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Can a cat adapt to living in two places?

greypaws

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Funny how, before I got Bruce, almost every answer to this post was encouraging in this matter, and now that I have him, not so much. This was my first post, first concern and the reason why I joined the forum in the first place. 

 Both my adoption contact and the shelter were also very positive about this and didn't think it would be a problem. 

This is my life and I do spend most my weekends in a nearby town, in my second home.. Hopefully he will take to going as people said in the beginning. For what I see he is getting very attached to us, so I think he will be ok, as long as we are with him. And we would not be taking him to different places every weekend, but the same home, his second home, which is a 25 minute ride from here.

So my question is not if this is or not advisable, but, as we are going to try this, how long should we wait.
Opinions are like noses, everyone has one, mostly the opinions are dictated by personal experience and what worked and what turned into a disaster. So, all that said, it is my belief that you start out as you mean to go on. If a weekend retreat is your normal schedule, then pop Bruce into the carrier, bring along his litter box and anything else that his smell on it, so he has something familiar to associate with and off you go. There is no need to wait or go by yourselves and leave him in the care of someone. Keep to your weekend routine of feeding/playtime the same as your weekday one. The more normalcy you can bring to the trip the better. Now, understand that every animal is different but in my experience, if you follow my suggestions, keep things calm and routine so he doesn't feel stressed, give him lot's of encouragement & some special treats that he only receives at the weekend house, I honestly don't see why you can't do this successfully.

Paws up @HelloMissKitty  suggestion for keeping the carrier out with the door propped open and tied back so it doesn't slam closed accidentally & scare him and a cozy blanket inside. This way it will not be a scary thing. You can also feed him treats in there to help him acclimate if you feel it necessary or toss a toy into so he'll go into it on his own. Anything that makes the carrier a happy place. Best of luck, let us know things go?
 
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Brian007

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I think Bruce will tell you when he's relaxed and ready for adventure, I reckon you'll just know.  But I do agree with @Greypaws  to just get on with your normal routine as Bruce will adapt as long as there is some kind of vague routine.  It's good that there are two of you in the car with him, as then one of you can keep looking at him for reassurance.  Keeping his carrier out is a good idea, as its familiarity will help to disarm it.  And you're already planning on taking his blanket and a few bits and bobs with him, I really do think that you sound very on the ball as to what constitutes good Bruce care.  With any luck, Bruce will love having two homes, just think of all the lovely things to sniff and check each time he comes and goes...  
 

foxden

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madzoya madzoya
I had a cat many years ago who HATED traveling in her carrier. I was driving 6+ hours from grad school to mt mom's house. But --I had an afghan that we cuddled on. As soon as I put that afghan down, she knew that was her bed and she calmed right down. I think taking familiar things will help him calm down in an unfamiliar place
 
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madzoya

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Hi everyone!

I'm glad to inform that we are in our weekend home and Bruce reacted very well to the journey.

He was mostly calm in the car and got out of his carrier and set up exploring the minute we open it!

Is now enchanted with the big sunny windows and the fields that can be seen from them.

He already ate some and is chirping, which is a very good sign.

Thank the cat gods! I was so worried he would have a hard time with it!!!
 

Brian007

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He'll do that every time he comes and when he arrives back in your other home too.  Everything must be sniffed and checked to make sure it's still the same or is mysteriously different.  I think it's good for cats to be stimulated by going on wee holidays.  Brian used to love visiting my mum (and her 3 cats); and riding free in the back of my friend's camper-van, looking at the world whizzing by; and playing hide & seek on the curved staircase at my aunty's (I lived in a flat).  He also used to quite enjoy the luxury cattery where he was the star attraction for all the cat-carers, who spoilt him rotten and let him hang out in the office with them!  
 

caseydoll

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Awww, Bruce is so adorable! I'm so happy that it working out for you! I really think that some cats enjoy going to new places as long as it's a safe pleasurable experience, which in your case it is. Like I said in a previous post, my boyfriends cat loves her trip to my house and lately he's been coming here every weekend. She's all black too. [emoji]128522[/emoji]
 

Freedom

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I went back and forth between 2 houses for 6 years, with FOUR cats.  The only issue was catching them to crate them.  I learned to have one bedroom with no bed, as once they go under the bed there is no way I can reach them.  Other than that, all was fine.  We'd be at home base for 3 weeks, then off to vacation house for one week to 10 days.  86 miles one way, usually an hour and a half ride but sometimes 2 hours. 

Of course the first few times it was harder on them, they didn't know the routine yet.  I tend to talk to my cats and used key words so they would know where we were going.  Different word for each house.  After 3 or 4 times they were fine with the car ride, they'd exit the crates and immediately check to see if any intruder had been in since their last visit.  No more hiding on arrival, as on the first few transfers.

I did quite a bit of online reading.  One thing was to never completely empty the litter boxes of litter.  Yes, scoop so they are clean, of course.  But don't throw out the litter, just leave it ready for your next arrival.  This helps ensure the cat will return to the litter box and not decide to go elsewhere. 

Well, I don't throw out litter anyway, but I know some folks do so thought I'd mention.

I would get the crates in to the house, then fill the water bowls and put a small bit of kibble in the food dish, THEN open the crate doors.  This was so if any of them needed a drink or a nibble, it was all there for them, in the usual place. 

I also suggest using catnip the first few times you transfer.  Rub it on the cat trees so the cat knows that is HIS.  I just left a sealed container at each location, rather than transporting it back and forth.

Hope this helps!
 
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madzoya

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Thanks for the tips @Freedoom
 

sargon

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I'll second the carrier as mobile safe zone thing.  My cat doesn't mind short rides in general, and a lot of that's because she enjoys laying in the carrier.   One trick you may try is to bring water from your first home to the second, so that the water, at least smells and tastes the same.

Switching locations is going to cause some stress for your cat, but every living situation has at least some stress, and the regularity of the schedule should help a bit in your case.  Even my cat who is a spoiled only cat in a house with 2 adults who work from home has some sources of stress.  For her, the stress comes from he busy road outside my house.
 
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madzoya

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Actually Bruce is better today then he has ever been since he is with us. He's playing and cuddling with us as never before. I think he feels ok because we are here and he trusts us. I don't see any stress at all. He loved the house, and specially the view from the big windows.

His carrier is opened in our room and he never even tried to get in.

We brought some of his litter to put in this box, and some of his favorite toys. I think that helped a little.

Today I read of a cat that goes on hikes with his human. My cousin has two that travel 4 hours two times a year and don't even flinch. Each cat is a cat. And not all of them stress with trips, as many have said here. I'm just glad that Bruce seems to be a laid back kitten and he is adapting to our life well.

If he didn't we would have to adapt to him, this way we can enjoy our weekends in our beautiful beach house with our lovely black little man.
 

greypaws

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Doing the happy dance!! So happy you took our advice to just go and enjoy your weekend retreat with Bruce. He is being more cuddly as he looking to you as his source safety & stability in this new place. This may well carry over when you return home. You've done all the right things to make this work. congratulations 
 

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So happy to hear Bruce is doing so well in his weekend home [emoji]128515[/emoji]!!!
He's clearly bonded to you and your husband and since he's with you, he feels safe. Everything else is just a big adventure and lots of new sights and smells!!

Please continue to keep us posted on Bruce...I'm quite smitten with him [emoji]10084[/emoji]️
 
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madzoya

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Hi All,

We're back home and Bruce is doing fine. The weekend was a sucess. The only thing was getting him in the carried yesterday. But he will get used to it in time.

We're getting to know the boy better and reached a few conclusions:

 - one is that, under the bed, doesn't mean hiding or mopping. It means he's favourite place to relax and get away from everything. He went there as soon as we arrived home, stayed for 10 minutes and then came out his normal self;

- Other thing is he doesn't not like our living room in our workweek house. He comes and play with us there and then goes back to the bedroom. It doesn't mean he doesn't like the room or us, he means the bedroom is his quiet place and he is not one of those cats that needs to be on us every second (which is good as he spends some time alone everyday).

- in our weekend house, the living room is his preferred place. He slept there and not with us. He also slept there in my lap the entire sunday afternoon. He goes and plays in our room, but his safe place is the living room (aren't cats weird?!). 


- I am safe/feeding/cleaning toilet person; my husband is fun playing person. He gets mad at my husband when he tells him he can't do some thing (like climb a shelf or get his claws on the sofa). He will ignore my husband for an half an hour if he tells him no to something. I can correct him all I want, he will obey (70% of the time) and will not be phased by it at all. He will however sleep between both of us every night at our workhouse, preferably touching us both.

So we will try not to be hurt when he goes under the bed, instead of staying with us in the living room, and we will not get sad that he doesn't sleep with us in our weekend home. We will accept that he is is own self and does have preferences that don't always match our own. As long as he is happy and healthy we are too.
 

foxden

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madzoya madzoya
That's great. He has his spots picked out. My cats listen differently to me and my husband. I can usually get them to stop doing something much more easily than he can. Have you ever tried hissing at him? I learned this accidentally a long time ago, and found that they respond automatically by pausing. I don't use it all the time, only when they are really hyper.
 

hellomisskitty

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You have a wonderful boy there madzoya madzoya [emoji]10084[/emoji]️ Both you and your husband are such wonderful, perceptive guardians...what a lucky little man Bruce is.
My Kitty often likes to have a quite time retreat under the bed as well. Every once in a while I'll notice she's no where to be found and then I'll see her peeping out from under the bed. She always comes out on her own, when she's ready. It's good that you respect his need for some "bubble space" ( that's what we tell my 4 year old niece I need when I need privacy) and recognize that Bruce is fine when he does that [emoji]10084[/emoji]️
 

Brian007

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Has anyone else got cats who claim a spot (or sometimes two) as their own special place, and religiously hang out & sleep there for many months, and you always know where to find them?  Then, for no reason what's so ever, they totally abandon "their spot" for a brand new favourite place somewhere completely different.  I have sometimes found it ever so sad, for example, when a cat who has slept on "his blanket" at the bottom of my bed for 6 months then decides he'll have nothing more to do with it, and relocates to the living room rug instead.  
 
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madzoya

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With Bruce we're still learning, but Zoya would rotate spots frequentely (during the day), although they needed to be on full view of her people. She would spend months sleeping in the sunny table near the window, and without any occurence, change to sleep on top of my father's computer for a couple of months. Then to my Mom's sofa... Then to wherever she felt like.

She was only consistent to where she spent the night, which was at my parents feet, unless she was not feeling ok.

Is Dudley otherwise ok?
 

Brian007

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Yes, Dudley's fine, thanks for asking.  I was thinking about all the other cats I've known.  Dudley's only had enough lifespan for two spots so far, and one of those is basically glued to wherever I am.  Although he does like hanging about in the bath tub - I've put one of his balls in their now, so that he can chase it round & round (it makes an awful racket but my neighbour's away, and "while the mice are away, the cats will play!").  

Is that Zoya in your new icon?  
 
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