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Moving with your cat

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am new to the forum and will do a search but I need some advice on moving with my cat. Midnight is a stray I found when I moved in here 6 years ago and I am all she knows. Until now she has been an outdoor cat and I want to start keeping her indoors. What is prompting this is I have accepted a job in another state. Of course I will be taking her with me. I think she is 7 years old and I also have a 10 month old Labrador. I dont plan on leaving until June 21.

This is my plan on the actual move:

I am going to buy something like a Pet Taxi to transport her. I have rented a truck so Midnight will be in the fron with me and Tal where it is airconditioned. I thought I would spray the inside of her travel crate with Feliway to help calm her. The trip should take about 10 hours so I think she will be ok during the actual trip. When I get the crate I thought about taking her for a ride with Tal and me to maybe help her get used to riding in the car.

I am also going to get her a cat tree so she can have an area in the house she can call her own and also see some peace in case Tal decides to chase her. I figure starting now will be better than waiting to change her to inside once we are at our new place. Another thing that convinced me to move her to an inside cat is I noticed some gray hairs on her the other day. As she gets older I am sure she will start to slow down. I want her to be able to live out her life in peace and know she is loved. I know she will be safer inside.

So what are your thoughts? Advice? Any and all ideas are very much appreciated!

I am going to
post #2 of 11
First of all, I commend you on deciding to bring your cat inside. She will live a long happy life without the worry of getting run over, poisoned, attacked by another animal, etc. I would definitely start now. Don't feed her outside. Make sure she knows when shes inside, she gets yummy food. Get her a tall cat tree so she can get up and away if she needs to. I would try to take her on several short trips in the car, every day if you can. Even if its just to run to the bank, etc, take her with you. Leave her carrier out in your house and open. Maybe even feed her in there, or give her treats in there, so she will associate it with good things.
On the day you actually leave. I would feed her the night before and just feed her part of what you would normally feed her in the morning before you go. Offer her water frequently throughout the trip, but only a little food, if any at all. I would bet that she will sleep almost the whole time any way. Good luck with your trip!
post #3 of 11
Yay! You made it over here! I've given you all the advice I can for now....others will be along soon! Also, you can try searching the forums for other moving threads.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks! yeah I made it over. And I probably should have made Midnight an indoor cat a long time ago but I live in a very quiet area and she has never strayed but just down the block.

It sounds very similar to the crate training I went thru with Tal, my 10 month old Labrador. They both know that they are mine and I am going to have to work on getting them to be close together. Being outside it's not been a problem. And as long as Tal doesn't act like Midnight is just a small Lab they do pretty good.
post #5 of 11
So I've moved with my cats from Pittsburgh to Chicago, and then I have moved four times since moving to chicago. (In the last two years, I don't even want to talk about it.)

So things that have helped me:

Carriers, I have the soft sided carriers with fuzzy insides, My cats love them. Seriously, they sleep in them if I leave them out. I encouraged hem early on by giving them treats and playing with them in their carriers. This does not mean that it is ever easy to get them in there when I want to, but at least I know they like it in their so their whining is just whining. (you might get fuzzy bottoms for the hard sided ones, I like the soft ones as I can sling the shoulder straps over my shoulder and get around easier)

Move the cat out last- The cats get put in a room (bathroom, walk in closet etc) that is empty of stuff that needs to go. They get food, water and a litterbox. This way they do not have to see their house slowly empty and you con't have to worry about them being underfoot. I usually keep them in there until I"m ready to leave. Now by the time you go in their to nab them they will be the least happy cat ever from being confined, and all the noises of moving, and so begins the stress. So then the cats and all the cat stuff, (food, litter) goes in the front or in the non moving truck.

Move the cat in First- once you arrive at your new destination, pick a room, give the cat food, litter, water, and lock it up. Then commence to move. My cats usually gravitate towards the first room I move them into for a while. (Usually the bathroom) I guess it becomes their "base" territory or something.

On the road: Be sure to offer them water when you stop, they probably wont drink it. Also wet food is an idea that I did not try, they might be more interested in that and it will keep them from getting dehydrated. It is also good to keep the AC on, even when you aren't hot, because after all you don't have fur.

be prepared to get cat pee around. I had a temporary litter box set up in the car, they would have none of it. If you had a hard sided carrier you could line it with one of those puppy pee pads or something disposable. (I just had to wash the bag.)

My sister let my cats "out of the bag," so to speak, on the ride, but they were so terrified they just crouched somewhere cool for the whole ride. I wouldn't advise this approach as every stop I was having a fit making sure they were in the car and didn't sneak out. (I try not to underestimate their sneakyness.) Keeping him in his carrier will be better for both of you in the long run as he wont get anywhere he shouldn't get and he will be easy to grab in case of an emergency.

In the end, your cat is going to hate moving, however I did find that my cats loved eachother and me a lot more after moving. After the move from Pittsburgh they were huddled together in the closet once I went to let them out. And after the last move my black cat has taken to purring and rubbing against me. So maybe that will spell good news for your dog and cat.
post #6 of 11
A couple more thoughts...

set the carrier up outside so Midnight can come & go as she pleases. Also, use the carrier once you move....leave it out in the new place as a "safe place" for Midnight.

When the meet indoors, it's way different than outdoors. Macey is a booger-brain to say the least. She will chase some of the farm cats, but will not chase any of the housecats. Mostly because a cat in the house figures out quickly the dog is trapped.....cats stalk. Dogs tend to figure that out quickly.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas! The actual drive is about 9 hours or so and I think I will leave Midnight in her crate because I do not want to risk her escaping nor do I want those two to get into it while I am driving 70 down the freeway.

I like the idea of putting her crate outside at first. I feed her on the hood of my car so she can eat in peace so that will be an odeal place to start. I was looking at some today on my way to pick Tal up from daycare. I saw a hard side one that I liked and I thought I would get her a pad to go in it.

On mving day I'll put her in the bathroom with her crate, some treats and litter box. And once we get to our new home I'll repeat the process.
post #8 of 11
My Damita in not a seasoned fighter. She's 7 years old, blind, & silly. She can escape from soft sided carriers. I can only imagine what Midnight, who's always lived outside, could do to one if she wanted.

I'd suggest buying a carrier that is bigger, not a tiny one. One you can fit a small litterbox into. With enough space left over for Midnight to comfortably lay down.

It could be a long 9 hours with a yowling kitty & Tal!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I'm hoping to get Midnight and Tal used to riding together. Once I get her crate I'll take them for a ride. Tal loves riding in the car and I bet he sleeps most of the way. I am going to take him to daycare the day before then I'll take him and play a good game of fetch before we leave. So that should tire him out enough. And a crate large enough for a small litter box sounds like a good idea. Also, since cats seem to like dark places, the hard sided travel crates would work better I think and hopefully will help keep her calm!

It will definitely be an adventure. I am also going to make sure my ipod is fully charged..
post #10 of 11
This is exactly the type of replies I was looking for on my thread about this that I posted awhile back but apparently no one wanted to respond. I'm glad you were able to get some responses! This will help me too as I will be traveling across 3 states!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by preciousmom View Post
This is exactly the type of replies I was looking for on my thread about this that I posted awhile back but apparently no one wanted to respond. I'm glad you were able to get some responses! This will help me too as I will be traveling across 3 states!
Cool...I'm glad it helped. How long will your trip be?
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