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How long do you keep your cat inside after a house move?

(26 Posts)
DeliveredByKiki Wed 18-May-16 16:25:01

Our cat was a rescue when we got her, I think we kept her in for about a month before we let her outside - but she'd come from two shelters whereas now we've moved house and she's been used to 2 years of freedom and is climbing the walls (and pissed on my side of the bed because she's mad at me and I'm top dog for not letting her out - cue lots of treats and playing and grovelling)

We've only been in the house a week, can I keep her in just one more then spend a weekend slowly letting her out under supervision, or does t have to be a full month?

FWIW she never ventured that far from the old house but she is a huntress and likes to climb and run around - I'm doing the best I can wit new scratch posts and lots of playtime. Old house is only a few blocks away but there's a relatively busy road between the two

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 18-May-16 17:11:32

4 weeks is standard.

rissabirnie Fri 20-May-16 17:14:08

When we moved house I intended keeping our two in for at least two weeks but after one week one of them lost patience and very deliberately had a wee on the mat by the door. I let them out and they were fine. They didn't (as I'd feared) try to return to their old house or wander off and get lost. They were both 12 and had lived their entire lives at our old house until moving.

LittleCandle Fri 20-May-16 17:20:00

I was told two weeks. When we moved here, the boys were in the conservatory, looking at my friend's two cats through the glass door. After a week, we let them mingle in the kitchen and nipped out for 20 minutes. On returning, there was no cat in sight - there is a cat flap here and I hadn't had one in my last place and as they were rescues, I didn't know they could use a cat flap. They were in the garden and apart from one of them going for an all-day explore a couple of days later, there was no trouble from them at all. If your cat is pissed off, I would consider letting her out - but I might be completely under the paw...

FuzzyOwl Fri 20-May-16 17:22:45

I moved last year and my timid, rescue cat escaped after a week and a day. It took six weeks to find her and she had lost so much weight she wouldn't have survived for much longer. I would suggest keeping your cat in as long as possible, but definitely for at least another fortnight.

DeliveredByKiki Fri 20-May-16 17:53:33

Oh god fuzzy that's awful sad

My cat is far from timid though. She seems a bit less upset now I'm giving her loads of treats and spending lots of time playing with her and bought new scratch posts - and now shutting the bedroom doors so she has less opportunity to piss on my bed again. I'll def do 2 weeks then we'll do monitored short visits to the garden before letting her out properly

Thanks everyone

VinoTime Fri 20-May-16 18:04:52

Not long at all. Sometimes it's been minutes.

We've moved 3 times since having our lovely green eyed boy and every time we just open the carrier, let him hunt around the new house and we leave the back door open for him. He's always come in and out, leaving to sniff around the garden for 5 minutes before coming back in to sniff around the house. We pretty much kept the door open for him for the whole first day so that he could come and go as he pleased. After that, the standard rules apply - arse is either in or out and the door is kept shut.

That might not work for a lot of cats, but our boy has a very strong sense of 'home' and where we are. It's a bit peculiar. He's been known to jog up to my work in the mornings to meet me after a night shift. He buddies me home grin

gingerboy1912 Fri 20-May-16 21:26:05

Vino are you sure you don't have a dog in disguise grin

starsmurf Fri 20-May-16 22:42:36

I kept Starcat in for four weeks after a house move. He wasn't happy at first but he settled down and it went a bit better than I expected. Given that your cat likes to hunt and run around, she's not just going to sit on the doorstep and could easily get lost. There is a poor stray in my garden who is homeless in part because he was let out far too early and in the two weeks it took him to find his way home, the woman got another cat.

The weeing on the bed is probably not a "punishment", it's a way of her showing that she's feeling stressed. Cats pee (or poop) on beds when they feel that their territory isn't safe (eg if you've had someone coming in to feed them while you're on holiday). They choose the bed because it's the place that smells most strongly of you and you're her protector. If she's been in two shelters, then she probably associates a change in accommodation with abandonment.

You could try the Feliway plug-in to send a calming message, although it can take a week or so to work. You're doing the right things, playing will help reduce her stress hormones and make her feel more comfortable. The new scratching posts will help her feel that her territory can be defended. You need to give her the message that your new home is still a secure territory and that you're not going to abandon her.

Given that your old house is so close and that there's a busy road inbetween, I think you have to be really careful regarding letting her out. I'd say no less than four weeks and then only under supervision.

I know this must be really stressful but believe me, it's nothing compared to the stress and pain of losing a cat. My previous cat went out one day and never came home. She peed on my bed once (soon after I got her). While I love Starcat very much, I'd put up with a pee-soaked bed just to hold my wee girl again.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 21-May-16 12:52:29

After losing a cat after a move I'd say as long as possible!

DeliveredByKiki Sat 21-May-16 16:10:34

stars I rally appreciate your thorough post and that's a nice way to think of it - her peeing on my bit of the bed because I'm her defender. I'm not sure I believe it in our case because we had issues with her peeing on DS's bed when we first got her and we realized t was because she thought he was top dog and was staking her claim on territory, she stopped once we got him to only interact on her terms and he became her feeder of treats so now she's top dog

She's actually calmed down a lot already, so I'll keep giving her plenty of attention, although the amount of treats is skyrocketing!! Ah well, she's only little and could do with putting on a bit of weight! Yes the only other time she's peed is when she's been left overnight on her own so if we ever go away now we always have someone come to stay with her and that's keeps her happy enough.

Ok. We'll look towards 4 weeks and aim to keep it like that. Even though it's properly annoying when the weather is so gorgeous and we want all the doors open! Better this than locking her in one room though, I'd never do that. I just feel so bad when we're in the garden and she sits on the other side of the door crying to be let out!

Wordsaremything Sat 21-May-16 17:39:07

I would say about three weeks. And here's no harm in confining to one room for a time unless they are completely doing their nut.

Mind you my darling rescue boy escaped after a day. A day! I was heartbroken and hadn't even named him. Plus my house is very hard to access from the back ( has fooled workmen many times) but he came back within hours. This is not to be recommended under any circumstances though.

I also know a ten year old cat who was let out in his new home (same small town he had lived in all his life) and was stupidly let out after only a week. He took fright and wandered for days but was eventually found ( huge backstory and Geoffrey is now asleep on his chair by the radiator.)

Wordsaremything Sat 21-May-16 17:41:43

Sorry just read the bit about not moving far and the road in between. Four weeks at least. Nothing compares to the anguish of losing a cat who never comes home.

DeliveredByKiki Sun 22-May-16 05:37:28

So does everyone think it's a bigger issue that we haven't moved too far away? She never ventured anywhere near this far from our old house, kept within half a block as far as I'm aware for the last 2 years...

Heyheyheygoodbye Sun 22-May-16 05:42:13

We've always tried for two weeks - and usually failed at about ten days because I'm a sucker hmm

IdaShaggim Sun 22-May-16 05:48:02

We lasted about ten days... Then let out for short periods of time at first, just before dinner/breakfast so they'd have an incentive not to wander wink Kept in at night for another two weeks. Both settled in well.

BeauGlacons Sun 22-May-16 08:11:57

Our boy who loves the run of the great outdoors must be very compliant then. We moved last year, kept him in for a month and he was a darling.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 22-May-16 09:01:46

The closer you are to the old house the more likely that old and new territories will transect. I have my cats trained to come to the tapping of their bowls ( I tap their bowls before I feed them when they first arrive). When I first let them out in a new home I do it about an hour before meal time then tap their bowls to get them home again.

DeliveredByKiki Sun 22-May-16 23:33:00

Hmmmm our cat is a grazer so no set meal times really. I'm going to aim for a month and see how we go

Pets123 Mon 23-May-16 09:56:34

We were told 2 weeks with our cats when we first moved house. Unfortunately one of them escaped after one day by climbing out a fanlight window onto the roof and then climbing down a drain pipe at the back. We didnt notices she.had escaped though until we heard meowing outside the backdoor.. after that we just put butter on the paws so they could smell their way back and let them out and they never had a problem. I think the 4 weeks is just a rough guideline and doesn't have to be kept fully depending on your cats

DeliveredByKiki Mon 23-May-16 17:39:34

So I've heard the butter on paws theory - is that so they leave smell foot prints as they walk away from home and can use them as a guide back again?

ChairinSage Mon 23-May-16 17:49:54

We've moved Sagecat several times. Once just a mile away and more recently, half way across the country. He's very much ruled by his stomach so we've let him out after just a few days and fed him salmon to tempt him home again. So far, he's always come back and has even worked out his house from both front and back door (we're in a long row of Edwardian terraces). Cats are very much individuals and I expect we're in the minority with our experiences.

Aphie Mon 23-May-16 18:00:02

The butter is meant to be so they groom off the smell of the old house and then smell of the new house. Might not be correct but it sounds plausible

Pets123 Wed 25-May-16 22:54:55

The butter is meant to help them find their home as it smells completely different to what they are used to, so they can use the scent to work out where they came from and find their way home

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 25-May-16 23:33:22

I thought it was just so that they were forced to groom and therefore stop prowling and settle.grin

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