Butter cat's paws??

sleepymans Forumite Posts: 898
Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
edited 27 September 2014 at 4:51PM in Pets & pet care
Hi there, I am seeking some advice about my elderly cat when we move home, please.

Our 16yr old moggy was born and has lived all his life in this house and big garden. Though he has stayed in the cattery when we go on holidays.

We are moving home 100+ miles and as part of the plan to make the move successful for him, we have lodged him in a nice cattery near the new house for the period immediately before and after the removals.

He has his favourite sleep rug in the cattery with him and we will be taking his favourite fleece lined sleeping box direct to the new house.

I have been aware of the old wives tale (or is there a scientific explanation to it?) to keep the cat in a few days and to put butter on his paws, but I cant think why that might work! Any ideas or experience?

Has anyone any tips to help the old boy settle in to his new home. I am home all day so I can spent time spoiling him and "jumping through hoops" to settle him in if anyone has any tips.

Many Thanks
:A Goddess :A


  • dandelionclock30
    dandelionclock30 Forumite Posts: 3,235 Forumite
    I think they used to say butter a cats paws so it spends time licking them clean instead of going out exploring.
    I'd just keep him in for 2-3 weeks to get accustomed to the smell of the house and then after that go out with him until he knows his way around. Apparently it takes around 2 weeks for the cat to fully get used to the smell of their new homes and they are guided by smell as well as their other senses. Good luck with it.
  • meritaten
    meritaten Posts: 24,158 Forumite
    yes, it was to get them to sit and groom. the theory being that grooming is 'comforting'.
    just keep him in, convince him that this new home still has all his favourite things - his food wont change, his routine wont change and that all HIS things are there.
  • scaredy_cat
    scaredy_cat Forumite Posts: 7,758 Forumite
    you could try using a feliway to keep him calm in the new house while he gets used to it.
    Cats don't have owners - they have staff!! :D:p
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  • rising_from_the_ashes
    rising_from_the_ashes Forumite Posts: 12,433
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    Is he a 'stressy' type?

    If so, I'd be tempted to start him on some zyklene a few days before going into the cattery and for a few days / weeks in the new home (how long depending on how he settles)

    Personally I'd keep him in for a min of 4 weeks - esp with him being older & if he's never lived anywhere else before& only known your current home since birth
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  • sleepymans
    sleepymans Forumite Posts: 898
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 28 September 2014 at 3:41AM
    Thanks for your advice so far :)

    My cat isn't too "stressy" and lately he has coped well with a certain level of upheaval, including a 2 hour car trip to the cattery near the new location. He behaved perfectly on the journey and was inquisitive when we first put him in the unfamiliar cat pen, rather than scared, so that's a good start.

    We thought we'd leave him safe in the cattery during the move and unpacking first week in our new place so we can get more or less "straight" before getting him home.

    I'm not sure I will be able to keep him indoors for 4 weeks though!!!! He has always been an outdoorsy sort ..loves to hunt and scentmark his boundary, loves to scratch the fences and trees and roll in the grass or on the patio in the sun. It feels a bit cruel to shut him up for too long in a boring house! I was hoping to get him out and about albeit close to the house and under our supervision, within a week.

    I can only see how he begins to adapt and how quickly he settles. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to butter his paws and use Felliway at first, too, though no pills as he is a right nightmare to try and get pills down!

    Luckily he is otherwise fairly obedient, comes when called, especially for a cat-sausage-treat!

    Thanks all
    :A Goddess :A
  • dandelionclock30
    dandelionclock30 Forumite Posts: 3,235 Forumite
    You dont really want to be buttering his paws at all. It could make him sick and give you greasy marks on the carpet/floors.
    Good luck with him in the new house.
  • dawnie1972
    dawnie1972 Forumite Posts: 2,428
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I've moved numerous times and only had one mishap in that one of my cats broke out of the cat carrier whilst carrying it from house to car when leaving old house and scarpered!! Took me 5 days of returning and laying a cat trap before I was finally able to catch her (the old house was 1.5hrs drive away). My current cat doesnt stay in for long and has always been fine. What you can do when you start to let cat out is scatter the contents of your hoover bag/drum around the edge of the garden, that way if she strays a little too far the scent will travel in the breeze and guide her home - i was advised to do this when my cat went missing.
    A home is not a home ..... without a dog :heart:
  • FatVonD
    FatVonD Forumite Posts: 5,315
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    sleepymans wrote: »
    I was hoping to get him out and about albeit close to the house and under our supervision, within a week.

    That is nowhere near long enough, you might be lucky but I wouldn't chance it.

    Be sure to let him out when he's hungry too so he'll be more likely to come back when he hears food noises that if he's being inquisitive somewhere and already has a full tummy.
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  • calicocat
    calicocat Forumite Posts: 5,698
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    I used feliway when I moved under similar situation to you, just my cat is a couple of years younger. I found it Brilliant, but others say it made no difference, certainly worth trying though.

    I ended up letting mine out after two days!...however she was initially a house cat for the first few years of her life, and trained to come straight to me when I jingled the house keys once she went out.

    I think you just have to judge it on an individual basis, I was prepared for mine to be really stressed and to keep her in for 2 months. As it happened she loved the place immediately and was in the back garden pretty much from the off....with me watching her every move at first.

    My garden is contained (as much as any is for a cat), and my cat is quite a home-bunny. If yours is used to roaming I would be keeping a keener eye and doing the house bound thing a bit longer, especially if the garden is not fenced off and wandering around would be easier.

    My experience with feliway was akin to a miracle drug....she spent the first few hours with her head over the plug-in just sniffing it up......didnt want to go anywhere but hang out in that spot.....lol.
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  • no1catman
    no1catman Forumite Posts: 2,972
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    I agree with the cattery idea. When we moved, the day before took her to a cattery, gave us the freedom to pack in the evening. Moreover, next day - no problem with the front door open with the removal vehicle being loaded.
    Once, in the new house with the furniture where we wanted it - went and collected the cat - she was eighteen at the time. Once the carrier was opened she rushed upstairs. But she soon found her way round the new house.
    She had ARF so she wasn't fit enough to go far - never left the garden, lived eighteen months in the new home.

    Is your cat male or female - e.g. toms like to roam! Is there a vantage point upstairs where it can look out the window, and study the new outside?
    Our new cat (via Cat Protection) took alone time before it wanted to go out, but now often comes in via a bedroom window after walking along walls and fences.
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