Profile picture for auctionsaver

Anyone ever crate a cat while packing and moving?

My older cat 16 years old has been really stressed out over the packing.  We put plastic down in the living room to repaint the walls of our apartment.  We ran out for an hour to pick up something and found he deficated next to each of the four walls.  I found him really freaked out hiding in the bedroom.

I decided to pick up a cat crate (largest one available) and put him in there for while we are packing, painting and also for the first few days while settling into the new house.

He is meowing and complaining alot and I feel bad, I do let him out a few hours everyday for supervised excursions.

Has anyone else had to do this while moving to a cat?
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August 01 2011 - US
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for auctionsaver
Thanks.  He is adjusting well.  He got out a few days early and pooped again in the staging room.  He is doing good now though.  I think he actually like his crate as it give him a sense of security.  Almost like his "cat cave".

Still not going to let him outside for another month if that for fear of him trying to find his way "home"
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August 17 2011
Profile picture for leavinggeorgia
I've moved with 6 pets several times in the last few years, trying to stay a step ahead of the collapsing economy.  Most of our cats and dogs are younger however, so they enjoy the adventure of the new. 
Sounds like you are doing the right thing for your kitty.  We have never let the cats run loose until they are completely acclimated to their new surroundings, a process which takes about a month.  Otherwise the cats risk getting lost or confused about where home is. 
Hope by now your cat is well adjusted to the new home.  
PS. even our nicely mannered, never miss the litter box cats think plastic is fair game.  I had the same problem as you did when we were painting to prepare our original house for resale.
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August 15 2011
Profile picture for auctionsaver
Well, the cat seems to be settling down now.  I think the poor guys has accepted his imprisonment.

I am glad I went this route though.  We were moving some furniture out of the daughter's room, and he had this terrified look on him. 
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August 02 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Heck, I'd be really noisy if I were suddenly confined to a cage in my own home. Even chocolate wouldn't be enough.   Those big kitty eyes are special secret agent tools from the back of the kitty comics to melt your heart and make you feel extraordinarily guilty. 
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August 01 2011
Profile picture for auctionsaver
I thought about a pen, but envision my cat either jumping it or or getting stuck.  We didn't talk about sedatives as he is usually a pretty calm cat.

The crate is actually pretty big.  It is 48x30x30 with a top level perch.  He seems to be ok with it, but of course he keeps giving up the occasional meows and big kitty eyes
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August 01 2011
,,,,We use a baby gate

LOL! So did I! That fat cat of mine bounded right over the gate. It would take two of em stacked vertically to keep her inside.

Clearly your cat was saying "I'm gonna show you!" by pooping on the floor. Hopefully this isn't a sign of old age as cats can develop dementia just like humans. Did your vet recommend using a sedative when you actually do the move?
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August 01 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Poor baby. At 16, your kitty is definitely experiencing some stress. I think that keeping him the crate for month might be too long, but your idea to keep him crated for a few days after you move is a good one. It will also allow him to explore the new place before there is any chance that he might escape outside and get lost.

The basement area doesn't sound bad, but if you plan to keep him upstairs most of time once he is uncrated, I would consider putting him in a bedroom instead of the basement. That way he can hear familiar sounds, hear you talking and has an safe, easy place to go back to if you let him explore supervised for a few hours at a time over a week or so.

Most cats seems to adjust pretty well to a new place and even a few days in a new house and a sunny spot to nap will make your cat feel at home in no time.
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August 01 2011
The age of your cat has a bearing on its behavior.  Using a large crate is fine.  Be sure to have a litter box in the crate and food and water. 

When you let your cat out be sure to hold and nurture him/her.  The whole world is turning upside down from the cats point of view.  Your cat needs reassurance.

Yes they will protest when put in the crate, and that in itself can be stressful for a 16yr old cat.  Try to lock him in the bathroom if at all possible.  It will still be familiar surroundings. 

Usually when you crate train a dog or cat you introduce them for an hour at a time. Increasing the length each time you crate the animal until they are in there 8 or so hours. After each stay you take them out and give them some attention or treats so they are rewarded.

 In your instance your cat who was already sensing something was amiss found himself in an alien environment.  Pay extra attention to him and try to calm him.
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August 01 2011
Profile picture for auctionsaver
I think this is best though, and my vet told me it wasn't a bad idea if he is really acting out which he was.

Another thing that I forgot to mention is that I am getting the carpets cleaned in the new house and the rest of the house has wood floors.  Everything that I have read says it is good to keep them confined to a single room, but I don't want to take a chance of putting him a room with either wood floors or freshly shampoo'd carpets.  Plus there will be all the commotion of setting up and unpacking.

I am think he will stay in the quasi finished basement at first.  This way he will be out of the way while we are setting up the new house.  Once set up and settled enough (3 days maybe), I am going to let him out and let him explore.  The problem is the basement has a heat, oil tank, sump pump and generally not exactly cat friendly.  So I am thinking this is crate would also give him a safe zone to stay in an not get in trouble.  As he will be used to the crate for about a month, it will give him some familiarity as well.  I have his favorite bed and toys in there right now as well.
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August 01 2011
Profile picture for the_country_hick
If you put a cat in a box they howl a lot (almost constantly until they tire). This is true if you take them on a half hour drive to the vets (every time here) or a lot longer move (I would think).

The cat is stressed by strange things happening. I would not think it is abnormal.

Once the cat is feeling safe and things look normal they should go back to behaving normally.
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August 01 2011
Profile picture for Michael Helton
auctionsaver, cats are wierd creatures.  I hate to tell you this, but you have to be ready for anything.  I have heard of cats who were totally chill with whatever, one that took 6 grown men to get into a crate, one that the 6 grown men could not get in the crate and had to be drugged, one that hid for 3 weeks and only came out when everyone was asleep, and one who actually lost his mind and started peeing uncontrollably all over everything.

All in all, I don't think cats do well with change, so just give him as much attention as you can and hope for the best.
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August 01 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
We've never moved with a cat, but have with dogs.   We use a baby gate them into one room with their comfy beds, water and other things that make for happy dog life (things to chew on, tennis balls etc).   We also exercise them hard in the morning and evening (which is good for the humans also), however, I have no idea how to take a cat a hike in the forests!

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August 01 2011
 
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