April 22, 2009
Feline Advice Sought
My blogging frequency has slipped lately, as we prepare to move to our new house next week. Those of you who have followed this blog know the trials and tribulations we have had integrating our two tribes of Tonkinese (let's call them the NM and the MN tribes.) Sadie continues to be aggressive, but we are hoping that the move to a new house will break up current behavior patterns and press the proverbial reset button.
We will be moving the cats on the same day as we move our furniture. The moving company estimates that the process will take all day, so we will probably take the cats to the new house early in the morning. One of us will stay at the new house, and the other will supervise the move at the old house. Do any of you faithful readers have suggestions about how to introduce them to the new house? Turn them all loose at once, close the door, and let them sort it out??! Sequester the two tribes in separate rooms? The two NM cats have already visited the new house. Interestingly, Chloe was like Dora the Explorer - she quickly scooted throughout the house and claimed it as her own. Dylan huddled in a corner. The MN group won't visit until the day of the move. Suggestions?? Maybe we should tranquilize them? Or perhaps tranquilize ourselves? Stay tuned... Please leave comments!
Hi Hal! Roberta told me you might need some help with this issue, so here I am. If the cats are total strangers to each other, I would try to keep them separate from each other while they get used to their new surroundings. Getting used to a new house and new housemates could be too much for them to handle all at once. Either way, the MN cats will be overwhelmed and take cover under whatever furniture will be available to them. Since you're moving the furniture the same day, this could be tricky. I'd try to get a few pieces of familiar furniture set around in various places so that they have a comfortable place to hide. That's how my cats would like it, anyway, but as you know, they're all kooky and quirky in their own special way. For what it's worth and wishing you well, Jennifer
Posted by: Jennifer Welsh at April 24, 2009 4:26 PM
Thanks Jennifer! I appreciate the perspectives. I agree that it makes sense to try them in some more confined spaces rather than just turn them loose. It will be a challenge with the moving people tromping in and out all day - butI'm sure they'll survive somehow! They do have their favorite beds - we can probably take those over the night before for that place of familiarity. Good to hear from you! Wishing you well as well. Hal
Posted by: Hal at April 25, 2009 9:48 AM
Hi Hal, We've only moved two cats (from MA to MD) and don't have experience with blended cat families. I recall, however, that moving cats is a traumatic event for them -- full stop! That said, it seems to me that the most important thing to do would be to make sure each group (MN and NM) feels secure in the move first and foremost (especially since the furniture is being moved on the same day). People will be tromping in and out -- this will be traumatic enough for them (think of poor McKenzie and how she will hover behind whatever she can find to hover behind). I agree with Jennifer re: isolating them in smaller spaces (while furniture is being moved) and having familiar things with them (e.g. cat beds, toys, etc.). Once the furniture moving has ceased and settled, then I can see letting them out to explore. There will be plenty of time to have them sort out their territorial issues. If all else fails, I'm all for tranquilizing cats and humans (and movers, while you're at it???). Let us know how it goes!!!
Posted by: Bibiana at April 25, 2009 10:05 AM
Thanks Bibiana - Good advice! Chloe and Dylan have already made "field trips" out there (they like to ride in the car with Susan), and they also explore outdoors a little - so perhaps they will stay outside and let the others be inside. We'll see. Anyway, send good energy, and I'll let everyone know how it goes!
Posted by: Hal at April 25, 2009 10:10 AM