the butter, into the dinning room and he would carefully and fully clean his paws on the dining room rug.

That's what he did when we tried the laxitone or catalax or whatever the name was.

Turned out the only sure cure for his constipation was an enema every week or so - yes, we gave him enemas at home.

Never before in my life did I have any clue that my wife and I would get it down so pat that we hardly said a word and simply get the "deed" done in a quick and efficient manner. Once Simon realized how good he felt afterwards, he never resisted or gave us any trouble.

Safe the butter for the toast and just work to make the cat comfortable in his new home - a nice, tall, multilevel cat "tree" would certainly help make the new house more like a home.

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