Cat New Home 🏠

Reggie335

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Hi everyone,

I am writing here with hope you guys can help me out with my dads cat that needs to be taken to a new home.

Unfortunately, my dad had a stroke few weeks ago and he’s hospitalized but the chances of him going back home to his cat are almost 0..

His cat is 10 years old and not very social.

Me and my gf are moving in together in 2 weeks and want to take the cat with us.

For the time being we visit her everyday but she’s always hiding somewhere, usually under a cupboard where it’s difficult to reach. She’s not coming out even with food offerings (but eats when we’re not around). My dad was the only person she knows and we now want to take care of her as best as possible.

She’s not aggressive but she can bite and scratch when uncomfortable.

I have a few questions,
First, how do we take her from my dads place to mine, considering she’s always hiding in difficult to reach places and might be scared and biting.
How do we make sure she feels safe in her new place assuming she will take a long time to feel comfortable with other people. We even have a whole room prepared for her.
How do we gain her trust and make sure she becomes more social..
Thank you 🙏
 

Margot Lane

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I feel confident the feral cat people here will best advise you as to how to catch her. Meantime make sure there is not one single solitany place at your house she can escape..ceiling tiles, air ducts, easily pushed open screens. If it were me I’d just make it seem welcoming! Maybe get a cat tree? A couple spots if you have room for litter (as you don’t know what she’ll prefer?) toys, fresh water, some catnip mice? Does she have health insurance and has she recently been to the vet? And just keep talking to her, get her used to the sound of her voice, don’t force the relationship…let her get comfortable. Also David Teie’s music for cats can be very soothing.
 
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Reggie335

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I feel confident the feral cat people here will best advise you as to how to catch her. Meantime make sure there is not one single solitany place at your house she can escape..ceiling tiles, air ducts, easily pushed open screens. If it were me I’d just make it seem welcoming! Maybe get a cat tree? A couple spots if you have room for litter (as you don’t know what she’ll prefer?) toys, fresh water, some catnip mice? Does she have health insurance and has she recently been to the vet? And just keep talking to her, get her used to the sound of her voice, don’t force the relationship…let her get comfortable. Also David Teie’s music for cats can be very soothing.
She has never been taken to a vet and I’m not really sure if taking her directly from my dads place to the vet and then her new home would make her even more stressed.

Thank you for the advice, I’ll make sure there’s no place she can escape to and I’ll get her her bed and toys so she’s familiar with something at the beginning
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. A lot depends on the timeline. The longer you have to try to get her comfortable with you before you move her the better. But that will mean being able to spend extra time in your dad's home - just being around so she can get a sense of you. She needs to get the understanding that you have replaced your dad for her caretaking. The more she sees you as her caretaker the easier it will be to move her to your new home. If there are routines or patterns that you know your dad had, especially those that pertain to her, it could be helpful to mimic them. Keeping her food, litter, litter box, food/water dishes, toys, bedding, etc. the same for now - and, then remaining with those things once you move will go a long way in making her feel some level of familiarity. Taking some unwashed but worn clothing of your dads to rub on you or at least keep with you when you are anywhere near her might help to make her feel a sense of security in that you are not totally different than he was.

Each situation is different, so you kind of have to devise a plan that fits. Hopefully, these articles will help you develop a process that will work for your circumstances.
14 Cat Experts Reveal: How To Get A Cat To Like Me – TheCatSite Articles
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
Do Cats Mourn? – TheCatSite Articles
How To Move With Your Cat To A New Home In A Safe Way – TheCatSite Articles
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles
 

ArtNJ

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I'm not sure how much of a rush your in, but you could leave an open cat carrier with food in it at your dad's place. Let the cat get used to it as a safe place. Then you go over, put food in the carrier and wait nearby.

The difficulty is that even a 10 year old cat can break ankles with agility and speed. And even if you do complete a grab, the squirming and clawing can really be something else. Advice is to use a towel, but it aint easy. Its easier to shove a cat in an oversize 2-cat capable carrier, and easier if there is an opening on top, vs an opening on the side . . . but its just not a lot of fun. So if you can gradually get the cat to go in a carrier on its own, thats a great start.

Absolutely prepare and have the cat confined to a single room (a "safe room"). The idea is that its fine if they hide under a bed, but you dont want them finding somewhere risky or problematic to hide. Around once a year, we have a poster with a cat hiding in the walls. Then you mostly just try to spend as much quiet and chill time near the cat as possible, going at its pace and letting the cat be the boss of the process. Good links posted above!
 

Furballsmom

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Hi

Bless you for stepping up for this little girl :heartshape:

In your dads place, can you start placing her food in a room where there is very little furniture? Move everything out that you can, and block off access to underneath anything you can't move etc, and then as suggested, place a carrier in there. It will make things a little easier when the time comes to catch her.

Along with the great suggestions above including the Cat Music, see about obtaining calming products. There are sprays and treats that could be helpful, as well as plugin types.

This might seem dramatic at first reading, but could be very useful information for you particularly the rose sleeves, from another thread. The point being that the more confident you feel about catching her, the better it will be for everyone involved;
may I suggest that you wear blue jeans all the time, maybe with a jean or corduroy skirt over them. Heavy socks as high as you can get them and if you have them high fuzzy house shoe boots (they are thick enough to give the claws something to sink into and curl back before reaching you.
Also a sweat shirt, new one, or two old ones for thickness. Rose sleeves are good for protecting your arms and hands, but your fingers will be free. I would suggest rose gloves, but you'll need to use your fingers.
Most of the clothes can be found at Wal Mart etc. rose sleeves and gloves are on Amazon and probably at the more expensive hardware stores.
Tie your hair up either in a tight bun or with a scarf so she can't get entangled in it. Yes, the nightmare possibility. And wear safety glasses or goggles.
Additionally, gather things from your house such as worn not-yet-washed tshirts or socks and leave them at your dads so she continues to become accustomed to your scents. Gather some things from your dads house that she won't miss yet, such as a couple of shirts from the bedroom closet or used bath towels that haven't been washed yet and place those in the room you've prepared for her.

Gaining her trust will happen on her timeline. Things might go along with no change from her timid outlook to suddenly she appears, relaxing on the dining room table. That might not mean she'll also start being a lap cat, but then again, she might :).

Whether she becomes more social, who knows, but she will be with you, safe from harm and loved, and that's the most important thing.
 

Margot Lane

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…also, definitely don’t take her to the vet right away. Just wondering what your dad did for her, what her health history is, etc.
 

susanm9006

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I wouldn’t do anything with the cat until you are settled in your place. This will give your dad’s situation time to be clearer. If he isn’t able to go home then you can plan on taking the cat. She may warm up to you by then and allow you to put her in a carrier, if not you will need to use a cat trap.

Once she is settled in and acclimated to her new environment she may become an entirely different cat, calmer and friendlier. I adopted my mother’s cat after she died last year and this cat was as nasty as they come at her house, attacking anyone who got too close or annoyed her. At my house she is an absolute total sweetheart , happy all the time. Different environment, less stress, needs being met can make a big change In their personality.
 
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Hellenww

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If you need to use a trap, don't buy one. Contact a local rescue. Ask to borrow, or rent one for a donation. If they don't lend out traps offer a donations for a volunteer to accompany the trap.

Will you have space in her room for your Dad's favorite chair?
 
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