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Our daughter has a senior male, about 13-14 years old. He has poor health and they were told 2 years ago he probably only had a year left to live. About 1-1/2 years ago they got 2 male litter mates to add to the family. They all get along great. Chuckie, the senior cat mostly eats, sleeps and moves from place to place.

Our daughter is going through a divorce and our s-I-l is being nasty about everything. He is now saying she has to take Chuckie to her new apartment. We think that moving from the only house Chuck has ever lived in, separating from his buddies, having who knows what new smells, just the overall upheaval will be bad for him. He is used to almost always having a lap available from our daughter, s-I-l or grandson...rarely was everyone gone at the same time. Now he will be left alone in a strange environment while she works, with no buddies. The reason he is giving for this move is that he shouldn’t have to have the added expense.

I’m just looking for advice on this. Yes, she can have him and she does have the room with some rearranging and figuring out the all important litter box placement. We are mainly concerned about what this change will do to his overall health and well-being.
 

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Since Chuckie at present time "eats, sleeps and moves from place to place" doesn't sound like he's too active. A lot of senior cats are happy to sleep most of the day away, have a place where they can sit in the sun, and eat. Most cats adjust to our schedule, and I would expect he would sleep during the day if your daughter is away at work. He may miss his buddies for a while, but at his age I wouldn't really recommend getting a kitten or another cat as company for him, as they may not get along and then it would be an aggravation and stress for him. It may take a couple of weeks or so to feel comfortable and that this is his new home. A lot will depend on Chuckie's temperament and how calm he is about a new situation. Hope things work out with your daughter. If this doesn't work out, would you take him?
 

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IMHO Chuckie could move and be happy.

A few years ago I inherited a senior cat (owner died and left 5 cats needing homes). It took a couple/three weeks but she adjusted well and had a happy remainder of her life.
 

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Hi larsan,

I'm sorry that your daughter's going through a divorce and that the son-in-law is being such a jerk about it.

It's so hard to say how any given kitty will react. I imagine that he would adjust, but it would be stressful and, as you say, that could could impact his health.

My concern, though, about leaving Chuckie with the son-in-law is that he's giving the added expense as a reason (or excuse). If he is going to resent having to pay, I'd be worried about Chuckie getting vet care that he might need.

Would your daughter be willing to pay, or at least split, any vet bills if Chuckie stays with him?
 

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My friend has experienced the same challenge having moved from her parents' house with her then 13-year-old male cat. She tried to move the stuff that had included his odors few days before moving him. So when he came, he seemed to be not very uncomfortable. Now, 2 years since then, my friend has moved once more (the first rent house was not so good in fengshui, she found unhealthy staying there). She applied the same preparation tactics as in the first time, and her cat is still in good mood and condition now. I hope my friend's experience could help.
 

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Although the move might be hard on him, in the long run he’ll be with the person who cares about him more (presumably) and will take better care of him, so it might actually be for the best. I moved my senior last year and there are things you can do to help the transition. Like another poster said, familiar smelling objects can make a huge difference. Feliway/Confort zone product. If you can bring over his favorite beds and toys also, even if the other two will need replacements (they can deal better, with less change). Oddly enough, a jug of water from his current home for the first week. I’d also recommend a heated bed, there are a lot of affordable heating pads for cats on Amazon. He will be so comfortable he’ll be distracted from worrying about the new environment, It can help to start him off in just one room so he doesn’t have to “claim” so much right away.

One last thing - she should bring him home on a Friday so she can spend the weekend settling him in (even better take a Friday off for a long weekend). Good luck!
 

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Thank you all for your replies and advice. For the moment, we have no idea how long, our daughter is paying for Chuckie food since he’s on a special diet from the other 2 family cats. That seems to be calming the issue for now. We all feel better about his being able to withstand the possible change.
 
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