relocating cat

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Spence
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relocating cat

Post by Spence » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:43 pm

I have a female "shop cat" at my auto repair shop. She was born in a car outside of the building about 8 years ago and we "rescued" her about 7 years ago. She now stays in the shop but spends a lot of time in her territory outside. We will be moving to another location about 3 miles away to share another shop that is already established. There are 2 cats at that shop that spend most of their time there although they roam to other businesses. I'm sure they consider it "home" (food and litter box there) and will be protective. There will probably not be an opportunity to leave "my" cat here and I want to take her with us.

All these cats are fixed females and mine will probably be the most aggressive, she chases other cats from here. The other location will allow opportunities for the cats to leave the building and I am concerned my cat will try to return "home". How do I handle this situation?

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meriad
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Re: relocating cat

Post by meriad » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:20 pm

oh, that's an interesting one Spence and not 100% sure to be honest. I hope someone else will come along soon that can offer better advice.

Personally what I'd do is invest in an extra large dog crate and move your cat to the new premises and keep her in the crate to start with. That should hopefully give the existing cats a chance to get used to her smell a bit. The one big thing with any feline intro's is scent exchange. So, it may sound gross, but it may be an idea to exchange the litter trays (keeping them clean though - there will be enough scent in them), just to get as much scent exchange going as possible. Usually with intro's the recommendation is to exchange scent by first rubbing something like a face cloth over the one cat (focusing on the cheeks where the scent glands are) and then rubbing that same flannel over the body of the other cat and also the other way.

Who do the other two cats belong to? Could you speak to him/her and find out if after a few days it would be possible to confine those two to a separate part of the workshop only and giving your girl the run of the shop (again the scent exchange) and familiarisation of territory (but not allowing your girl outside). It's going to be hard, but given your cat isn't exactly a house cat you will need to keep her confined to a crate / room / workshop for as long as you can. The usual recommendation for a totally domesticated house cat is 4 weeks.

And then bribery with food often works as well; keep treats to hand and when the cats are close to each other give them treats so they associate each other with good things.

Best of luck and please do let us know how you get on

PS: and if you haven't yet make sure all cats are vaccinated annually ;)

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MooBag
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Re: relocating cat

Post by MooBag » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:08 pm

Hi Spence,

In addition to Meriad's advice, you might want to check out the advice pages below - although these are aimed at cats being brought into a home situation, the same broad principles will apply. If there is an office or small room at the new premises, that you could use to start your cat off in, separate from the resident cats at first, that would be ideal. You'd need to make it comfy of course, with bed / food / litter etc all info on here anyway...

Starting the cat off in one room: http://www.catchat.org/bonding.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Cat to Cat introductions: http://www.catchat.org/hierarchies.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You will need to keep her indoors for a few weeks, so that she gets used to it as 'home' and doesn't try to run off or return to the previous premises.

Could another option be to adopt her into your home, rather than her staying as a 'shop cat'?

Good luck!

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