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How did you handle moving with your cat(s)?

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  • Neil49Neil49 Forumite
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    oniongirl said:
    Robin9 said:
    We put ours into a cattery for a few days before and a few days after.   Cats soon settle down as they have all you usual smells around  them.   One of ours was determined to go out on night 1 - we left the door open and he came back a few hours later.
    I can't imagine ours coping with the upheaval of two moves in a short time frame. Like I said, they're indoor. Our house is their world.
    I would combine the suggestions of a few days in a cattery combined with light sedation from the vets. This is what some friends did and it gave them time to set up in the new house without trying to cope with a couple of anxious cats. 
  • edited 4 February at 11:01AM
    oniongirloniongirl Forumite
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    edited 4 February at 11:01AM
    jon81uk said:
    We moved from a rented flat to a new build so collected keys on Friday and returned old ones Monday so had a few days to sort things.
    The removal men came on Saturday and we had moved everything out the bedroom that we wanted them to move, so in the bedroom was things we wanted to take ourselves in the car plus the cats and their litter tray and food.
    That evening after we have unloaded and set up a new litter tray we transported the cats over.
    They don't like the car, but trying to give them a view out the front window through the carriers helped.
    We shut them in the kitchen for the first night (in case they pooped/sick on the carpet as kitchen is hard floor), but once let out they ran and hid under the bed. It took a month for them to feel settled in I think and we still shut them in the kitchen at night for a while.
    We also used a Feliway diffuser as it does seem to make them a bit happier.

    If they really don't like cat boxes, are you willing to have them loose in the car?
    We moved from rented with one of them to this house 6 years ago. Obviously not an official diagnosis, but her brother died from the stress of moving. I think that's why I'm getting worked up about it. It was definitely easier when we didn't have to hand the keys to the flat back on the same day as we moved in to this house. I could make sure the new house was ready before I drove them there. That was a good hour's drive though, so this will be a piece of cake in comparison. Listening to wailing for an hour was unbearable!

    We are still deciding which room to shut them in in the new house. All rooms except master bedroom are wipe clean, so options are there, but you have made me realise I've labelled the boxes up for the rooms they're going in and I haven't allowed for a no-go room. The two cats aren't the best of friends (one still has all the energy of youth which infuriates the older one), so I'm not sure locking them away together is a great plan... but also wondering if it'll make them bond finally!

    Felliways are all ready and waiting (and currently plugged in).

    I think I'd be the one yelling if they were running loose around the car!
  • rubble2rubble2 Forumite
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    When we last moved we put our cat in the pet carrier at the last moment possible in the old house and only let her out when all the removal men had left the new house. She was clearly freaked out by the new surroundings and pretty much immediately wanted to be let outside.
    She then promptly disappeared for two days, but on the third day we could her her crying and tracked her down to a large conifer in the back garden where she had set up home. We kept leaving food out for her which she would eat and then she would go straight back into the conifer.
    It wasn't until our daughter came to visit a couple of days later that she was able to tempt her back into the house but she has been fine ever since. Strange animals cats!
  • HoopyNJHoopyNJ Forumite
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    oniongirl said:
    caprikid1 said:
    You don't have to give over your set of keys straight away, the estate agent can have the set of keys. Nothing to stop you posting them through the letter box and the buyer collecting the Estate Agents set. IE when ready to leave put cats in cat box post keys through door and leave, go past new agent collect keys.
    How far are you moving ? Cats can be in a cat box for some time.
    Aha - that makes sense. 

    Only moving 2 miles down the road, but you haven't met our cats. They are very highly strung and one of them gets all fighty and tries to gnaw his way out (he actually broke 2 teeth last time he was in the carrier), and the other gets so stressed she tries to force her way out with her face. It's very distressing and probably our fault for having indoor cats that aren't very well rounded or used to change and noises.
    Would you be able to have them out the carrier on your knee/in the car at all?
    When I was 13 we moved 250 miles with cat in tow. He was not happy in the carrier with constant crying, so we took him out the carrier and plopped him on my lap. He remained there sleeping quietly for the rest of the journey <3

    I agree with others that exploring sedation might be useful to ease their distress. 

    We're due to move in a week or two but as we're going from a rental we've not booked removals until the day after we get the keys. I'm going over with my boy in the morning, before removals arrive, and sitting with him in a room with food, blankets, water and litter.
  • edited 4 February at 11:09AM
    pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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    edited 4 February at 11:09AM
    We moved 300 miles with ours so he had to do six hours in the car and he's normally a pretty stressed cat so we were really worried about it!

    We got a dog crate, so he actually had room to stand up and turn around, which he can't really do in his normal cat carrier. Put in it: folded thin blanket, favourite bed, and a couple of t-shirts we'd worn and not washed so they had our scent on. Blanket over the top of it in the car so it was dark (all the sights of a car journey can be a bit much for them, and they naturally hide in dark places / under things when they're worried). Didn't hear a peep from him the whole way - suspect he snoozed!

    When we arrived we set up the litter tray and food and water bowls in one room and shut him in there while removals unloaded. As it had already been six hours we didn't want to leave him in the crate while they did that. 

    Be prepared for the fact that when you're middle of chain, you can end up with a delay between leaving your old house and moving into the new one - it's possible and there's nothing you can do about it. We're lucky in that ours holds his pee and poop when he's stressed so there's no chance of him going in the carrier/crate. If yours might though, put puppy pads in the bottom, underneath the blanket. 

    For anyone with outdoor cats, it's strongly recommended that you keep them in for four weeks after moving, or there's a real risk they'll try and go 'home' to the old house. A cat's bond to its place is way more important to it than it's bond to people, and it takes a few weeks for it to scent-mark the new place and think of it as home. Obviously some cats can't be kept in that long though!
  • oniongirloniongirl Forumite
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    We moved 300 miles with ours so he had to do six hours in the car and he's normally a pretty stressed cat so we were really worried about it!

    We got a dog crate, so he actually had room to stand up and turn around, which he can't really do in his normal cat carrier. Put in it: folded thin blanket, favourite bed, and a couple of t-shirts we'd worn and not washed so they had our scent on. Blanket over the top of it in the car so it was dark (all the sights of a car journey can be a bit much for them, and they naturally hide in dark places / under things when they're worried). Didn't hear a peep from him the whole way - suspect he snoozed!

    When we arrived we set up the litter tray and food and water bowls in one room and shut him in there while removals unloaded. As it had already been six hours we didn't want to leave him in the crate while they did that. 

    Be prepared for the fact that when you're middle of chain, you can end up with a delay between leaving your old house and moving into the new one - it's possible and there's nothing you can do about it. We're lucky in that ours holds his pee and poop when he's stressed so there's no chance of him going in the carrier/crate. If yours might though, put puppy pads in the bottom, underneath the blanket. 
    Your profile pic is the female equivalent of our boy. Brilliant film! 

    Ours have never had an accident when in a carrier, but I'm sure now I've said it out loud I've probably cursed it. Great idea about the puppy pads. 

    I think if there's a delay I might let them climb around the car for a bit. Having said that, the girl isn't a fan of going in a box, so I'm not sure I could get her in to it a second time. Perhaps I'd be better off with a cardboard packing box. They love those!
  • Seashell517Seashell517 Forumite
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    My plan is to drop the cats at the cattery at 8am before the movers start and then collect them again before the cattery closes at 6pm, but I'll be paying for an overnight stay in case things run late and I can't get them before the cattery closes. They hate the cattery but they'd hate being boxes all day even more, and they are LOUD.
  • oniongirloniongirl Forumite
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    Ahhh... I just remembered I can't use a cattery as one cat isn't up to date with vaccinations. She missed her jab when the first lockdown was happening, so needed to restart vaccinations. We got the first one done, but then she randomly scratched open her entire chin (she was bald, scabby and oozing! so gross!) so we had to stop to do antibiotics and stuff. I'd completely forgotten about it, but you've reminded me, thank you!
  • GN2020GN2020 Forumite
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    I’m not an expert but I hope this helps.
    We’ve got two indoor cats as well (nowt wrong with it so please don’t feel bad for keeping them indoors) and yes, the dreaded cat carriers have caused issues in the past. 
    Get them out today, make them into a little hive of activity, put blankets in them, put treats next to them and let your cats have a sniff and explore them.
    The more they get used to them they’ll see that they’re not anything to be afraid of. 
    I would recommend feliway, it might not work but it also might and there’s no harm in trying it. 
    I find that speaking in very soothing tones and staying calm works when we take ours in the carrier because if we’re stressed, they’ll get stressed as well. 
    Like others have said, you don’t have to give the keys back straight away, explain your situation and pop the keys into an envelope through their letterbox. 
    At your new house, put the kitties stuff into one room and close the door, put a note on the door so the removal people don’t go in there. Spend a little bit of time in that room with them before you go to help with the unpacking. 
    It’s good that it’s only a couple of miles down the road as well but I find it helps to sing to them when they’re in the carrier and talk to them as well in a happy voice, it really does help them settle. 

    Good luck with your move and here’s to many happy years with your kitties in your new home 😊
  • oniongirloniongirl Forumite
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    GN2020 said:
    I’m not an expert but I hope this helps.
    We’ve got two indoor cats as well (nowt wrong with it so please don’t feel bad for keeping them indoors) and yes, the dreaded cat carriers have caused issues in the past. 
    Get them out today, make them into a little hive of activity, put blankets in them, put treats next to them and let your cats have a sniff and explore them.
    The more they get used to them they’ll see that they’re not anything to be afraid of. 
    I would recommend feliway, it might not work but it also might and there’s no harm in trying it. 
    I find that speaking in very soothing tones and staying calm works when we take ours in the carrier because if we’re stressed, they’ll get stressed as well. 
    Like others have said, you don’t have to give the keys back straight away, explain your situation and pop the keys into an envelope through their letterbox. 
    At your new house, put the kitties stuff into one room and close the door, put a note on the door so the removal people don’t go in there. Spend a little bit of time in that room with them before you go to help with the unpacking. 
    It’s good that it’s only a couple of miles down the road as well but I find it helps to sing to them when they’re in the carrier and talk to them as well in a happy voice, it really does help them settle. 

    Good luck with your move and here’s to many happy years with your kitties in your new home 😊
    Thanks! I'm ok with them being indoor, but usually quite defensive about it on a public forum. I'm not sure singing to them will work. They often run away when I attempt that in the house hehe.

    Thankfully we have enough room that the carriers are always out. The younger boy likes to use them as his bed, so they won't know anything is amiss. Except for the fact they're surrounded by boxes at the moment... but still, right now they're thinking we're just being the best humans ever and giving them new things to explore/destroy.

    Thanks for your calming words. Everyone on this thread has been very soothing and helpful. I feel a tiny bit less stressed about it all now.
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