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Moving an outside cat

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My wife and I are moving to a new house here in about a month. We have an older outside cat (12 yrs) and are wondering what we can do to get our cat acclimated to the new house. Currently, she hangs around the back yard and is fed on the back porch. There is a privacy fence around the entire backyard so we don't worry much about her now. In the new house, it backs up to a greenbelt and there will not be a fence across the back. There will be a area on the side of the house that will be fenced off.

My wife is afraid she will wonder off, get lost, etc. What can we do to help acclimate the cat to the new house?
post #2 of 14
In my opinion, I'd just make her an indoor only kitty. that way she won't have to worry about, other animals and fighting, cars, and things of that sort. All four of my kitties are indoor only cats, they have two enclosed porches to sit on if they want to be close to the outdoors. I feed the birds and squirrels to give them something to watch when I'm not at home, I also give them lots of toys and cat towers to play on and with!
post #3 of 14
I agree!! Plus since the move will be a change for her she might do fine just getting used to being indoors. Indoor kitties live so much healthier lives.

If you absolutely insist on letting her out, I would at least keep her inside for a couple weeks/few weeks so she's acclaimated with the surroundings.. then maybe hold her and walk around outside very close to the house so she can see everything but not be allowed to roam yet. Do that for a few days/ a week Getting familiar. Also feeding her on the back porch is a good idea too.
post #4 of 14
Regardless of whether she is going to be an inside or outside cat, right now you should concentrate on getting her inside. Because once you move, you will have to keep her inside until she gets used to the new sounds, new vibrations and new smells, or she will just take off on you.

If she is uneasy being indoors, start small. Leave one of your doors open, and plate of canned food (warmed up) in the doorway. Let her get used to coming in just a little bit at a time to eat. Keep moving the plate deeper into the room every day, but not to far. Once she has been inside and doesn't look like she will bolt, close the door and see what she does.
post #5 of 14
I moved two kitties from one apartment to the other once, I think I actually wrote about it in my first post on The Cat Site .
They were brothers, about 1.5 years old. I thought for sure that they would adjust easily to the new outdoors since they were well adjusted to going outside at my old place.
Well, once I let them out (after about 2 weeks at the new place), Jake dissappeared. James was heart broken from loosing his best buddy Then James himself dissappeared.
I am haunted to this day for letting them outside so soon at the new apartment. Please keep your little one indoors until he gets well adjusted to his new surroundings.
Please let me know if this is too harsh of a response to this question, I am still getting over the loss of my two boys and my answer is very emotional ...there may be an easier way to go about moving an outdoor cat
post #6 of 14
Oh my god coco That is soooo soo sad. I cant even imagine.

This should be an excellent lesson.. thanks for posting ((( )))
post #7 of 14
Thanks Sicy. It was pretty aweful. I miss James and Jake so much. I just wish I knew where they went and what happened to them
Sorry to hijack this thread...I just wanted to make the point that as comfortable as your cats are in one outdoor surrounding...they might not be in another and it will take time for them to be ready to go out.
post #8 of 14
Ginger ((hugs to you)) How sad for you
post #9 of 14
I had a bit of the same. Squirt was indoor/outdoor. When I moved I kept him in for a good 6-8 weeks, Then I let him out. At first, he was great, coming to the door to check in about every 20 minutes, like he used to. On the 5th time, he was gone. I found him after 2 weeks elsewhere in the huge apartment complex. I think he wandered off on an adventure and couldn't find his way back. He hasn't been out since.
post #10 of 14
Add one more to the tough lesson learned list...I moved two ferals several years ago, and one got out of the house after one day and disappeared forever.

Please follow Hissy's suggestions to get your cat used to the house now. When you move, set up a quiet room for your cat away from the main house hustle & bustle, with some familiar objects to keep him company. After the moving-in madness is done, you can begin to SLOWLY allow him access to the rest of the house. If you want to start letting him outside again, it's best to do so for short supervised periods (leashed is best, if he'll let you) for the first few weeks. Then, after he's become familiar with the surroundings, you can let him out. Make sure to set out food & water, and to show him where this is kept during his supervised outings. This may sound weird, but I've also heard that you can drop some litter box leavings around the yard area to help him remember where home is by scent.
If you simply don't want to let the cat inside, perhaps you can try to get him used to the garage? But indoors is a lot safer; much less chance of premature escape.
Hope this helps!
post #11 of 14
I would add to anyone who moves and wants to make their cat an outside kitty, to invest in a very large dog cage. After the cat has been inside for at least a month, start putting her outside in the cage with litter pan, water food. Let her in the cage about 4 hours a day (this gets her used to the new smells, sounds and people around. Do this for about a week, then when you do finally let her outside permanently, be sure that you leave a bowl of canned food out there so she won't stray. Again, you don't want a small cramped cage, but one big enough to accomodate a larger breed dog.

When we moved from Alaska to Oregon we had 5 cats and 3 dogs. I used this method over time with my cats and none of them strayed. I did them one at a time, after having them inside the house for over a month, and when I did finally let them out of the room they were confined in, I opened the house to them in degrees so not to overwelm them.
post #12 of 14
I don't know what to do about my friend. I promised her that she could have 3 of my kittens ((almost old enough now)). She want's them for her farm, but I'm worried that the kittens will get killed or many other unimaginable things (I have a vivid imagination). I'm just worried that the poor little guys will get out there, and then wander of to starve to death..

~ Salem
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Moving this cat inside will not happen.

This cat is outside because it would mark up everything in the house(it really liked plastic). In addition, after it was moved outside, it was then banned from the garage because it marked up all my power tools and cars.

In addition, we have two indoor cats already and seeing how I paid a pretty price for our British Shorthair and American Shorthair, I won't put them at risk.
post #14 of 14
You didn't specify if the cat is male or female - is it neutered? If it's not, neutering may help, even to keep it from spraying your things outdoors. Neutering is also important to keep it from contributing to the stray population, and fighting with other cats in the neighborhood. If it is already neutered, you may find good hints in the Behavior forum - there is a good thread about inappropriate peeing problems.

As for moving, try following Hissy's large dog cage idea, or even a larger kennel that is covered, or keeping the cat in the garage (make sure all chemicals and dangerous objects are closed and out of reach) but make sure that the cat has access to shade and lots of fresh water.

For more ideas, try posting this question on the Feral Colonies forum; they may have more experience with this.

Good luck!
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