Moving with cats

We have two senior cats and recently moved house. They went to a cattery the day we moved and have been in the new house for a week now. I just wondered how long other people left it before they let their cats outside after moving? 

Both cats are used to being outdoors often, but i don't want to let them out too soon as i'm worried they wont come back :( 

Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • Brambling
    Brambling Posts: 5,125 Forumite
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    I think it depends on the cats and if there are any neighbouring cats who may chase them off.  The last time i moved i had a cat who was 3 and a 4 month old kitten, originally i kept them in 3 weeks but once I let them out and they both shot off in different directions so after that i did keep them in another week. When I finally let them out I put  a couple of dishes with cooked chicken out to slow them down a bit so they had time to adjust.  Leaving a used litter tray outside once you let them out will leave them a scent to follow home

    letting your own cats out is different to letting a new to you cat out as hopefully they will come home to you.  My current cat was 5 when i got him from cat protection and was nervous so he was about 6 weeks as he had also never used a cat flap and was what they advised.
    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage   -          Anais Nin
  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202 Forumite
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    Cats are selfish and anyone friend as we have found out several times, EG, we start to feed cat it just keeps coming back - we stop feeding it, it goes away after a few days. This was at the old house where the gardens were big at this address garden not massive and we see different cats then we dont but we have many foxes around so not sure if the cats are fearful of them and stay away.
    If you are really worried, put an address tag on the cat or a tracker.
  • TripleH
    TripleH Posts: 3,018 Forumite
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    We moved to 4th property in 2 years last October. We have 4 cats now (gained 1 but sadly lost another).
    Oldest 17 (now passed away) : she was an outdoor cat but had 'retired'. Not bothered too much about going outside until our last place when she wandered round front garden. Pretty experienced. Loved the enclosed backyard her final home.
    Oldest Girl 6 : she is an indoor cat but pushes boundaries. Likes to explore but no common sense, runs out front door and hifes under car / looking still for our older cat possibly.
    Oldest Boy 5 : indoor cat likes backyard has crazy plan to jump the fence but not smart enough.
    Youngest Girl 2 : big fluffy maine coon, loves the cold but not able to escape the garden
    Youngest Boy 18 months (we think, rescue with no history) : we were wary about letting him out when we let the others out in the backyard during the day in case he tried to escape. No such worry. He seems to love his new home. He has tried burrowing to get next door recently but he is a curious cat. We were told to keep him in for 2 weeks before letting him out (but think the rescue place meant loose on the street).
    Now 3 of ours are capable of escaping our back yard, they just don't know it. We let them out 3rd day after we moved in and they were happy to remain in. (Back yard has fences on 3 sides). Can you let yours out in an enclosed space?
    How old are the cats Op? Our 17yr old did get a little confused when she did a runner out the front door but the houses all looked the same. I think the biggest issue is if they are suffering dementia.
     

    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • pipscat
    pipscat Posts: 44 Forumite
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    TripleH said:
    We moved to 4th property in 2 years last October. We have 4 cats now (gained 1 but sadly lost another).
    Oldest 17 (now passed away) : she was an outdoor cat but had 'retired'. Not bothered too much about going outside until our last place when she wandered round front garden. Pretty experienced. Loved the enclosed backyard her final home.
    Oldest Girl 6 : she is an indoor cat but pushes boundaries. Likes to explore but no common sense, runs out front door and hifes under car / looking still for our older cat possibly.
    Oldest Boy 5 : indoor cat likes backyard has crazy plan to jump the fence but not smart enough.
    Youngest Girl 2 : big fluffy maine coon, loves the cold but not able to escape the garden
    Youngest Boy 18 months (we think, rescue with no history) : we were wary about letting him out when we let the others out in the backyard during the day in case he tried to escape. No such worry. He seems to love his new home. He has tried burrowing to get next door recently but he is a curious cat. We were told to keep him in for 2 weeks before letting him out (but think the rescue place meant loose on the street).
    Now 3 of ours are capable of escaping our back yard, they just don't know it. We let them out 3rd day after we moved in and they were happy to remain in. (Back yard has fences on 3 sides). Can you let yours out in an enclosed space?
    How old are the cats Op? Our 17yr old did get a little confused when she did a runner out the front door but the houses all looked the same. I think the biggest issue is if they are suffering dementia.
     

    Thanks for your reply. We have an enclosed garden at the back - all fenced. They are 12 & 13 and one is more outdoors than the other - as a youngster he would go out for days, whereas our girl is more of a sit in the back garden kind of cat.

    They seem happy in their new home, it's been a week since we moved so we're considering letting them into the back garden at the weekend and let them have a sniff around to get used to it. 
  • PennyForThem_2
    PennyForThem_2 Posts: 1,036 Forumite
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    when I was a child some 60 years ago, my parent used to 'butter the cat's paws' according to great aunt's advice.  The cat used to travel with us to North Wales (loose in car)  and be let out of the cottage we holidayed in to roam the wilds (farmland) after buttering.  It also used to travel to my grandparents (London suburb 250 miles away - loose in car).  Buttered paws and let loose.  It never got lost, failed to return, and died peacefully at parents home.  This was true of other cats belonging to grandparents who also travelled to North Wales cottage and got their paws buttered.

    Not advocating buttered paws - but wondering if wise woman philosophy as something in it.......
  • pipscat
    pipscat Posts: 44 Forumite
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    when I was a child some 60 years ago, my parent used to 'butter the cat's paws' according to great aunt's advice.  The cat used to travel with us to North Wales (loose in car)  and be let out of the cottage we holidayed in to roam the wilds (farmland) after buttering.  It also used to travel to my grandparents (London suburb 250 miles away - loose in car).  Buttered paws and let loose.  It never got lost, failed to return, and died peacefully at parents home.  This was true of other cats belonging to grandparents who also travelled to North Wales cottage and got their paws buttered.

    Not advocating buttered paws - but wondering if wise woman philosophy as something in it.......
    I have heard of this - many people have suggested putting butter on their paws to stop them wandering off :)  
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,203 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would start by letting them out while you are around, and shortly before their normal feeding time, so they have an ncentive to come back in, and can explore gradually with you in the background so they feel safe. 

    I would also only let them out once they seem settled inside - if they are happily roaming all over the hosue and have picked their favourite napping spots then I think you are fine to let them out, if they are still hiding under beds or showing signs of still being unsettled then leave it a little longer. 

    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • pipscat
    pipscat Posts: 44 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Thanks for your reply - we let them into the garden for a bit last night while we were home and they seem happy sniffing and checking out their new garden :) they do seem to have settled well in the house - they have their own sleeping spots. Now they have had a taste of the outside world they seem keen for more, so it may be time to let them out for longer. I'll be sure to do it when we're home in case they come back and get anxious because we're not there. 
  • I moved 5 times with my previous three cats - all now no longer with us sadly. By the last move, we had the routine all sorted! 
    One of my cats was a bit more timid but two were very confident and settled into the new house within a couple of days - so they were allowed out (with supervision) on day three. I always kept the door open so they could run back inside if spooked - just while I was waiting to have the cat flap installed. My cats answered to their names pretty reliably and I could tell from their body language when they were happy and relaxed. If I didn't know the cats as well then I would have left it longer. 
    The more timid one was probably about two weeks before she seemed to want to be outside, and then she didn't leave the garden for a good while longer. 
  • juliebunny
    juliebunny Posts: 1,705 Forumite
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    Haha we actually used to butter my sisters cats paws when she moved! He just licked it off, not sure where the old wives tale came from BUT he always came home. I haven't done it with mine but I have my own enclosed back garden, she only had communal areas. I'm moving house soon, and the only part of the day I'm worried about is the cats. Last time I moved my girlie went behind the washing machine and the new owner had to help me get her out.....I'm wiser now, they will be well out of the way before the moving van turns up! Most likely I'll just basket them up and keep in one locked room. One of mine gets unsettled when I do anything different in the house, so even packing is likely to upset her )-:
    Less stuff, more life, love, laughter and cats!
    Even if I'm on the shopping threads, it doesn't mean I'm buying! Sometimes it's good to just look and then hit the CLOSE button!
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