Relocating a cat : LUSENET : Xeney : One Thread

Hi -- I'm going to be moving into a new apartment in a little over a week. The place already has two cats, and I'm bringing mine. She has never lived with another cat, so I'm worried about how she'll handle it. Anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to help her adjust? Also, my new roommate has a weird setup with the littler box -- it's out on the third-floor deck, and there's a makeshift cat door in the kitchen window. I'm worried about letting Smoke out there, since she's very dumb and clumsy and might very well fall off. I'm actually debating bringing her at all... anyone have any thoughts?

Mary Ellen

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000


We've talked about this before, though I can't for the life of me, remember what the forum topic was.

When I recently moved my cats cross-country, everyone on this board had lots of helpful things to say.

The cats need to be introduced to each other in way that allows them to see and smell each other, become used to each other without being able to hurt each other.

You can do this in a couple of different ways:

-- Bring Smoke in, in her carrier and leave her in it so that the residents of the new place can see her and smell her without being able to attack her, and she can see and smell them without fear of being attacked. (unfortunately, some cats don't feel safe in their carriers to begin with and seeing strange cats outside can exacerbate that feeling)

-- Keep Smoke in your room only for a few days or more -- keep her food, litter box etc. in with you so that she has a chance to establish her own territory within the new space. Prop the door open a crack, but block it with something so the other cats can't get in, nor Smoke out. This will let them scope each other out while they get used to the idea of each other.

-- After you've let Smoke into the shared space of the cats, don't worry too much if there are spats. Unless they continue to fight very violently and injure each other on a regular basis, non-stop, they will probably be fine.

The important thing is for Smoke to have a place she can go to where she can feel safe, a spot that is "hers" within the shared realm of the other cats.

If you are concerned about the litter box situation, you may simply have to keep Smoke in your room at all times and keep her box in there as well. Or you might need to talk with your roommate about your concerns and try to work out an alternate litter box scenario for all of the cats.

Good luck -- apparently introducing cats can sometimes go as easy as clockwork and they all love each other and make one big happy family right away.

I'm still waiting for Shara to stop treating Pearl like an interloper and waking us up in the middle of the night with hissing and yowling.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000

I had to move my kitty to my new place in the end of March, so where did I turn for help? of course!

Here was the thread: msg.tcl?msg_id=002osy hope it helps a little.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000

I'm not sure what to say about the litter box situation -- I really wouldn't trust my cat with it either, nor would I trust her to shove her way through a cat door to get to it (she's never had to do that before). You don't want accidents. Maybe you could keep a second litterbox in your room if you're not sharing? Use scoopable litter and clean it often and it won't smell. You could use that while trying to acclimate her to the idea that there's another litterbox outside. Maybe take her out yourself for little supervised visits to see how she reacts to being out there.

Others know more than I about introducing cats -- all my family ever did when we got a new one was put it down and let the others hiss at it. Oh, I'd keep the baby in my room at night for a while, but we didn't do any fancy introductory techniques. The other cats, if they're as insular as my parents' cats, *will* hiss and carry on. Don't worry. After a week, they get sick of it and forget that the cat they've been hissing at for as long as their little feline minds can remember is a stranger.

I'd be a little extra worried about litterbox accidents when you combine strange new apartment with strange new cats with strange new litterbox location. So I'd lean strongly towards giving your cat the kind of litterbox she's accustomed to, in your room, for a while. Then you can gradually move it over to by the cat door, etc etc, and get your cat used to going out, if you want her to at all.

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2000

Is the other cat a boy or girl? If it's a boy it might want to pee all over the place. I like the idea that someone posted about keeping the cat in a carrier for a bit while they sniff each other, although when I introed the new girl to the old man, I was more like, "toss her off the deep end and see if she'll swim." Well, the Old Man sure didn't like it for several days and when she wanted to play, there was a lot of drama, with him smacking her around. Now, she's almost as tough as he is and I think they enjoy their sparring sessions. I'd be surprised if the two of them didn't end up being civilized with each other.

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2000

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