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Outdoor cat moving to first floor flat

(8 Posts)
ScreamIfYouWantToGoFaster Sun 21-Apr-13 21:21:04

I'm (hopefully, fingers crossed) moving home in a few weeks, and unfortunately I'm having to downsize from a house to a flat in the process. It's a first floor flat, and I'm just a little nervous about how my cat will adapt.

Fortunately the ground floor flat has a small extension, which means that there is a single storey roof coming out just below the living room window of the upper flat. Even more fortunately the living room window goes all the way down to just a few cms off the floor. So my plan is simply to get a window cat flap installed and let my cat access outside by using the lower roof.

I guess my concerns are;
1) Has anyone else tried an arrangement like this? Are there some obvious obstacles to this plan that I haven't spotted yet?
2) How will I help my cat to get used to her new home, and know where to come back to, when I can't go into the garden with her, or effectively call her home at night? sad

I know I need to keep her inside for at least a couple of weeks after the move, but I don't really see how being familiar with the inside of the flat will help her when she's outside trying to find her way back to the flat for the first time?!

Bilbobagginstummy Sun 21-Apr-13 21:27:46

Can the cat definitely get on and off the downstairs roof to/from the ground?

SacreBlue Sun 21-Apr-13 21:34:01

I have five cats (one unfortunately missing at sad) and live in first floor flat with no means for them to get in and out themselves. I generally open the door for the ones wanting out in the morning then they miaow to get let in (sometimes them come in, eat and want back out so keeping me fit on the stairs!)

I can easily hear all of them even one of the younger girls who has only a tiny squeak. If they aren't all in by bedtime I call and they come.

My ex had a similar flat set up and his cat was fine coming and going through a small top window on to roof of garage below - only issue was occasionally knocking plates over as window was near sink grin

I think the smell is 'home' so they know where to come back to. If you have a wind chime that can help too but best is of course that your cat knows it's name and your voice and will come when called.

(Remember to change address details on it's chip)

ScreamIfYouWantToGoFaster Sun 21-Apr-13 21:38:38

I'm not really sure how to 100% check that confused although that thought has crossed my mind more than once. The photos I've seen of the garden (bearing in mind the sale hasn't gone through yet) show a trellis with a bushy climbing plant going up the wall from ground level - so maybe she could climb that? Mostly I'm just assuming that she will probably walk along the wooden boundary fence, which goes down the side of the extension, and get down from that fence in whatever way she normally gets down from our current garden fence.

Is that a reasonable assumption do you think? Even after the move I won't have access to the garden so I'm not sure I'll be able to check things out at ground level for myself.

ScreamIfYouWantToGoFaster Sun 21-Apr-13 21:44:38

Thanks Sacre, it's great to hear from someone who's had a cat in an upper flat before. Unfortunately my flat is part of a row of terraced houses, so I would be reluctant to let my cat out onto the road at the front. It's not a particularly busy road - it's one way with speed bumps due to a nearby school - but it would be awkward for her to then find her way round to all the fun gardens at the back of the houses!

Thanks for the chip reminder - it's on my to-do list as soon as the exchange takes place! Also thanks for the wind chime idea, I really like that one. My cat always returns when I call her name (if she can hear me) but I worry that calling out of a window will be less effective than now when I can go outside to the bottom of the garden.

Mostly, thanks for the reassurance!

ScreamIfYouWantToGoFaster Sun 21-Apr-13 21:47:27

Also Sacre I meant to say - so sorry to hear that one of your cats is missing! sad That's so stressful! My cat went missing for about a week last summer, and I worried myself sick about her, but then one day she just strolled calmly in through the cat flap as if she'd only popped out for an hour! I think she must have been stuck in someone's shed/garage or something like that, although she didn't seem especially hungry. My point is simply that fingers crossed your cat will do exactly the same thing, hopefully later on tonight!

SacreBlue Sun 21-Apr-13 23:32:22

Thanks Scream he's a real heartbreaker so I think he has found a house that spoils him worse than I did.

SWYM with terrace (we/cats have easy access to garden and are set back from road) the back window sounds best solution.

Our ones come when we call out the window - I shout out the back windows overlooking the garden & give them 5mins to get round to the front door before I head down. Since your wee one knows & resonds then I doubt you'll have a problem.

Our neighbours (next door 1st floor) also had cats, 1 never went out (after falling off balcony when kitten!) but the other was out constantly. Their side of the building was close to a high wall and they tied a thin plank (nothing a human could climb on) from their balcony to the wall so they didn't have as much to and fro- ing on the stairs. You can see when you move in how it goes.

Our one that's missing got stuck in a back yard once and we rescued him by lowering a laundry basket on ropes and shouted at him to get in - to our bloody relieved surprise he did and we were able to pull him up and sang the ATeam theme on route home

That would be PITA to do regularly out your window but it's great fun once ;)

TheChaoGoesMu Sun 21-Apr-13 23:42:58

Not sure. I lived in a flat like that for a few months and my cat couldn't actually get down to the garden. But saying your cat can, I used to just keep my cat in the house for 1 week each time I moved, and then let her out. She always came back with no probs. We moved to 7 different houses in her life time.

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