I’ve been a hobo for years, moving from place to place around Sydney – many times over. A friend of mine asked me how my cats cope with moving. Cat’s establish a territory around their homes and become quite attached to the land that they patrol. That’s probably why the become very upset when their human owner decides to up stumps and move to a completely new suburb. Some cats hate the move so much they decide to move back to their old one – without their owner. This article provides you with some essential tips which might help make that stressful event a little easier.
It’s critical that the cat becomes comfortable with his or her new environment as quickly as possible. Try to keep things familiar inside the new home, including same couch and coverings. We purchased a synthetic feline facial pheromone diffuser (a plug-in Feliway device) for the bedroom.
Initially Limit Outdoor Playtime:
When Fluffy and Dolly (our previous little fur balls) moved we made absolutely sure that for two weeks they were limited to indoors only. Then gradually over a few more weeks we introduced them to the back garden. Pretty much the only thing you can do is let your cat out in stages, initially for just 30 minutes and increase it every day. They will of course come across other cats as they go about their business. It’s just like a schoolyard outside your home – only instead of kids it’s cats! With our current little fur balls, Hemi and Lulu, this probably won’t be so much of a problem as they are strictly indoor cats only.
Move in Autumn or Winter:
If you can, try to move in autumn or winter because most other cats are snuggled up warm inside their houses at that time of the year. This will give your cat a chance to patrol around the new house and establish his or her territory. Some cats cope better than others when moving home.
I’ve found that a full cat is a happy cat and they’re more likely to want to laze around the house after eating. Keep your cat well fed and watered.
Permanently Keep Indoors:
If you feel like your cat isn’t coping, your best bet is to keep them indoors – permanently. The old saying “they wont miss what they don’t know” is really true when it comes to cats. Once they get a taste of the pros of outdoor living (irrespective of the cons such as fleas, ticks, feline influenza, cars, cat hating public) they find transitioning back to being indoors cats very difficult.
Keep Vaccinations Up to Date:
One very important thing to check is to absolutely make sure that your cat’s vaccinations are up to date before the move. Like the school yard, your cat will get in fights with other cats in the area as they establish control over their new territory. You need to make sure that they are completely protected against infectious diseases they will most certainly contract if not vaccinated.
Relocate Your Cat:
We moved from a big house in Ruse in the outer suburbs of Sydney where we had a huge back yard – to a small two bedroom home not far from the CBD with almost no yard. We decided that the best thing to do with one of our cats Mr Peebles (a stray we adopted and had named after a colorful Sydney magistrate) was send him to our friends farm in North West NSW where he was free to roam as far as he wished. Mr Peebles would have only got into fights with other cats in the CBD. This is probably a last resort option for most, but in some cases it’s definitely the best thing for your cat.
Moving can be a very difficult time for cats. A successful move takes time and plenty of patience as kitty re-adjusts to their new environment. Be patient with your cat as it’s not something that can be rushed. Hopefully in a short while, they will come around and be happy in their new home.
HemiLuluCatz is a website initially designed to blog about cats and kittens. It features our two best feline friends Hemi and Lulu.
HemiLuluCatz is written by creative writer and cat aficionado Rob Delaporte with the help and suggestions of friends from Twitter and Facebook.