Moving house with your cat 🍍

Ananas, our 8 month old cat, was a bit startled by our move from the big house to an apartment.
ananas-boxHe seemed to have a hard time not having an entire house all to himself, not being able to play outside and of course missing my housemates. He actually had five big loving human play-with-me-and-pet-me-machines. There’s only two of us left now.
I too would be very displeased with a 60% drop in attention.
It stressed him out, he got a bit of a bladder infection and his fur wasn’t looking quite as awesome as usual (never underestimate fur as a health indicator on pets). It was time for some serious kitty TLC! I’ll share with you the 5 things we came up with to make sure Ananas felt welcome and fit in his new abode.

Our solutions to The cat’s moving stress
  1. Having more toys for him lying around the apartment
  2. Buying one of those Feliway diffusers that spread soothing cat pheromones
  3. Making sure he had a spot all to himself
  4. Growing some cat grass
  5. Keeping an eye on his bladder infection (when in doubt go to vet)
1. Toys

Since we’ve moved, we’ve had to keep him inside. In these first months, he would be very likely to run away in a new home, so there’s that reason. But besides that, it’s been too cold outside to take him onto the empty terrace and play with him there anyway. Also frankly, I don’t trust the looks of the huge neighborhood cats. Playing outside will be an activity to reintroduce come spring (please come spring*).
To make the inside of our apartment more interesting, Tim and I are constantly finding and making little toys for him to play with; out of ribbons on gifts, balled up socks (he loves worn socks much better than clean ones – go figure), but the one toy he absolutely adores is this:

twist tie

He is an absolute twist-tie lover and will chase one of these for an hour on end – or untill he loses it under the refrigerator (sad meowing*). We already had these lying around, so they’re easy fun for him as well as cheap and amusing for us.
You can actually find/craft tons of cat toys with stuff you already have. Last week, I put a bottle stopper cut in half in a toilet paper roll, folding up the edges and he had a blast tossing and chasing it around.
I agree that having more toys lying around in the apartment adds a bit of clutter, but it’s a cheap way of keeping your cat up and happy, even when all the humans are out.

2. Feliway

This one helped a lot in getting Ananas to relax. Too bad we only got this after the move, because it’s recommended to introduce the pheromones to your cat a week beforehand. The diffuser has been plugged into a socket for the past month, but even on the first day, we noticed a difference in his behavior. He just calmed down and became more affectionate, where he had been a bit skittish right after the move. Maybe if we’d known about this product before, he might never have had the stress-induced bladder infection in the first place…

3. A spot of his own

Tim’s cat-loving grandmother actually pointed out the importance of some personal space for the cat. A place where he can hide away from the humans, but is still able to keep an eye on his environment. Eventually I got to crafty with an old towel and made this awesome cat hammock right underneath our coffee table. I made a detailed tutorial if you get inspired to make your own!

ananas-hammock-resultAdditional bonus on this one is the fact that it acts as cat-toy storage as well! When guests come over I just throw the ribbons, socks and twist-ties in there and they magically disappear out of sight.

4. Cat grass

You can easily buy cat grass online, you get a box of seeds and soil sent over, add some water and start growing. Ananas was showing a bit too much interest in our house plants. So with the cat grass, we provided him with an alternative to munching away on our pretty-pants plants. I couldn’t have the white plastic box the grass came in on my living room floor though, so I planted the grass in two oversized mugs.

cat-grass

5. Stressed out bladder

Since Ananas is a neutered male, we had to keep a close eye on his pee. Now there’s a fun thing to share on a blog. Stop reading if you’re already getting grossed out ^_^
we noticed some red discoloring in his urine, so I did some online reading and decided to keep a very close eye on his toilet behaviour.
Neutered males can have a shortened urinary tract and are more prone to FLUTD ( feline lower urinary tract disease) than female cats. When crystals or stones are formed in the bladder due to the infection, your cat can be in big trouble. If their urethra gets blocked by the crystals, your cat could die within days if you don’t take it to the vet.
Since I didn’t see or hear any signs of actual pain and discomfort in him while he did his business, I turned to a food supplement. It’s called Amiqure Urinary Tract Paste. We’re still adding it to his food twice a day and the discoloring has disappeared. We also make sure he gets his meals around the same time each day, which reduces stress and is better for his digestive system. To make sure he’s drinking enough water, we put out an extra water bowl and made sure that the water in his bowls is always fresh (cats are surprisingly picky about this – they will drink out of a puddle outside, but got forbid they’d drink the same bowl-water two days in a row). In the beginning, we even added a bit of water to his dry food.
I’m happy that it didn’t have to come to this, but if at some point he would have mewed in pain while peeing, or if he had started to pee suspiciously often, I would have taken him to the vet asap.

So that concludes the five ways in which we have tried to make the move into our new apartment les stressful for our cat 🍍
Do you guys have any experience with this or any extra tips? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Love and purrs

Pinterest image :

movingpin

 

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7 thoughts on “Moving house with your cat 🍍”

  1. Tks for the info. I will b moving in a few months or so and worry about my 12 yr cat. Moving is very stressful for them. Im def gonna look into that diffuser.
    Great pics! Btw

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  2. You’re very welcome, thank you for the compliment ^_^. Definitely look into the diffuser, it made a big difference in Ananas’ nerves!

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    1. Thank U so much with Ur info… it makes perfect sense now! My mom had adopted my male cat from my cat Jade that had a litter of 4. She took him in when he was barely a year old. Later she had to short sale her home & move back in with my family (husband/kids/cats) which were his mom & 1 of his siblings left. Their both females. They gave him such a hard time though. Were so rude & growled. They didn’t recognize him anymore. Treated him like a total stranger & then 1 day he dropped dead suddenly. I wish I knew sooner what made this condition happen. He was still warm when I found him. Urinated on himself & pooped too when I found him. I assume the condition could of been what you explained. I wish there was pinterest that time. If there was, I didn’t know about it yet in 2007. I was deeply sad because I raised him from birth before my mom adopted him. And I would visit him at times too at my mom’s. I am sadly moving again since this big house is going to be foreclosed & will downgrade to an apartment. I jus adopted a new cat who was barely a year old in 2015. She is a girl but she definitely doesn’t take change well. Same with my 13 yr old (who is the sis of my late cat that passed away suddenly in 2007). The diffuser will definitely be of some help for their transition.

      I was told their blankets from the old house is also recommended & their cat scratching posts female the recent house is better to keep when moving. To keep the familiar smell there for them when moving to a new smell home. As well as the toys from the house they use to live in.

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      1. Hi there,

        So sorry to hear about your (and your mom’s) cat passing away after a move in 2007. Sudden changes can be very tough on a cat and I hope you can make your next move into a smooth transition for your furry friend. Taking their scratching posts, blankets and other things that smell like them (maybe even consider not cleaning their litter box too thoroughly and only changing out only half or 3/4 of the kitty litter when you move) is definitely a good idea. Let them get to know your new place one room at a time so they can start to feel in control of their environment. When you notice any odd behavior, never hesitate to contact a veterinary and yes, thank goodness for Pinterest ;). Good luck moving!

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  3. Thank you. Very useful info n tips!…I just moved to new house a week ago too. The diffuser was out of stock at the store. So as alternative, I placed 3 towel mats, sprinkled with some dried catnips n placed then in some areas of the house. Yes, the cats became calmer and relaxed. They immediately attracted to the towels – rolling n playing with it. After 2 days, the cats’ behavior and appetite are back to normal again!…I’m so happy they adapt so fast to the new environment!

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    1. Happy to help 🙂
      And happy that your cats are adapting so well! Catnip is a good alternative to help adult cats adapt to a new environment in a playful way. Good luck settling into your new place!

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