Back story. We moved house three months ago. We had a gap between old house and new house so cats (x3) has to go into a cattery (lovely, local one, good reputation). When we got them back, they all had Chlymedia (sp?) and one was very stressed. She kept vomiting and ended up at the vets on a drip for 3 days. They stopped her vomiting but she point blank refused to eat. We brought her home for 24hrs to see if she would eat at home - if she didn't she was going to have to return to the vets to be tube fed. She started eating within 20 mins of being home. So what I am essentially saying is that at least one of our cats is a bit stressy (she's actually the friendliest of all our cats, loves us all and any visitors!) They are all very happily settled and healthy now.
So we are having an extension and our house is being renovated (no room is going to be untouched). The builders we have seen have all said it would be better if we could move out for approx 6 weeks of the build - for re-wiring/re-plumbing/major structural bit.
So we have a few options. Do we
A) leave the cats at home. Go in every day to feed them/fuss them etc. I was thinking we could also get a large shed put in the garden (we need one so that will be happening at some point anyway) and have a cat flap put in the door so they have somewhere to escape to and sleep when the builders are there?
B) take them with us to rental (if we can find one which will let us)
C) no idea what third option might be...
Oh hell. I think I would go for 'c' (cancel the build until the cats have died of old age).
Failing that I really don't know. Definitely, definitely do not leave them at home with the building work going on. They will either run away or end up under the floor of the extension.
Taking them with you doesn't sound great but may be the best option. But you will need to make sure they can be shut in somewhere, so it depends what sort of rental you are going to I suppose and, if you have children, if you can trust them not to leave doors open/ open windows etc.
Failing that it might have to be the cattery again. They will be stressed and unhappy but at least you will know where they are.
I'm definitely not sending them to the cattery. I honestly think my little anxious one would die of stress there again after she was so ill last time Sadly cancelling the build isn't an option. It's a real Hobson's choice.
Could the other 2 go into cattery & stressy come to short term rental with you? There are holiday lets which will accept a cat but you'd need to clip her claws first for the sake of their furniture & carpets
Or do you think they'd get chlamydia (I just looked it up ) again?
There is a vaccine for it though.
I'd take 'Stressy' with me to any rental. The other two, I'd still probably cattery.
Maybe a different one though- did you tell the person running the previous one that they'd been ill?
Don't leave them at home - they'll freak if there isn't a room they can hang out in.
Is there another cattery type place you can send them? Or could they stay with friends for a bit?
Do you have a friend who would take them for a few weeks? Ask around at work, there are a lot of people around who like cats but don't want the responsibility of owning one who would have them for a while (in my experience).
Do you have a good neighbour who could adopt them while the work is going on?
By the way, when builders say 6 weeks, they actually mean 12.
Yes I agree with taking Stressy to your rental (you don't need to mention her/get permission - they won't know) and cattery for the other two.
If necessary you could always buy a large dog crate for Stressy to keep her in for most of the time in the temporary place (they are big enough for a bed and small litter tray) and just let her out when you can supervise her safely. She shouldn't be too stressed by that as you are still there and there will be no other cats around.
Have to disagree about not mentioning that a cat will be staying in a rental - a subsequent visitor might be allergic - it needs to be okayed
Shed and a catflap could be a disaster. They won't be safe from getting underfoot. Won't see the shed as home and may take off.
Take them to rental or have a secure cat run built. Noise may be very stressful for them though.
Ok, firstly you have to stop calling her Stressy! Poor little mog. For the purpose of this you can call her Gertrude
I take you point on the shed. The cat run might be another idea. If they can make it big enough and secure enough. The bit we are having to move out for is the builders 'doing' the upstairs throughout so if the cats could have somewhere to escape to downstairs and outside (and I would be visiting them every day) hopefully they'd be ok.
Not sure about taking Gertrude with us as she does love the other two (she's the oldest, they are her annoying little
unrelated siblings) and they both love her too. Definitely wouldn't sneak her into rented, a friend's son has a severe cat allergy and asthma, I have seen the consequences of him staying in a holiday house which was supposed to be pet free but hadn't been. He's fine but had a full on attack.
I really appreciate all the ideas! Thanks
Hmm, was in a similar position to yourself a few years ago OP. Cats get really discombobulated at builder noise/disruption. We had to move out for double the time the builders
promised estimated when having our house sorted. Like a PP mentioned, you really need to keep reminding the builder/project manager of when they "promised" the works would be completed. If we hadn't, it would've been longer. And tbh, I would be fretting all the time that the cats may sneak out when the builders are removing/bringing stuff to and from your home if my cats weren't with me.
If you're planning to rent/stay with relatives in the meantime, you can buy these to put up in the windows etc. to stop cats from escaping from your temporary home. Less stressful for all, and, most likely cheaper than a cattery. If the sticky velcro used to fix them in place leaves any stickiness, something like methylated spirits will remove it when you leave.
I would find a rental that accepts pets and take them all with me. Lots of places say no pets as standard but if you speak to the landlord they're more flexible. Offer to pay a slightly higher deposit or have the carpets shampooed when you leave.
Have you tried home stay cat carers? We sometimes employ a cat visitor who comes in to feed our if we're away for a night or two. When we were away for a week last year and didn't want to leave them alone all that time we asked the carer for advice and she recommended a lovely couple who took them! They were disclosure checked and had the same certs as a cattery. It was more expensive but the cats came back relaxed having been in a nice homely place and we were able to send all their toys and bedding with them. Start off looking on Gumtree for similar maybe
Really don't leave them there during the building work. I had some small scale work done last year, while I was still living there. The builders managed to imprison three of them under the floorboards! Another, who never goes anywhere normally, got scared by the work going on and ran so far that he got hit by a car (thankfully was ok) on a main road over a mile away and was only returned to me because of his chip.
Builders and cats just don't go together.
No. They don't really. Cats like routine and if you take them away from their home place, they'll still carry the thought of that in their mind. If you leave them there, they have no 'safe place' to think of if builders are disrupting everything and panic might set in.
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