My Cat Keeps Returning to My Old Address

February 3rd, 2020

Cats have amazing homing abilities. They are often able to find their way back home from extremely far distances. Unlike us humans, they don’t need Google Maps. However, these abilities can be an issue when moving house with your furry feline. If the moving period is not dealt with properly, people can lose their pet cats. So, how can you stop them from wandering back?

First of all, no matter how much you prepare, your cat may still wander off. So, to make sure you are equipped for this, it is important to fit your cat with an identity collar.  This can state your new address or mobile number. Alternatively, microchipping your cat will allow your cat to easily be returned to you should they get lost. If your cat is already microchipped, remember to update it with your new address.

Day of the Move
On the day of the move, your cat should be kept in a cat basket until you are safely secured in the new house. It is best to set a room up with your cat’s bed and a few things to keep them entertained. It will be more beneficial if you set this up in the room you intend to keep it all in. Your cat can then start to associate this as their new home and avoid any more disruption. Setting your cat up with their favorite food can ease them into the process.

Once you have set up your cat’s area, shut your cat in that room until the rest of the house is set up. Before letting your cat out make sure all the windows and doors are closed. Then allow them to roam around the rest of the house, to explore and work out their new environment.

Easing them in
During this period your cat will be sensitive, and will require extra love and attention, as well as food. It is advised to keep your cat indoors for around 3-4 weeks upon arrival. This will give your cat time to associate this as their new home. During this period, try to make your cat feel comfortable and relaxed. After this period, you can start by letting your cat out into the garden. Make sure the garden is secured so your cat cannot get out, as this may be their first attempt to run back to the old address. Once in the garden, practice your ques of having your cat return when you ask. Feed them a treat upon their return, displaying to them that they will be treated when they come back. When you feel it is finally time to let them wander further, it is important to let them out when they are hungry. Usually, cats will return to home not long after as they will be wanted to be fed. Feed them as soon as they are back so they start to associate returning back to this new address with being fed. Slowly increase the amount of time you let them out, 10 minutes at a time.

If they keep going back
If you find that your cat still keeps returning to the old address, you may need to adjust things at home. They have not established the new environment as their home so you need to make some efforts in making it feel that way.

It is important to make sure that your cat is not being fed, or let in the house by the new home owners a long with any old neighbors that may have previously. This will confuse the cat more and increase their likelihood to go back.

The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.

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