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EEK help! Moving my kitty!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'll be moving my 9 year old cat, max, to a new home very shortly. He's lived indoors previously, but for the past 5 years has been an outdoor cat. occasionally dring the coldest winter days my parents would let him indoors. He still verifies the litterbox as a bathroom. However its not the litterbox I'm worried about.

His new home with my boyfriend will be with 4 other cats in a VERY large new house. Max has always been a stand-offish type cat. And has always made it very clear I'm HIS GIRL. I'm worried about the way he may react with the new cats, and the new house. is there any way I can lessen the blow on my older kitty?

The other cats in the house are vetted regularly, and free of parisites.
Some are de-clawed.
Max, Is not, and i'm fearful he may react either violently or VERY fearfully twards this situation, most likely the other cats!

I'll also be transporting him about 45 miles in a car to his new home,is there any "best way" to take a cat for a car trip?

ANY help or advice from anybody would be much appreciated. Max is my best friend, and I want him to be as comfortable and ready for this as I am!
just today he let himself in the house while I was showering, and when I came upstairs he was asleep on my bed. I think he knows whats up. I got a nice powder coated crate for him, and have been crate training him for about 2 weeks now.

(I also use to train dogs)

thanks all!
-Alicia & Max
post #2 of 3
Hi, I've moved lots of cats lots of times, and it's not hard, but you have to be consistent - don't fall for their pathetic stuff, and be 'aware' (of where they are all the time. Get a cardboard kitty travelling box from your vet (they usually have them very cheap) and put him in backwards (otherwise it's like trying to squeeze toothpaste into a tube!). Leave him closed in the bathroom or somewhere empty and off limits to everyone at the old place till your stuff is all moved out, and if possible leave him there til you're all ready for him at the new one. Be 100% sure ALL windows and doors are closed when you bring him in and have a room ready to take him to from the door, with a box, food bowl, water, his old toys, etc. and let him stay there o-night (with you?). Rub a towel (next day) over each of the other cats one at a time and put the towels in his room to smell. Do the same to him for the others to smell. Any possibility of using a kid's lattice-work stretchy door to help them meet each other then? Otherwise wait til everyone's had a big meal, and 5 mins to wash, then bring him out and let them sniff (all windows closed!). They'll probably go in diff. directions this time. If they start to get too hissy (a bit is normal), put him back in his room until at least an hour or more later, and try again. Note any particular inter-cat confrontations (who's agressive to whom) and try to let him interact with the others more at first. He'll know he's the new one in their territory, so he or others may run and hide, but don't fuss them... let them take the time they need to work it out. It always seems to take about 10 days til they settle down and accept each other. Needless to say(?) I would use the opportunity for him to convert to being an indoor cat, or if not, at least use a 4-pt harness (behind the front legs strap as well as a neck strap) and leash and walk him slowly all over the property a few times, and around the block. Let him sniff it all! So if he does get out before he's adapted to his new home (couple of wks, etc.), he's less likely to get lost. And if he does alert your old neighbors to watch for him, though not chase him... better he hangs around there til you come. Anyhow, be firm - it won't kill him, but being lost etc. can. Good luck.
post #3 of 3

There's a lot of good advice in this thread:
Introducing Cats (click here)

and this article:
"I'd like you to meet..." Introducing Cats (click here)

The most important thing to do is take the introductions slowly, carefully following the steps & not taking any shortcuts, especially if your cat is territorial.

The story of my move with my cats into my husband's house & their successful introduction is in the first thread (and one of my cats is VERY territorial).

I put my cats in a separate room with all their toys, beds, and a cat tree, and put my computer in there so I could still spend some time in there with them even if I was busy. I also blocked the gap under the door with a towel, to give my cats a little time to adjust to their new environment before adding the stress of seeing another cat on the other side of the door.

When they'd settled in I removed the towel from under the door and began the introduction process described in the article. I waited to open the door to introduce them to each other until they had been playing under the door with each other without any hissing or growling for several days, so they were actually eager to see each other at that point. When I did open the door and let them see each other, I fed them all some yummy canned food and treats, so they'd have positive associations with seeing each other for the first time. It worked beautifully - there was never any fighting at all.

It was a slow process, but completely worth the trouble - now all the cats get along fine, and my territorial boy and my husbands big boy are best buddies - they groom each other & play together frequently.

If you take things very slowly, hopefully you'll have a very smooth introduction and the cats will become friends. But if you're worried about your cat's claws being a problem around the declawed cats, you can always trim them a little bit to blunt the tips.
Trimming cats' claws (click here)

I hope your move goes well
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