moving cats

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by faithgoeson, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. faithgoeson

    faithgoeson Active Member

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    Does anyone have any old wives tales or ideas to keep my 6 kitties from running away when we get to our new home? I am concerned they will run off and never be seen again. Is it possible to litter train adult cats who've always been outside? I have three indoor cats and 3 outdoor cats. I could keep my indoor ones in, but what to do about the outside ones?
     
  2. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    My cats all seem to take to the litter box instintively, regardless of the previous indoor experience. They have also taken to the dirt in the potted tree, but they are only doing what comes naturally.
     

  3. melina

    melina Well-Known Member

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    I've moved cats cross-country several times, always with success. The key is to have a place at the other end where they can stay locked up and quiet for a week or more. I designated a room (couple of times it was a spare bathroom), put them, their food and water, and a couple of litter boxes in with the cats, then shut the door, AND KEEP IT SHUT!!!! Put a sign on the door, so no one else will open it by accident. A couple of times a day go in and talk to them, sit with them, pet them, feed them. If possible have a window where they can look out. They need to bond with the new place before you just turn them out to fend for themselves. When you do open the door, just let one at a time out, for a few minutes, then gradually increase the time. They will explore, slink around, find new hiding places, and settle in. One at a time insures you don't have someone pounce on someone else and frighten them into running away. The outdoor kitties can learn all about litter boxes. It's more about territory with them, and feeling that they have a place where they are safe from predators. Good luck.
     
  4. SunsetSonata

    SunsetSonata Broken Dreamer Supporter

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    All of Melina's recommendations are spot on... do not let the cats outside for at least a week if not more even if it breaks your heart! Your simple feedings for the first few days helps them to establish that this place is the new home base. And if you let them wander before they have familiarized themselves with all the smells and such of the new home, you risk them getting lost in search of what was familiar.

    I would definitely supervise them for a while when you start letting them out, one at a time as suggested, to make sure they don't wander far at first.

    In case you decide to keep all your cats indoors on a permanent basis - I haven't been here long enough to know if you know that rule about the litter boxes - you already have 3 indoor cats so I assume you have 4 litter boxes or otherwise don't have problems? Once you have more than one cat you often need to give them more "breathing room in the bathroom" and supply at least one litter box per cat plus one, or at least invest in one of those self-cleaning litter boxes in addition to what you already have. Otherwise with such a crowd they'll establish their own dumping spaces.
     
  5. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Yes what Melina says. I'd say at least 3 weeks but I'm paranoid. Worked for me.
     
  6. faithgoeson

    faithgoeson Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the great advice. Maybe the cats, and the carpet, will be spared afterall. I'm not sure what room to put them in, but I'm sure we'll figure something out.