Moving house with your cat Monday 11 June 2018 @ 08:00
MOVING HOUSE WITH YOUR CAT
We recently asked our followers about one piece of advice they would give to someone who is moving house with a cat. We all know that the process of moving house can be very stressful for territorial animals resulting in increased risk of them going missing.
Thank you, your response was truly amazing! We received so many great tips and valuable suggestions, that we decided to combine them all into one handy checklist that contains the wisdom and experience of so many people. It is a must-have for every family sharing their home with feline companions. So share it around and print/save it into your cat’s personal file (don’t have one? Time to make one) for future reference. Here we go…
“Moving house with your cat” guide.
CATTERY ACCOMMODATION. If you can afford it, place your cat with a cattery for a few days while moving.
Hazel Luckstedt recommends: “It is a good idea to put them in a cattery on the day the removal man comes. The removal of the furniture and the strange men really freak out most cats. I leave mine in the cattery until the furniture is safely in the new house. When you bring them home to the new house there are familiar things and smells which help to settle them in their new home.”
“We too put ours in a cattery. They are indoor cats and don't want them escaping through open doors during moving.” adds Wendy Goffage
KEEP THINGS UNDER CONTROL. If cattery is not a option, try following these steps provided by Toni Farlow:
“3-4 days prior to moving leave [your cats’] carriers out for them to get accustomed to.
On the day of moving, keep them in a room that won’t be accessed until you finally go.
Put them in carriers and take to new home. DO NOT LET THEM OUT YET!
Put them in a room that won’t be accessed while shifting furniture. Shut the door and leave them in the room in their carriers until all removalists have left. The cats can be let out of their carriers now but DO NOT LET THEM OUT OF THIS ROOM. Let them become accustomed to this room and its smells over 2-3 days. This gives them time to regain confidence after moving from their old home.
Depending on your cat’s confidence level, gradually let them explore more rooms a bit at a time. This could take 1-3 days or 1-3 weeks! ONLY THEN CAN YOU LET THEM OUTSIDE IF THEY ARE ALLOWED.” - Toni Farlow
Clare Dolphin also reminds you may need to “Wear earplugs for the drive…”
TAKE TIME TO ADJUST. So many of you have emphasised the importance of giving your cat enough time to get used to the indoors first by keeping them in for at least 2 weeks before allowing them to explore the outdoors.
Jan Kelly says: “I always keep them inside until they are comfortable in their new environment. Depending on the personality of the cat this could be any time between 4 - 14 days”
Christine Vimini adds: “Do not be tempted to let them outside, no matter how much they’re used to going outside and no matter how much they whinge. They must bond to the new place & that can take time. Depending on your cat, at least 2 weeks, up to 4 indoors.”
“If you think you’ve kept them inside for long enough, give it another week” suggests Kimberly Skilton
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS. Once your feline friend is used to the new house, you can take him or her outside to start exploring the surroundings:
Samuel Merlino says: “carry them around the block a few times or take them on a lead, if they don't like the lead then walk alongside them keeping an absolute HAWK eye on them so they don't get out of your reach… They should get familiar with the smells and the route home IF they do ever get out. And believe me, cats will find a way to get out! The thing is to make sure they are familiar with the territory so they know the way home and the safe places to hide if they get scared.”
Gill Youngleson also points out that “If other cats come into his new territory, you need to help your cat establish his by clapping loudly and frightening other cats away. It’s worked for two big moves.”
Deborahlea Harrison adds: “be on the lookout for other neighbourhood cats that may have already staked the place as territory as this is when cat fights happen.”
Another great idea is provided by Cathy Donaldson-Serkin: “get to know your neighbours asap. And tell them about your cat family member”
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. Once you are confident about your kitty going outside on their own consider this advice:
Judy Lidstone says: “don't feed before letting out feed when they come back inside”
Anna Purgar also adds: “When you finally let them outside don't pick them up and place them in the middle of the lawn. Just open the door, sit with them so they can explore and feel secure.”
HELP TO RELAX: Many people reported to have great success with the following handy tricks:
Vivienne Timmins says: “Mum use to smear butter on their paws, her logic always was that they can't stand the feeling of it on them and will automatically groom and lick to clean off, which leads to being tired followed by sleep and thus starts the acclimatising to their new surroundings, new smells and noises that are in the background as they sleep.”
Christine Gillie explains: “Supposed to work because the logic is they lay back and clean themselves… so relax and accept it as home. I have always done it immediately on bringing them into the new home”
Samantha Moreland also adds this tip: “Cats have glands on their cheeks, rub a face washer on their face and then rub their scent in your new house, will help them settle faster as it will smell like them”
BRING FAMILIAR THINGS. Bring to your new house as many things from the old house as you can.
Nola Squeak Brewer recommends: “Make sure you have their usual bedding for them to sleep on… don't wash it as they need familiar smells to help them settle and feel at home”
Diana Bassani also adds: “don't wash a sheet or blanket that has your scent on it for them to cuddle up with.”
PLENTY OF TLC. And of course don’t forget to give them love and attention throughout the ordeal.
Kat Katrijn says: “Don’t get so caught up in your own moving-stress that you forget about spending time with them. They need to be ensured that the bond you share didn’t stay behind in the old house.”
SUPPLEMENTS. Try special cat pheromones to help your cat feel more calm and relaxed in the new environment:
Sharon Young recommends: “Plug in some feliway. You can get it at the vet. Sprays happy pheromones into the air to help keep your cat calm. Also good when introducing new cats.”
“If they are very stressed get some Rescue Remedy and put it in their food. Works really well to calm them down.” adds Kellie Mayne
CONSIDER KEEPING INDOORS. We strongly encourage you to consider keeping your cat inside on a permanent basis or think about setting up an enclosure for you little buddy:
Mel Brown make a great point: “Moving to a new house is a great time to change the rules on the family moggie. Cats are protected from being hit by cars, fights with other cats potentially catching feline aids, attacked by neighbourhood dogs, being poisoned, stolen or lost. New homes, new rules, keep your moggie inside.”
“I built a cat run they aren't that expensive if u want kitty to have outdoor time” adds Fiona Mcdonald
Jenni Moore also says: “Keep them indoors ALL the time. They are safe & so is the wildlife outside.”
UPDATE PERSONAL DETAILS. And last but definitely not least, make sure everything is updated with your new details.
Jan Jolly reminds: “UPDATE ALL DETAILS!!! Before the move...microchip, vet, contact numbers etc…”
Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone for your insightful input in creating this “Moving house with your cat” guide.
REUNION STORY OF THE DAY: Rajah the cat from Sydney NSW Tuesday 01 May 2018 @ 13:00
REUNION STORY OF THE DAY: Rajah
"Raji is a tabby/white DSH from the Cat Protection Society, he is 7 and I have had him since he was 2 months old. I adopted him a couple of weeks after my first cat, Joseph died, as I was suffering terribly from 'empty arms syndrome' and couldn't bear not having that beautiful little soul around the house.
I let him out into the garden for a run in the fresh air as usual on Friday night, thinking that the garden is secure and he has never once escaped all his life. However, this time, somehow, and we still don't know how, he did get out. I closed the back door behind him to avoid him bringing in mice, as he has recently started doing - again, he has never done this before a few weeks ago. Not sure if it is the long hot summer, but we have had a lot more mice lately.
When he disappeared I felt shock, disbelief, fear that he had eaten a mouse that had been poisoned and crawled away somewhere in pain, or to die. Then huge grief - I can't recall the last time I cried so much.
I walked around the neighbourhood many times to look for him. Concentrated on any out-of-the-way hiding places he could be and drains, dark corners, etc. Told the neighbours and asked them to keep an eye out. I added his details to your website and made missing posters and stuck them up around the neighbourhood. It all felt pretty futile as he could have been anywhere but I (and my housemate) were so upset, we had to do something to keep ourselves busy.
Neighbours looked for him, even locals we didn't know did the same. Strangers who saw me sticking up posters empathised and wishes me well.
It helped me to know I was doing all I could and the FB messages I got from a few people were very sweet - some shared my post with other FB sites too. Some people talked about having found their missing pets and that gave me some hope.
A few people (including you) suggested I look for him in the night time when it is quiet and I have a better chance of hearing him miaow and he had a better chance of hearing me call him. I went out around the neighbourhood at midnight and found him in the back lane, close to home, tired and hungry but otherwise fine.
I am so grateful that I could ask the broader community for help, knowing many eyes were better than just mine and know that the message about his disappearance was getting out there.
I was so touched by the people on the FB page who shared my post and sent their good wishes. It's wonderful to think that so many people love animals and understood what I was going through. So, thank you again." - Alex
REUNION OF THE DAY: Ciccio the fox terrier from Sydney NSW Tuesday 24 April 2018 @ 00:00
REUNION OF THE DAY: Ciccio
"The best piece of advice I can give is to be extremely active in searching for your lost pet.
Definitely, do NOT sit at home and wait for a phone call. Multiple posts on Facebook and other platforms of social media help. There are usually gardeners, property maintenance people and rangers in areas near new suburbs so make sure the owners of the lost pets go around and email/text photos of their lost pet and their contact details.
As well as this, contact Blacktown and Hawkesbury pounds and ensure they haven’t yet received your dog. I think these are the only pounds in Sydney.
And of course, use Lost Pet Finders. I extremely loved your services because you made me feel supported throughout this whole process which calmed me down. When calm, people can think clearer. But if the organisation was rude and very distant with their assistance, I would’ve stressed out more and probably would’ve given up hope.
Lost Pet Finders encouraged me to keep looking even when I thought I had given up! Thank you so so much!" - Jess
REUNION STORY OF THE DAY: Max the Eclectus Parrot from Sydney NSW Monday 23 April 2018 @ 13:00
REUNION STORY OF THE DAY: Max the Eclectus
"Thank you once again. It was such a good feeling to have my Max back and for this I thank each an everyone who took their time to post and share on Facebook. I can’t believe there are still such kind human beings on this earth.
I got to know about Max as one lady inform me about the post on Facebook regarding she handed my lost bird to the lady from where I got my max as she too lost her bird and she thought Max was her bird.
When she found out that it was not her bird she posted on Facebook again that she found the bird. After that everyone whoever seen that post started sending messages to me. Even Kellyville pets send me the link and I found this lady with whom my bird was in her care.
I contact her from Las Vegas as I was on holiday but she was kind to respond us but we had a hard time to convince her that it is our bird. The strange thing was that she already gave this bird to someone who claimed my bird as her. After giving her evidence she finally agreed with us and took our bird from the one who took it from her and rest is the history.
When we lose my bird my family was so upset as he has been with us for three years and we are so used with him. The day he flew away I put him outside the cage in the evening but after some time he was missing. We found his missing after we checked our CCTV camera.
As soon as he flew away I posted on Facebook and on many websites but I did not get any response from anyone. After that, I went to the USA on holiday but my bird’s memory was still haunting me so on holiday I registered on your website that is Lostpetfinders and after that, within few days I found my Bird.
What I want to say to all pet lovers is that never lose hope but still never stop trying to find them and of course try to register on Lostpetfinders as it helped me find my bird back." - Radha
REUNION STORY OF THE DAY: Katie the dog from Sydney NSW Saturday 07 April 2018 @ 13:00
REUNITED OF THE DAY: Katie
"I received a call from a home owner saying they found her on their front verandah this morning. They think she might have been there for at least a few hours because their own dogs were barking.
She was found 3 streets away from the last confirmed siting. She was the end of a road that ended in a cauldersac. I think she just stopped from exhaustion. She was a dog that only manages walks of 500m but had traveled 2 km so was further away than I thought she would be.
We do know she had backtracked but from where from I don't know. It was her dog collar with her details that enabled the person to contact me. I had her home address and telephone number; my mobile number and The NRMA membership dog tag on two dog tags. She also was microchipped and registered with the local council.
Things I realised throughout the ordeal:
- I had previously pre-registered her details into a lost pet site in case she disappear but at the time couldn't remember the site name. Will now have it close by.
- I didn't have a good photo of her handy for inserting into lost pet sites. Time was lost looking for one.
- She was being minded by my sister in another suburb so was in unfamiliar teritory when she got out. This made her less predictable.
- She had been displaying signs of anxiety before the escape. I chose to continue my holiday instead of attending to it.
- The lost pet sites for your local area are invaluable. Once it's more than a search beyond a street or two bring them in. They can transmit your pet's details quickly and widely to others and the more eyes the better.They also had search suggestions I hadn't considered.
- The lost pet sites are also vital for recording sitings by people. Without sitings there is too much area to search and valuable time is lost. This would be the most important part of a search - being able to receive input by others in real time.
- I was flawed by the number of people on the net who were willing to help. There's an army of fellow pet lovers out there who are willing to help and want nothing more in return than to see you reunited with your pet.
-Having support from other pet lovers helped me psychologically. Knowing many people were looking made it easier to bear.
-Even though my dog's location was rung through via her dog collar tag, using an internet lost pet site was still invaluable. It was the sitings that told me where to look and it was the platform that enabled me to receive that information.
In my opinion internet lost pet sites provide a crucial role in lost pet searching." - Jenny