Relocate the cat again or leave him in place?
October 22, 2009 5:32 PM   Subscribe

We are moving house on the 24th of November, and going overseas for a week from the 7th of December. Should the cat stay in the new house (with a twice-daily visit from a pet sitter), or should he go to a cattery for the week we're away?

Normally we leave the cat at home and get a pet sitter -- he's much happier that way, and it also means there's activity at home while we're away.

But this will be the first time we've moved since having the cat (a male, 3.5-year-old domestic shorthair), and we're wondering whether we should (a) leave him at home, giving him time to settle in and explore his new surroundings, but on his own and without us around (but with a twice-daily visit from a pet sitter he already knows), or (b) put him in a cattery for that week, which would mean another week of upheaval for him but would avoid him being in the new house alone.

I'm more and more tending towards option (a) but am a complete novice in relocating cats, so would particularly appreciate advice from people who've done this sort of thing already!
posted by impluvium to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
We've moved cats a few times. I think your cat would be fine with option (a). The two weeks he'll have had in the new house with you will be enough to get over the immediate strangeness, and he'll have your stuff around for reassurance. Putting him in a cattery would be extra stress which option (a) avoids.
posted by anadem at 5:46 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Since you have two weeks in the new house before you leave, I'd be inclined to allow him to stay in his new home with visits from his known pet sitter. He'll just be settling in by the time you leave, and then be forced to adapt to the cattery and then your house yet again when you return.

No matter which you choose he's probably going to feel a little out of sorts, but plan (a) seems less disruptive to me.
posted by contrariwise at 5:51 PM on October 22, 2009

Best answer: Another vote for option (a). If your cat is anything like mine, he won't take more than a few days to settle in and start strutting around like he owns the place. By the time two weeks have rolled around it'll pretty much be home to him.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:19 PM on October 22, 2009

Yes, option A. Leave him a few t-shirts you've worn. He'll be happier in his new home than being uprooted again.
posted by rtha at 6:22 PM on October 22, 2009

Best answer: I just did some cat-sitting for a couple who got their cat a couple of days before they went on vacation for two weeks (it wasn't the best timing for them, but just happened that they inherited the cat then).

The cat was clearly still settling in when I began visiting. The first few days he was very needy and talkative, but by the end of the week, he was mellow and had explored every corner of his new home. We left on a radio, lights, etc., so he wouldn't feel too alone. I emailed the owners every day to let them know what nooks and crannies he'd been into, where his sleeping spots were, etc. (as any cat owner knows, those are likely to change every few days ...).

They came back, he was thrilled to see them, and all was fine. So yes -- another vote for option A.
posted by vickyverky at 8:32 PM on October 22, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone -- it's good to have my instinct confirmed. And Johnny Assay, I suspect your cat is quite like mine: he's quite the bossy cat and will probably just assume that the larger house has been provided to accommodate his magnificence.
posted by impluvium at 9:12 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

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