Why do cats run away when you move?

dragonsandcats

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I have always been taught to have a cat stay in a new house for 2 weeks before being let outside. if you let them out, they run away. Why is this? just curious.
 

dusty's mom

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I moved a year ago. I had one in/out cat. I didn't let her out for at least a week, thought I did take her outside (both front and back) in my arms for several days before I let her out. Then I made sure that her favorite towels were on her sleeping chairs, and I put food and water out. I didn't let her out at night. I didn't have a problem. She took to the new house and hasn't run away.

She may have been an abandoned cat when we hooked up with her about 6 yrs. ago. She slept on our patio furniture for months before we figured out that she didn't have a home. She did have a collar, so that confused us. She was so grateful to be adopted by us!

When we were preparing to move last year, we locked her in a bedroom with food and water and litter until all of the furniture was out of the house. Then we moved her and her sister (indoor only) kitty once the furniture was in the new house.
 

rad65

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Originally Posted by dragonsandcats

I have always been taught to have a cat stay in a new house for 2 weeks before being let outside. if you let them out, they run away. Why is this? just curious.
Your cat is used to the area surrounding your house. When you let them out in a foreign area, they'll be really confused and most likely try running away in order to find their old stomping ground. Giving them at least a couple weeks of nidoor-only, or supervised outdoor will let them get used to the fact that they're living in a new area.
 

ldg

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Because cats are territorial, and the territory has changed. They need to understand the new territory is now "home," where they eat and get love and care. They need the time to become familiar with at least some of their new territory, and time to make it "theirs" before expanding it, or as rad65 pointed out, often they'll just run away, looking for the territory that is familiar to them.
 

ducman69

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I agree with the answer, but is there a reason you have to let the cat out?

With all the dogs, feral toms, cars, poisons, weirdos, parasites, and environmental concerns (many songbird populations are going extinct of which domestic cat predation is listed in the top five causes per the government's US Fish and Wildlife Service's division), there are a lot of good reasons to keep kitty inside if at all possible. They have some nice outdoor enclosures, then no worries about running off either.
 

momofmany

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When I moved last time, I kept the feral cats that I relocated with me inside for 2 months, rather than 2 weeks. The protocal for relocating cats is that you keep them enclosed for 6-8 weeks. When I did let them back outside, they stayed very close to the house for about a month before they started to venture out into the yard.
 
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