With some cats, if you can distract them from what’s freaking them out, you might be able to break the cycle of freaking out. So, if you stick butter on their paws, they have to clean their paws and by the time they get done, they’re over the freaking out.
For other cats, putting butter on their paws will just freak them out more, they’ll gallop all over the new house, and then you’ll have little buttery paw prints everywhere.
I’ve found that lavish stroking plus a dish of their favorite food is much more effective. After that, leave the cat to explore or hide, depending on his or her personality.