Just moved house - feeling incredibly guilty!(9 Posts)
Am in need of some advice as I feel simply awful! Have had a sleepless night staying up with DCat, feeling guilty about ripping him away from the only proper home he had and leaving him lonely.
We just yesterday evening moved house with our 11year old boy, away from the house he arrived at from a local rescue at 6months old.
The 1hour car journey was stressful for him (he is a timid thing) but he seems to have settled in ok, scent marking and having a snooze, but was very clingy toward me and DH yesterday evening and throughout the night.
We have plugged in some Feliways and brought over 'his' rugs and bed (as well as our own furniture) so his scent should be around.
In line with the advice from Blue Cross and a number of other sources we've decided to keep DCat indoors for a couple of weeks to familiarise him. We are getting a catflap installed next week. Both DH and I are out for much for the day so he will be alone for 7am - 6pm (except on a couple of days each week when we will work from home).
I just feel awful seeing him stuck indoors, wanting desperately to go outside (he can see the garden from windows) and feel awful that he will be alone during the day He is an outdoor cat and loved spending time outside at our old house (especially in summer), with free access using a cat flap. He also went outdoors for the toilet (we have reverted back to a litter tray for the next couple of weeks).
Poor cat has been piteously meowing to be let outside but I don't want to encourage him until we have the catflap installed.
Please help me wise MNetters live with the guilt until then! Could actually cry, I feel like a terrible mother(!)
He will get over it. At least you took him with you, some people abandon cats when they move.
Tell him that. I tell mine he's lucky when he does the woe is me routine
We did the same with our mainly outdoor cat this year. The first few days were tough and he cried constantly. But he got over it. I kept him in for just under two weeks and the morning I let him out was so lovely to watch (was sick with worry though).
He now stays at home more than he did before but will stay away all night only when it's very hot.
The new neighbours all know him now and next door have used him to get a mouse that was in the kitchen!
It's completely normal, please don't worry. We have 10 cats and have had to move house several times, most recently we moved from Essex to Germany. Keeping him indoors is an important step, he needs to accept this is now home and when he goes out this is where he needs to get back to. When he goes out, you need to ensure that he also scents the garden, so he can find his way home too.
On our 3rd house move we'd kept the cats in, our BSH went out, didn't scent the garden and was then missing for 9 days - that was absolute torture!
Our 4th house move was our biggest regret, we had 9 cats and the plan was everyone would go out. During the keeping them in period we found out there was an established fox den at the end of the garden, and we made the decision (after previously loosing our BSH to a fox trying to dig a den next door but one) that no-one would be going out. We were only going to be there a few months before our big move to Germany.
We then had the fun job of having a boot full of cat boxes and our singing choir for 12 hours. We got priortity boarding on the ferry and had a crowd of people photographing the boot when we checking on our precious cargo. After a while they all forgave us for the journey, and are just as happy.
On a separate note, my MIL moved their 12 year old cat, from a small flat to a much larger house, and from being an indoor cat (that he had been for his whole life) to an outdoor cat.
Cats can do a wonderful job at pulling on your heart strings, but they are robust and adaptable, your boy will be fine.
Thank you all - it's reassuring to know we're not alone!
The first night was very tough, and the second also interrupted by DCats yowls. It's at times like this that I wish I could explain to him and make him feel better!
I'm also a little anxious as he hasn't yet used his litter tray. He knows where it is and does know how to use a tray (from his days at a rescue centre and at our previous house when we rehomed him, bonfire night etc). I'm hoping he does use it when needed (have yet to discover any little accidents anywhere). Poor thing.
I had the same guilt a few months ago when we moved - our cat is younger (2 when we rescued her and 4 when we moved) so it was more coping with her bouncing off the walls, we bought new scratch towers and shit tons of toys and treats to keep her active and happy.
We were going to keep her in for a month as we only moved a few blocks away but let her out after 2 weeks - she was just happy to explore and kept coming back within 5-10mins her first few excursions
He'll be fine - I felt tremendously guilty too especially as our cat has from for pissing on soft furnishings when anxious but she was fine aside from one incident. Lots and lots of attention was key I think
Thanks Delivered - we also went to town buying up Feliways, toys, climbing towers, treats etc and made a big effort to bring over familiar things from our old house that he loved (a couple of fluffy sheepskin rugs he was particularly attached to!).
He loved being outdoors lazing about in the garden during the day (especially in the summer) but would always return home and stay in for much of the night.
Every time I get a pang of guilt I'm trying to tell myself it's not forever and that it will help impress upon him that home is best (like some other posters have said) so that he does return safely
Sounds like he's being spoilt rotten and won't want to leave when the time comes he's being showered with love, you're doing everything that is right for him
Aww that does make me feel better thank you.
Thankfully DCat has successfully used his litter tray with no issues - never thought I would be grateful to have something to clear from a litter tray!!!
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