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Thread: moving with a very timid kitty

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18

    moving with a very timid kitty

    she adopted me two years ago and she was a full grown kitty at that time so she is just over 3 yrs now
    my kitty is really scared of her own shadow

    she is cuddly with me at times but it has to be when she wants to and I must surrender lol

    I remember when I brought her home it took two technicians to put her in the cat container so I think she was traumatized at some point in her short life

    I am concerned because I am moving to a new apt on Oct 1 and want to know how I make it as stress free as possible

    I am thinking do I move her last but seeing all the stuff going out might really terrify her
    do I move her first and maybe keep her in the bathroom at the new place and close the door?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    3,387
    I am thinking do I move her last but seeing all the stuff going out might really terrify her
    do I move her first and maybe keep her in the bathroom at the new place and close the door?

    I don't have any real suggestions as I've never moved a pet from one home to another or had an extremely timid cat. However, I am sure there are others here who have and will have suggestions.

    I would like to say that IF at first you put her in the bathroom at the new place and close the door, someone .. don't know who... might just open the door and out she goes. Be careful with her. Good Luck with the move.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    37,424
    Definitely consider moving her first, and if you can, bring her over to the new place - with litter box and food, of course, and sit with her for a while until she calms down. leave her some toys, but shot her in one room - the bathroom is fine - and put a big note on the door that says "DO NOT OPEN!!!" in case anyone is helping you move! If you have a little radio you can put in the room with her for some noise, that might help.

    When my brother and his family moved, his cat got so freaked out by the process he managed to wedge himself into a gap between the floors when someone moved a box my brother had placed to block that hole. It took a couple weeks for him to emerge to the now-empty house, thankfully my Dad was around so folks could make visits with a little food/water, but Pip was one freaked-out boy!
    I've Been Frosted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    indianapolis,indiana usa
    Posts
    22,855
    Although I've never had the experience of moving with pets, I did find good ideas on how to do it
    especially with a fearful cat. Good luck with your move. I hope all goes well.

    http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtua...-cat-new-house
    I've Been Boo'd

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    syracuse, ny
    Posts
    322
    Definitely move your precious cat first. I have moved several times in my life and every time with a cat or cats. What I have always done is if you can bring your cat to the apartment the night before the move and keep it in its carrier with the door open and allow your cat to be able to get acclimated to the new sounds, smells, and surroundings. Allow it to go anywhere it wants but make sure you cat proof any places it could get stuck in or small places it could crawl into and hide. You and your cat will be fine, and during the move place it in it's carrier with door open with food and litter box in a room you can keep closed until move is over, this will help stress levels on the both of you. Good luck!!!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
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    37,424
    Quote Originally Posted by kaoK'okung View Post
    Definitely move your precious cat first. I have moved several times in my life and every time with a cat or cats. What I have always done is if you can bring your cat to the apartment the night before the move and keep it in its carrier with the door open and allow your cat to be able to get acclimated to the new sounds, smells, and surroundings. Allow it to go anywhere it wants but make sure you cat proof any places it could get stuck in or small places it could crawl into and hide. You and your cat will be fine, and during the move place it in it's carrier with door open with food and litter box in a room you can keep closed until move is over, this will help stress levels on the both of you. Good luck!!!
    Good to hear this from someone who has done it many times! And welcome back to Pet Talk!
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    5,381
    Recently went through this myself with a cat who is terrified of his own shadow, much less moving to a brand new house (seriously, we can't even bring a box in from UPS without him hissing and running away in fear and hiding for HOURS).

    Moving the cat first is fine. I would recommend dedicating a smaller room to the cat(s) for the first few days or week or so, do NOT let him have full reign of the new house yet, just one bedroom or in my case the laundry room. Put in some familiar items; their furniture, scratching posts, litter, food and water (if applicable).

    Look into getting some phermone diffusers, like Feliway, for the room. The diffuser usually lasts for about a month, and I can't remember what square footage they recommend it for but it worked well in our laundry room in the unfinished part of the basement. They also have a spray which works very well, too, but it needs to be applied a little frequently and the initial alcohol smell from spraying can upset cats... so you'd need to spray a blanket or something, let it sit for 5 minutes or so, then put it in the room once the alcohol smell goes away.

    They also have special "calming" diets out there, too, that may help take the edge off. They are not medications, but more of a natural supplement.

    Then, once everything is moved in, boxes are unpacked, and the dust has settled... then you can slowly let him out of the room to explore rooms one by one.

    Again... you don't want to overwhelm him with the entire house. Maybe the first few days let him explore the basement, then move upstairs to the livingroom, then the kitchen a few days later, then the bedrooms, etc. But take it slow. You'll know what I mean when I say "slink-walking" that freaked out cats will do... Voltron "slink-walked" around the house for the first week or so after introducing him to all the rooms, and would run and hide (for hours upon hours) if something happened (loud noise, something falling, etc).

    I continued using the Feliway diffuser for another month afterwards in the laundry room. Even after he was more comfortable with the rest of the house, he would still go down to the laundry room as his "safe zone". The dogs weren't allowed down there, it was quieter, and it was his "refuge" when he would start to get stressed out.

    Oh... another VERY VERY VERY important note here... MAKE SURE HE IS EATING. Stressed out cats may not eat, and cats MUST eat every 24 hours or they are at risk for getting "hepatic lipidosis", or "fatty liver" disease... and it can be fatal. My sister's cat actually got so stressed out after their move that she got fatty liver not once, but twice, and ultimately had to be euthanized because of the irreparable damage to her liver

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