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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-Chat(Moderators: bhcordova, RedHotMama, BFW) How long does it take for cats to adjust to a new home?
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Author Topic: How long does it take for cats to adjust to a new home?  (Read 4788 times)
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ParLawGod
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« on: Sep 25, 2010, 10:23AM »

My wife and I will be moving into a new apartment in three weeks, and I'm mainly concerned about our two cats (sisters, 1.5-years-old). We got them when they were kittens, and at the time they adjusted very quickly. I am just concerned that now that they are adult cats, a move may be a little more difficult for them to handle.

Any advice for when we move into the new apartment? I want to make this move as easy on them as possible.  Don't know

Oh, and here's some photos for those of you that love cats!
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Gabe Langfur

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« Reply #1 on: Sep 25, 2010, 11:38AM »

I think it depends a lot on the cats. My wife and I had two (one died suddenly for no apparent reason several years ago, and the other died of old age and inflammatory bowel disease this summer). We got them at the same time but they weren't from the same litter. One was very outgoing and assertive; the other was more skittish but very affectionate with us. Not surprisingly, the former adapted easily to new environments and the latter took more time. After we moved into our house she got more and more comfortable to the point where she no longer hid when other people were over, but that took a few years.

In short, I don't think you'll have a problem.
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Gabe Langfur
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 25, 2010, 12:39PM »

Make sure their food dishes, water dishes, litter boxes, scratching posts, etc. are all in [relatively] the same place.  For example, if the litter box is in your bathroom, make sure it's in the new bathroom.  If the food dish is in the kitchen, make sure it's in the kitchen in the new place. 

Put some special treats in their food dishes while they watch you.  That helps reinforce that the new place works just like the old one.

And especially, lots of love and attention.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 25, 2010, 03:44PM »

Oh, and here's some photos for those of you that love cats!

I admit it - first thing I said when I opened the topic was "Awwwwwwwww!"  Out loud.  Embarrassed!

They are absolutely beautiful, cute, adorable.... Wow!

I agree with Bruce as far as making sure you have some of their familiar things in easy to find places in the new apartment.  You might also consider confining them to a small area like one bedroom while all the moving's going on.  Once you've pretty much finished getting the furniture and larger things in place in other rooms, then let them wander around and find their favorite sofa, etc. 

My daughter moved her two cats with her to Georgia about four months ago, and although they were both a little unsettled by the long car ride, they both adjusted fairly quickly to their new home.  Both cats initially found hiding places in the new apartment, but in the end the nice big floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room won them over and they were basking in the sun rather quickly.  She also gave them even more attention than normal, which seemed to help. I think it helped tremendously that the two cats had each other. 

I hope your move goes smoothly, and I'm sure your kitties will adjust well.  Let us know how it goes.  :)
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 26, 2010, 03:17AM »

I've never kept cats, but my three oldest friends always have. As long as they're apartment/house cats, I shouldn't think there would be any problem with settling in - excellent advice above. However, it must be a worrying period for people (such as my friends) who eventually intend to let them into the garden, in case they get lost or try to go "home".

BTW, I don't agree (and neither do those friends) with the popular concept of "putting the cat out for the night". I've seen too many cats sitting underneath cars on rainy nights, looking cold and miserable. If they want to go for a wander outside, that's fine, if they don't, let 'em snooze on the sofa all night....
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 26, 2010, 05:49AM »

I could never put them outside for the night...I wouldn't be able to sleep. I take them outside here and there, but always supervised.

Thank you for the tips so far :) My wife and I have been talking further, and we are going to try and also work it out so that one of us is always there for the first couple days. I'll probably end up sleeping in the chair too so they have a familiar face around in case something spooks them in the middle of the night.

Oh, and Alea...these are especially for you! As you can tell, I'm always taking pictures. Can you also tell that they're very spooled???
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 26, 2010, 05:51AM »

I had an aunt who had cats.  They always used to wander the neighborhood.

She and my uncle bought a nice new house on the other side of town.  My uncle was a devoted gadgeteer (even though he had 10 thumbs) and had special cat doors put on all the external entrances to his house.

They moved in and the next day the cat disappeared.  Never found it.  We think it may have tried to go "home" and may have met with a catastrophe en route (sorry for the unintentional pun).
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 26, 2010, 06:11AM »

A traveling cat story.  A full male in the P.I.  Got loose a couple of times, returned once himself, & once found by the Air Police, 2-3 miles away (on Clark AB on Luson).  Time for us to return to the states, had to decide whether to bring him or a male Boxer, chose the cat, he was much smaller than the dog, cheaper.  Quarantined the cat with friends in LA, then shipped again to Ft Worth, no apparent problems.  Kept him confined inside at the new house for 30 days, finally let him out, never to be seen again.  The obvious moral was to ship the dog, I guess. 
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 26, 2010, 08:05AM »

"putting the cat out for the night"
Around these parts, that's a good way to lose a cat. Even if you don't live close enough to the foothills to have the odd coyote running the neighborhood (not to mention the occasional puma or bobcat), there's the danger they'll get tangled up with an opossum or some such.
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 26, 2010, 10:11AM »

When I was a kid we had a couple of tabby cats - brother and sister from the same litter.  We lived on a small island in a semi-tropical climate with no cars, so the cats got used to roaming pretty freely.

When we moved to the other side of the island, a mile or so away, the female moved willingly.  The male, who had fought his way to the top of the local cat population, ran away every time we let him out, and if we kept him locked up, he made our lives miserable.

We finally let him go live at the old place with the new people, who reluctantly adopted him.  He lived a long and pugnacious life there. We missed him more than he missed us I am sure.

Some cats, like most trombonists, can never really be domesticated. 
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 26, 2010, 07:22PM »

Oh, and Alea...these are especially for you! As you can tell, I'm always taking pictures. Can you also tell that they're very spooled???

You have some wonderful pictures! I love the one of the two of them peeking out over the edge of the cat bed, and the cat in the box of packing peanuts made me laugh.  They just cannot resist such a treat! Of course they're not spoiled, not one bit. ;-)  Thanks so much for sharing them. 

Speaking of always taking pictures, Brian took a few more of our Gracie this evening because she was being so funny.  I commented that I couldn't possibly post it on Facebook because I probably already have 100 cat pictures on there and my friends are likely already cat-pictured out.  :/  Really, we have two cats and no television - no television needed with these two little characters for entertainment.
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 26, 2010, 07:43PM »

I don't think there will be any problems adjusting to the new place.  They'll like exploring it and making it their new home too.

I'd be more concerned about the car trip.  If the cats are not used to riding in a car, you should start giving them short rides now.  Ours hated riding at first, but grew to like looking out the window at the changing scenery.  I never used a cat carrier, always just held him on my lap.

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« Reply #12 on: Sep 26, 2010, 08:16PM »

Car trips.  One of our trips was cross country from Seattle to Michigan.  Young tom, not used to cars (he first hid behind the glove compartment - couldn't find him for a few moments). Got a tranquilizer from our vet.  Slept during the day, but roamed the motel room all night; we put a long rope on him in case one of the small kids lets him out - dragged it across the headboard of the bed.  Second night we put him in the bathroom with his litter box, cried and scratched the box all night with a strong echo off the tile walls. 
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 26, 2010, 10:25PM »

Yes, they will find places to hide that you didn't know existed.  And you might later find parts of you car smell a lot like a litter box.   Get them used to riding NOW.
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 27, 2010, 06:40AM »

Travel suggestion.  Use a cage, place it in the middle of the back set facing forward so the cat can see the sky and the passenger(s).  (Cats are escape artists, that's why I'd recommend the cage; one of my daughters moved (Salt lake City to Portland, OR) with her critter, turning the cage to the front quieted it down considerably.)
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 27, 2010, 10:33AM »

I always found one  of mine to be more interested in looking out the window most of the time; the other preferred to hide.  Depends on the cat I guess.
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 27, 2010, 10:51AM »

My Vet has an interesting term for house cats that are allowed outside.

He calls them pelts.

You might guess he's not in favor of it....
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 27, 2010, 10:53AM »

I could never put them outside for the night...I wouldn't be able to sleep. I take them outside here and there, but always supervised.

You are a good owner. I volunteered at the local shelter for a while, keeping kitties inside whether you are in the city of the country is important for their health and happiness. Yeah, they like to explore outside. So do babies.

 Good!
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