Okay, so this post is completely un-craft related, however my babies are my whole life so I felt it would be an essential post to share with my fellow cat lovers.
Recently I have moved house to a little village in the countryside and with me I took my babies Oscar and Ike. It was a really difficult process moving them into a new location and I personally didn’t cope very well either. I feel like we are the same person and if Oscar is sad and distressed..then I will be too!
I thought i’d put together this little feature on how I moved them in and how they are settling in now just incase anyone is going through the same process.
– The most important thing to do is to keep calm, even if you are stressed out and about to cry..do not let it show to your furry friends! I made this mistake and was a little histerical with the stress of it all, which inturn made Osc extremely scared and upset too.
When cats are stressed they are most likely to lash out on their loved ones and other cats that they are normally pleasant with. This happened to Osc and it was a really horrible thing to watch. He was so stressed and would lash out and attack ike – which is completely out of his nature. Being crammed into a pet carrier with each other was completely alien to them, so it was understandable that they were both extremely spooked out.
So keeping calm is a major element to the moving process which seems completely obvious but was a difficult thing for me to master – simply because I love them so much.
– Surround them with as many familiar things as possible. I made sure that they had familiar smells around them as much as I could. This included blankets, bowls, brushes, pillows and a cat bed. (And maybe a jumper or two of mine, just to make them feel at home!)
Treat them like kings. (Or queens!). Oscar in particular is a picky cat. He only likes Iams (Dried biscuits), tuna or prawns. I know, he thinks he is a prince. Which he is and means I fall for it all the time and have to buy expensive prawns. But you do anything for your babies, right? I also made sure I brushed them all the time and gave them lots of attention so they could realise that it’s okay. So to them they were beginning to realise: New house = Good food + lots of attention. Yureeka!
Being patient and persistent is another tactic that I thought was really important. For a day or two we would put harnesses on the cats and take them up the garden. This was a really traumatic for the cats as they have never so much as had a collar on because they didn’t like it. So being patient and allowing them to take their time in adapting to the harness was really important. If I pushed them too much, they wouldn’t feel at ease with the surroundings.
Introduce them to their new surroundings with you. I walked around the garden with them and brushed them whenever they began to get spooked by a noise or an unfamiliar smell. This really helped them realise that in this new strange place there is lots of love and affection.
And something else I learned? Don’t leave the window ajar in a room where two adjatated cats are living. They WILL jump out. Sounds silly, yes! But I left the window open a tiny fraction to give them some fresh air and Ike managed to figure out how to open it and jumped out. Luckily, he was ready to be let into the new place by himself and returned home safely.
I hope these tips were of any help to you if you are moving or thinking about moving in the future! I am so happy that the cats have settled into their new surroundings and have now realised that this is the place of dreams for a cat!
p.s. I am back and so excited to get back into my creating.