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Thread: Moving with cats advice

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Moving with cats advice

    We are moving to a new home three hours away. We have a dog that surely won't be a problem, but what about our cats? Does anyone have experience moving three inside only cats to a new location?
    Also, we have the added complication of four outside only cats that have adopted our front porch as their home. They love to be petted but pretty much only at mealtimes. The new home has a fairly large heated/cooled glassed in back porch that will hopefully serve as their new home base if I can figure out how to get them up there.
    Does anyone have any experience with moving cats to a new home or any advice?
    Thanks
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member North's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    We are moving to a new home three hours away. We have a dog that surely won't be a problem, but what about our cats? Does anyone have experience moving three inside only cats to a new location?
    Also, we have the added complication of four outside only cats that have adopted our front porch as their home. They love to be petted but pretty much only at mealtimes. The new home has a fairly large heated/cooled glassed in back porch that will hopefully serve as their new home base if I can figure out how to get them up there.
    Does anyone have any experience with moving cats to a new home or any advice?
    Thanks
    We moved 2 cats (in separate carriers) many years ago...8 hour car ride. We bought sedation pills from our vet. We carried bowls for water and kibble. And the vet told us to try out the sedatives on the cats before the move, because some cats can go hyper.

    I can't see any way to re-locate outdoor cats. It's likely they have other places where they hang out. And one or more may be owned by other folks.
    Last edited by North; 10-30-2019 at 06:10 PM.

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    TyrannoSuarez Wrecks WrongVerb's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    We made a similar move last year with total success.

    Put each in its own carrier, with something they're used to with their scent on it.

    Ask your vet about Feliway, instead of medication, as a sedative.

    When you get to the new place, let the cats sort out their territories. Make sure you have their litter boxes and food and water dishes available immediately. They might also want to hide for a bit.

    As for the feral cats, you're best off leaving them in their current space instead of moving them unless you fully intend for them to become part of the family.
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    North and Wrong Verb, thank you for your very helpful suggestions. I will definitely look into sedation pills or Feliway. I have not had much luck getting medication into cats in the past, so I will probably look into Feliway.

    I am wondering what to do during the moving out and then moving in process. How did you house the cats while boxes and furniture where being moved out of one house and then into the next? I guess we will lock them in a room at both locations unless someone has a better idea.

    As for the outside cats, they are not exactly feral. They are actually more porch cats. Three were born on our front porch and the other was obviously an abandoned pet. We live near a college, and students often abandon cats when they leave. They are locally referred to as campus cats. Anyway, our porch cats are basically pets. Two of our inside cats were porch cats that we brought in for health or safety reasons. We'd really like to take the outside cats because they have become part of the family. We are just not sure how to do it. Our new home has an enclosed porch, and I think I could put in a pet door. Or maybe we should leave them, but we don't really want to do that to them. They have a great deal of love and personality.
    Last edited by Spitball; 10-30-2019 at 11:13 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member North's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Yes...putting them in a room is the way to go. Best to tape a sign on the door so somebody won't open it by mistake.

    Are these porch cats dependent on you? Will they be in trouble if you leave them?

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    Spitball (11-04-2019)

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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Are these porch cats dependent on you? Will they be in trouble if you leave them?
    Thanks for the advice for the inside cats, North! Honestly, the porch cats would probably find their way, but I'd hate to abandoned creatures who have depended on us for several years.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member North's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    Thanks for the advice for the inside cats, North! Honestly, the porch cats would probably find their way, but I'd hate to abandoned creatures who have depended on us for several years.


    Moving is hectic... don't forget to equip the closed room with litter box, food, and water. And familiar pads and toys.

    I have to ask...when you leave, are there any places, other folks in the neighborhood where the porch cats can find sustenance and shelter? Since they have depended on you for several years, I don't think they will find their way unless some others step up in their behalf.

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    Spitball (11-01-2019)

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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    I've had to do it multiple times, not that big of a deal.

    I'd lock them in a room at your current house, and then grab them up at the very last moment for the move.

    As soon as I got to the new house, the very first thing I would do is lock them up in a room before moving everything in.

    Granted, if you're move was shorter I'd say take them up on a separate day - but that's another 6 hours of driving.

    As far as the outdoor cats, I'd probably take them too - again it'd be easier to move them on a different day.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And a suggestion for the outdoor ones, if you do decide to take them start putting the carriers in their area around a week earlier and hope that they start going in and out of them - so they are more accustomed to it when they have too.

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    Spitball (11-04-2019)

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Pick a decent room in your new house to keep them in during the move. Include their favorite hangout things like cat tree, box, blankets etc. The key here is scent. Don't wash the blanket just yet. You want it to have that familiar scent.

    As for the actual trip, all the cats I've had have always preferred to have the roam of the car. My biggest problem with that is watching that they don't step on the switches and put the windows down. My cats are very people oriented. They hang out on our laps pretty much the entire trip and rarely use the litter in the car but I do have it available to them.

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    Spitball (11-04-2019)

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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Thanks everyone for the great advice! We are still at least a month away from the big move, but I now have a pretty good idea what needs to be done. I might update and ask for more help if I have any further concerns. I'll definitely come back after the move and let everyone know how it went.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    Thanks everyone for the great advice! We are still at least a month away from the big move, but I now have a pretty good idea what needs to be done. I might update and ask for more help if I have any further concerns. I'll definitely come back after the move and let everyone know how it went.
    Sorry Iím late to the party. This is the advice I would give to my clients.

    Clear one room in the house first. Lock the cats in that room with food, water, litter while everything gets moved out.

    Same thing at the new house. Lock them in the guest room, bathroom, whatever, when you arrive. Donít let them out until the movers are gone.

    Definitely see your veterinarian for some acepromazine. Cats donít like travel. Cats also like to make everyone aware of their displeasure. Sedation for them will make everything easier on humans and pets.

    Get multiple crates for them. You can double and triple up per crate depending on how they get along. Donít worry about crowding. Cats like tight spaces to hide in when theyíre stressed.

    Take the outdoor cats with you if theyíre tame enough to safely (for you and them) get into crates. Cats are territorial, so donít be surprised if a few of the outdoor ones decide to find new digs once youíve displaced them from what theyíre familiar with. Give them plenty of food and water available at all times. Cats also tend to gravitate towards where the resources are.

    Good luck! If I you have any other questions, Iíll be monitoring this thread.



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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    All I can do is reiterate what some others have said. When we moved with our indoor cat over 25 years ago I took him to the new home and placed him in a confined area. It was basically just all of the main level. Which was the living room,kitchen and a half bath. When I let him out of his carrier he ran underneath the toilet in the bathroom and just stayed hunched up there for quite a while. I set some food in the kitchen area so he could get used to eating in there. But after some time he just slowly crept out and began sniffing around. I just left him alone and let have his space. It didn't take long for him to get used to it. We also placed his litter box in that half bath so he was very familiar with it. It's pretty easy for indoor cats to get used to new area. I;'m not so sure about outdoor ones. Most of outdoor ones when they are moved I hear the owners say they ran off and were never seen again. I truly hope that doesn't happen to your cats but I really can't offer any advice for them.
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    Spitball (11-07-2019)

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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Thanks everyone! You have definitely helped me figure out the inside cats. Since I last posted, we have rescued a five-year old German Shepherd, but she only complicates the move a little bit. She certainly has no problem with the inside cats, but she is super anxious about new events and has been on Prozac in the past. She is incredibly sweet, and I think she will be fine.

    Here is my next big question. After I bring the outside cats to our new home and house them in the enclosed back porch, how long should I wait before letting them outside? I want them to understand their new home base but don't want to keep them confined too long.
    Last edited by Spitball; 11-12-2019 at 11:22 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    Thanks everyone! You have definitely helped me figure out the inside cats. Since I last posted, we have rescued a five-year old German Shepherd, but she only complicates the move a little bit. She certainly has no problem with the inside cats, but she is super anxious about new events and has been on Prozac in the past. She is incredibly sweet, and I think she will be fine.

    Here is my next big question. After I bring the outside cats to our new home and house them in the enclosed back porch, how long should I wait before letting them outside? I want them to understand their new home base but don't want to keep them confined too long.
    A week or so would be ideal, but theyíll probably be driving you nuts begging to go outside with a day or two.


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    Spitball (11-14-2019)

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    Re: Moving with cats advice

    Thanks, Red Heeler! I hoped a week or two would be enough. When I had the females spayed a few years ago, I kept them sheltered in one of our empty bedrooms for a week with no problems. After they venture outdoors, I hope to put in a pet door in the enclosed porch so they can come and go as they please.

    I honestly appreciate all the advice everyone has offered. We close on the new home on Monday so the big move could be by Thanksgiving. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again to all.
    Last edited by Spitball; 11-14-2019 at 11:34 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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