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How do I Transition my Cats into a New Place?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Currently I live with my mom with my cats who are 3 and 2 years old. We live in a 5 bdrm house, but the cats aren't allowed in any of the bedrooms. We sold the house and now I'm going to be in a studio apartment. There are no cats allowed, but one of my friends is the manager and said it's fine.
Anyway, the apartment is obviously smaller than the living areas of my home. I'd guess 600 sq feet or so. A friend told me that cats get stressed and upset when moved, and they may even pee in unwanted areas. What can I do to help them feel comfortable with their new home?
Another question... my friend, the apt manager told me I have to keep them out of the window. What would be the best way to do that? Someone suggested putting double sided tape across the window ledge (which is about 4 inches wide)... do you think that would work?

post #2 of 6
Good blinds would go a long way to alleviate the issue caused by them being in the window, but still let them see all the birds outside. Curtains alone aren't going to be enough .

I think moving with you & all their normal items will go all long way in themselves to help with the move. I strongly suggest you move into the appartment, wait a day or two then bring the cats (if that's possible) so they move into a tidied place instead of a mess of boxes with a million places to hide. Obviously if both you & your mom are moving out on the same day thats not really going to work.

Make sure you lock the cats up when you actually move, they have a bad habit of disappearing in boxes or out the door. Make up a nice quiet room for them with lots of toys and fun treats so they can avoid all the chaos.

Thankfully there are laws here which prevent landlords for baring pets I understand some large dogs do cause issues in appartment buildings, but it really is a silly rule!!
post #3 of 6
As suggested, get as much of your larger items set up as possible.

Before you do this, though, and even consider bringing those cats in you must clean! It doesn't matter if the place looks clean, I can guarantee if you shampoo any carpets or thoroughly scrub walls, cabinets, etc that you will find dirt.
This is important because you do not know what the former tenants cleaned with, spilled, or sprayed.
If the place was no pets allowed chances are you may not have to worry about former pet stains - but a good shampooing doesn't hurt anything.

What I did with my cats after moving was simply put their carriers in the living room, let them out and gave them a tour - much like one would show a young child around. Actually showing them things and not showing any fear of the environment myself helped them. They were wandering around by themselves the moment I sat down to rest.

If you're worried about them going outside the box can you at least have two boxes? Your place may be small but that will make finding their boxes a bit easier. And don't forget to show them where their boxes are.
post #4 of 6
To prevent inappropriate urination and to decrease stress from the move, use Feliway in the new apartment, and if you can set up a diffuser or two up to two weeks before you move in, all the better.

When you unpack, unpack the kitty stuff FIRST. When they are let out to check out the new space, it will be comforting and help them to orient if they are able to smell things that belong to them in the new space.

If you are moving any rugs with you, do not vacuum them BEFORE you move - take them dirty, because they will smell like "home" to your cats.

It's all about the smells.

Also, be careful about blinds - they never stopped my cats from getting into the windows. Better to put a place they can lie on in front of the windows so they can still look out - this will help from having them get onto the windowsills.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

thanks for your replies. I totally get the familiarizing them with furniture and cat stuff they are used to. Having two kitty boxes is something I considered, and will definitely do now that you have brought it up.
I realized that the worst part about the move for them is going to be the trip. They hate being in the car in a carrier. The last time we took them to the vet there was a LOT of crying, but once they were out of the carrier in the office, they became pretty curious... wandering and trying to discover the unknown.

Now my biggest concern is the window. It is completely natural for a cat to be attracted to the window, and I hate to take that away from them. They have ruined our horizontal mini blinds, and now my apartment has vertical blinds which would be much more accessible for them without damage. Still, they can't be seen. There is a window in the kitchen that faces out of the complex (2nd story) so that's not a big deal.
But what do you think about the double sided tape idea? My friend told me I can buy industrial double sided tape to fit the window sill in the living room and that they would try to jump into the window a few times, but they'd learn that it's uncomfortable on their paws.

My lease is 6 months and then month-to-month, so I will be looking for a pet friendly place. I had a two bedroom cat-ok apartment lined up with a friend, but at the last minute she backed out. So this was my only option. Definitely can't be permanent.
post #6 of 6
As to the "cat in the window" problem - why not look into one-way window tint that you can apply yourself? I know it exists. I don't have any idea how much it costs - but I think it would be worth looking into! Then the kitties can look out, and you get privacy too!

As to the move.... as Gingersmom pointed out, it is all about the scents. Cats are territorial animals, and you're changing their territory.

Spray Feliway around the new place ASAP (not near the litter boxes or where they're supposed to scratch).

Bring some dirty laundry with you and leave it near wherever you put their beds for a couple of days before washing it. Don't wash any of their beds. Bring as many of their "scents" as you can. Give them some hidey places.

When we moved, we moved from a small place into a larger one - so we confined them to the bedroom at first. Three of them hid under the cedar chest for three days, and didn't come out except to eat, drink water, and use the litter box. We had six at the time - and only one went out the bedroom door the first day. The last one went out after two weeks.

So the most important thing is to just give them places to hide, and don't force anything. They'll explore when they're ready.

Also, moving into a smaller space, vertical space is important for cats. Consider adding shelves just for them or a cat tree or trees and condos.

Good luck with the move!

Oh - and as another poster pointed out - DO make SURE that the cats are CONFINED somewhere when the door will be opened and closed. The change freaks them, and they may bolt out the door. So make sure they cannot and do not have the opportunity. If you have anyone helping you move, do NOT count on them to shut the door. !!!!!
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