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Moving house with a cat

(21 Posts)
Flaxseed Fri 05-Mar-21 13:02:07

My partner and I are looking at buying a house together after 8 years together but living separately.
There’s lots to sort out and do, but for some reason I am really focused on what to do to make the transition easier for my cat!
DP has two cats although I suspect only one will still be moving with us as the other is very poorly.
I have heard stories of cats trying to find their ‘way home’ after moving. confused
Does anyone have any tips please?

EllanVannin Fri 05-Mar-21 13:11:21

Keep the cat indoors for a couple of weeks, which will mean you'll have to get a tray and cat litter. I did this and it worked well until the cat got used to its surrounds---garden etc. Then remove the litter tray. Make sure the cat's chipped too and if possible, a collar.

annodomini Fri 05-Mar-21 13:12:04

I moved with two cats. We booked them into a cattery for the first night until we got the furniture in place so that there were familiar objects and smells around them. I then shut them in the conservatory until one of them made such a fuss that I opened the door and let them go. They never made any attempt to leave their new home.

Cathymac Fri 05-Mar-21 13:12:52

When we moved we kept our cat indoors for several days and fed it delicious food to begin with ... chicken / meat. It obviously realised it was being pampered and never strayed ... our new house is only half a mile from the old one .

grandtanteJE65 Fri 05-Mar-21 13:24:20

Pack the cat tray, litter, feeding dishes, favourite toys, food and a blanket or something else that smells familiar in a box that goes into the car or removal van LAST and comes in FIRST.

Put cat into a room with the contents of that box and close the door firmly. Affix a notice to door saying "Do NOT open, the cat must be kept in"

If the cats do not already know each other well all this has to be done twice in separate rooms.

I kept mine in for a fortnight after the move, then got out their harnesses and leads. The bolder was thrilled to go round half of the garden with me on his lead, his brother ran away and hid when he saw the lead, so we left him indoors. A couple of days later he was ready to go out too.

For the next couple of weeks, the cats were out without their leads, but only when I was in the garden near them.

Let them explore the house thoroughly before going out,

If your and your partner's cats are not friends, you may need to keep them separate for at least a fortnight. When you let them be in the same room, you can avoid jealousy if you cuddle your cat and he his for quite a while.

Charleygirl5 Fri 05-Mar-21 13:26:48

On the day I moved I popped the cat into a room with food, litter tray etc. When the men had left and the commotion had died down I allowed her to explore her new house but I kept her indoors for 2 weeks, allowing her out into the garden before feeding time and for me, it worked.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 05-Mar-21 13:27:22

I have heard that when you let cats out for first time you should butter their paws. I've not tried it but apparently it'll carry their scent - it may be an old wives' tale.

Charleygirl5 Fri 05-Mar-21 13:39:39

That is a total load of rubbish.

Squiffy Fri 05-Mar-21 13:55:57

Like Grandtante, I used a harness and lead for the first few outings in the garden, which they were fine with - and I found it reassuring that there wouldn’t be any panicky escaping!

GagaJo Fri 05-Mar-21 14:00:00

Keep them in as long as possible. I lost a beloved cat when moving house once, many years ago. Still breaks my heart to think of him.

Megs36 Fri 05-Mar-21 15:34:15

Butteringtheir paws was an old fashioned idea that they want tospendsomuch time washing they get used to new home.
We moved within a couple of miles so I was really worried, bought a plug in devicefrom the vet to be used before and after move,gavee out pheromones apparantly, then cat stayed i for about 6 months till he escaped one day!!! Never looked back after that.

AGAA4 Fri 05-Mar-21 16:19:52

My D's cat escaped out of a window in her new house. They had forgotten to close it when they went to work. They searched for ages but no sign.

She returned a week later. They kept the same window open and left some of her things in the garden. She seemed very relieved to be home.

LadyGracie Fri 05-Mar-21 17:08:44

I kept Paddy in for a couple of weeks until he was frantic to go out, he came back after a sniff round the garden and he’s been fine ever since. We had a cat flap fitted in the French doors in the spare bedroom operated by his microchip and he’s back and forth all day, we lock it at night to keep him in.

seacliff Fri 05-Mar-21 17:18:15

Hopefully he has been micro chipped? If so make sure you get your address changed immediately you move. Then if the worst happens, at least there is the chance of reuniting.

He will be extra spooked as he will have new cats to get used to as well as new house. I agree keep him in at least 3 weeks if possible. Gradually introduce him to the other cats. If possible they should each have their own safe room at first, with littler tray and food/water.

Nannytopsy Fri 05-Mar-21 17:36:23

Our old cat went to the cattery two days before our move, then stayed for a further week because we were off on holiday.
( Expected to move weeks before we did!)
He came back to a house with our stuff in it, escaped on his first day, but came back and seems very happy. We didn’t expect him to live very long but he’s still with us!

Flaxseed Fri 05-Mar-21 22:06:37

She is chipped so I will remember to change the address. She hates cuddles so can’t reassure her that way but will remember to put some familiar things in a room with her. Not sure how she will enjoy using a litter tray confused but needs must!
Had never thought about a lead but it’s a great idea to get her used to the garden!
Thank you everyone grin

geekesse Fri 05-Mar-21 23:27:08

In addition to microchipping, get a (good quality, safe) cat collar with your phone number on it. Only vets can read microchips, but anyone can read the number on the collar. Having said that, I’ve moved several time with cats, and once they’ve had a couple of weeks indoors, they haven’t strayed at all.

Shandy57 Sat 06-Mar-21 00:14:59

I'm completing on Thursday and will be setting a large dog crate up in the bathroom with my cat's litter tray, sleep basket etc. Luckily I'm not moving until the Friday, so I'll drive over early with her before they come. I'm going to tape over the bathroom door and put a CAT sign on it. She's going to be scared whatever I do, I hope the removal men are quick.

When the removal men have left I'll be putting her into the back bedroom with her Feliway plug in, cat scratching post, basket and cat litter tray which I'll gradually move into the bathroom. I'll be leaving the door ajar so she can come out and explore. She's 16 and it'll be her second move within a year, I'm very anxious about it.

I used to work for the Cat Protection League, vets recommend keeping a cat in for a bare minimum of two weeks, four weeks plus is preferable.

Had to laugh at the buttering their paws, haven't heard that for years!

Deedaa Sat 06-Mar-21 20:43:00

We once took in a lovely ginger cat from a friend who was moving away and couldn't take him. I planned to keep him in our bathroom which was on the ground floor. He had a bed and a litter tray and plenty of food of course. After a couple of days I started to get really worried as the litter tray wasn't being used and I was sure he would be ill if he didn't use it soon. That was when I discovered that he was squeezing out through the tiny skylight to use the garden and then come back! He survived another three house moves after that.

Hetty58 Sat 06-Mar-21 21:16:50

Cats Protection now recommend that you keep a cat indoors for at least three weeks after you move.

I kept our three in an upstairs room for two days, then allowed them to explore everywhere upstairs for a week or so, then the rest of the house. They were allowed out after a month.

Ellianne Sat 06-Mar-21 21:31:47

Make sure you keep the loft door shut in the new house. Ours escaped up there in no time.