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"Maggie" - Cat, Moving Home


Moving house is regarded as a particularly stressful pastime for humans. It is said that only bereavement and divorce affect you more and since I have personally experienced two out of those three then I am not about to argue!

In the feline world moving house probably tops the stress league with visiting the cattery probably slipping into second spot. Consequently, it is important to smooth the transition as far as possible.

Maggie is about to move from the home that she grew up in, where she was very familiar with her local terrain and knew just exactly where the next mouse would come from!

Whilst a new home can provide endless new opportunities it will take time for Maggie to feel that her new environment is hers.

Using a "plug in" pheromone diffuser in the new home is a useful start to making her feel at ease. This should be rotated throughout the rooms in the house. This feline smell has an "aromatherapy" effect of calming and easing tension not dissimilar to the effect elicited in humans with the reassuring scent of malt whisky. Additionally, a cloth rubbed against her face and head should then be smeared on doors, walls and furniture at cat height to familiarise her surroundings as quickly as possible.

Creating a space with her own blanket/basket to which she can retreat is also important especially where there are other pets in the new environment. Keeping Maggie indoors for a few weeks is vital to allow her the opportunity of exploring her new territory and discovering for herself the warmest spots and the best vantage areas.

Quickly returning to the previous routine will help Maggie to readjust as well as providing plenty of the tastiest least until she settles in!

Ensuring that she is microchipped is a must before releasing her outdoors to claim her patch! Finally, ensure that no-one else in the neighbourhood feeds her especially the previous house. Within a few weeks she will be wondering what all the fuss was about!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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