Outdoor Cat, what happens if we move? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Outdoor Cat, what happens if we move?

I have a quick question.
We have a stray cat we are taking care of outdoor. We feed him twice a day. He has a heated cat shelter right outside the door.
He almost sleeps in the heated cat shelter or near the bush every night.
We let him in the house from time to time, but he always wants to go out after an hour or so.. if he takes a nap, he stays inside longer, but he expresses his intention pretty clearly if he wants to go out (maybe for bathroom). Then we gladly let him out.

He is a truly outdoor cat. He was a stray cat when he started visiting us to eat, so his boundary seems pretty wide. He can be out for hours or half a day but comes back at almost exact time in the evening (when family members come back from work) or sometimes he stays in his shelter or near our house all day long for several days.

Now, we've been taking care of him since October 2012.

My question is.. what if we move to 5 miles away and bring him with us.
Is there anyway we can make a smooth transaction to let him stay outside the new house? so that we can still take care of him?

It is very very difficult to have him inside, but we have three dogs indoor all over 10 years, and the cat can't get along with bigger dogs. So keeping him inside is almost impossible.

We are just afraid that if we take him to the new house and let him lose, he will run away right away to go back to where we are currently living.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

Sincerely

Jin
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jrs21c View Post

We are just afraid that if we take him to the new house and let him lose, he will run away right away to go back to where we are currently living.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Sincerely Jin
There is no doubt at all that is exactly what he will do.
Your outdoor cat is really embedded in his current surroundings and if you move him he will want to be back there as soon as possible.
This is a tough situation.
There is no way around it, he'll have to be confined, in your new house or in a shed or garage, for at least a week. Two weeks are better. Feed him his favorite foods, interact and give him all the attention he'll take. Once you do let him out, stay with him while he explores and starts leaving his scent.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:50 AM
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I agree with the above poster. He will have to be kept in for a few weeks. When you do let him out, first set up his housing and some food. Take him out and put him down where his living station is.

What a lucky kitty to have you to care about him. He Chose well.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 05:26 PM
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Normally I regard myself as well informed on the "practical" bits - I have had cats for longer than most posters on this forum have lived BUT on this one I am less than useless. I was born in the back bedroom of the house where I still live - other when I was in university I have always lived in the same village. On the other hand, I have adopted cats and have got them to settle in whether they have been indoor or outdoor cats previously. The main thing, as I see it, is to make them think of your place as home.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies.
We will try to accustom him staying indoor from now on.
Then we can probably move and make a smoother transaction, have him confined in the new place and maybe let him out more as he feels home.

If you have any additional advice you can think of, please leave any. I check this forum everyday for advice.

Thank you again all.

Jin
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 10:20 AM
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I didn't chime in on this thread sooner because frankly I have no idea what I would do, but I can't help thinking about this. If you are very attached to the cat and he to you I would certainly keep him indoors in the new house then gradually let him out. Perhaps let him out on a harness the first few times (I've never had strickly outdoor cats). My only experience was the stray that we took in when we lived in Sicily. I brought her home, closed all the doors, set her up with a can of tuna and a litter box and went back to work. I kept her inside that night (clearly unhappy), but first thing the next morning she took off when the door was opened. I thought I'd lost her forever, but she was at the door when I got home from work. She turned in to a WONDERFUL cat that always looked at me as her savior and I adored Annie for 12 years until she died of old age.

If your cat is semi-feral or indifferent as to who feeds him, perhaps you can convince a kindly neighbor to continue caring for him (maybe offer to buy food for 6 mos or so), so he does not need to leave his familiar surroundings. It is a lot to ask of a neighbor, but better than seeing the cat starve. (Of course I don't have a solution if neighbor stops feeding him after 6 months). I think cats just really want their family, and not necessarily their "place". I guess I'm saying that what you do depends on your personal relationship with this cat.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I think we are pretty attached to this cat and the cat likes us as well. He brought his first squirrel to the house. Clearly he hid it somewhere over the night (as our family member didn't see it at 6:20 am in the morning) and after 5 min when we went outside again, the squirrel was there. I think he wanted us to have it..

Anyhow, he spends a lot of time outside (fighting with other cats, wandering), but he sleeps in his shelter pretty much every night. I think he will accept anyone who feed him, But he surely acts a bit nervous if someone visits us. But he is extremely friendly and let anyone to hold or touch him.

Yes, if that's the anticipation, we can keep him inside until he feels home.
That was an option of course. We wanted to avoid it if there was another way. We will prepare a littler box and good food over the regular to train him to let him sleep inside. I think he will be fine.
Thanks all for replies, and please feel free to throw any additional advice if you can think of.

Jin

Last edited by marie73; 03-19-2013 at 12:34 AM.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
There is no doubt at all that is exactly what he will do.
Your outdoor cat is really embedded in his current surroundings and if you move him he will want to be back there as soon as possible.
This is a tough situation.
There is no way around it, he'll have to be confined, in your new house or in a shed or garage, for at least a week. Two weeks are better. Feed him his favorite foods, interact and give him all the attention he'll take. Once you do let him out, stay with him while he explores and starts leaving his scent.
Agree completely with this advice. The cat needs to be contained for a couple of weeks in order for it to recognise the new environment as a food source/home.

Do you have a garage at your new house?

I truly believe that you cannot relocate this cat if you are unable to contain it for a couple of weeks. Plenty of very domesticated cats will try to return to their former environment if they are not transitioned properly.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jrs21c View Post
Thank you, I think we are pretty attached to this cat and the cat likes us as well. He brought his first squirrel to the house. Clearly he hid it somewhere over the night (as our family member didn't see it at 6:20 am in the morning) and after 5 min when we went outside again, the squirrel was there. I think he wanted us to have it..

Anyhow, he spends a lot of time outside (fighting with other cats, wandering), but he sleeps in his shelter pretty much every night. I think he will accept anyone who feed him, But he surely acts a bit nervous if someone visits us. But he is extremely friendly and let anyone to hold or touch him.

Yes, if that's the anticipation, we can keep him inside until he feels home.
That was an option of course. We wanted to avoid it if there was another way. We will prepare a littler box and good food over the regular to train him to let him sleep inside. I think he will be fine.
Thanks all for replies, and please feel free to throw any additional advice if you can think of.

Jin
If he is neutered he will fight and wander less - and you will be doing the cat world a huge favor! He won't like being indoors for the home change transistion but he will get used to it. The question is will YOU like the transistion with an unhappy kitty indoors??! Good luck and let us know how it goes. We can all learn from experiences like this.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you again for replies. Yes we are willing to have him indoor as long as it is necessary. We can maybe have a kitty door for him later if he feels home. He is a TNR'ed cat so he is neutered. We brought him to the vet to have him vaccinated and we are feeding him good. We've been in the neighborhood for 13 years now, and saw a lot of stray cats. But this one was definitely new when he visited us for the first time. So I am pretty sure he was wandering a lot before he settled with us. When we found him he weighted about 8 lbs (very skinny) but now he weight about 13lbs.

Here's first post I posted when we found him for the story and a few pix if you are interested:
https://www.catforum.com/forum/70-int...ons-hello.html


Also here are more recent pictures of him






The cat looking at dog house:


and attacking it


Last edited by jrs21c; 03-19-2013 at 10:21 PM.
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