March 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm #256726
My husband and I have recently moved to Darwin for three months – we have been gone for 2 weeks. We arranged a houesitter to live-in to look after our cat Hugo, aged 7. Unfortunately he hasn’t taken well to the change, and while he is coming to the house for feeding, he runs away as soon as he sees her, and is spending most of his time under the house. When he does come to door, he usually runs off rather than coming in, or if he does go in, gets stressed quickly so she lets him out. He’s used to spending most days outside, and the nights inside, but she hasn’t been able to get him inside at night as yet. We are on a semi-rural property, and there is no cat door into the house.
The housesitter is a neighbour, and they have a cat. Before we left when she came to see the house he was around, and quite friendly towards her, not stressed at all.
Does anyone have any ideas that might help him settle? E suggested I might need to go home for a weekend, but I think that would probably make things worse if I left again quickly. Another thought was to try to get him inside and lock him in for a day while she is not there so he hopefully has a chance to pick our smells again?
DiMarch 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm #521900
Sounds like he is rather annoyed at you. We had the same problems with the DD cat. It takes a while but cats know where they are well off and although it may take a bit longer Hugo will settle. All our cats have done so eventually. Just be patient a bit longer.
CheersMarch 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm #521901
That sounds like good advice Penny. :tup: So long as there is fresh food and water available and a kind voice with gentle hands to help him when he is ready. :tup:
At least he is spending his time under his own home and not hurtling up the highway chasing you. :jawdrop:
:hug:March 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm #521902
Is it a possibility to take him to Darwin with you?March 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm #521903
This is a bit left field but would it be possible for the neighbour to get a cat door fitted , but then there’s no guarantee he would use it.As long as he has fresh food and water he will probably be fine until you return………but we cat people do worry. :hug:March 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm #521904
Maybe the housesitter could get one of those cat pheromone plug in thingies (the very technical term) that will help the cat feel good. Maybe some catnip toys near the door or even plant a patch of catnip near the door in a big pot so that the cat likes just being there?????????March 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm #521905
Thanks for the replies.
Bringing him to Darwin wasn’t an option both as we are staying in a corporate unit where pets aren’t allowed, but we also thought the upheaval of moving from a rural environment to a small unit, the climate change, etc would upset him more than staying at home without us.
Yes, we are definitely happy he’s eating, and staying close to home. I probably would be on the next plane if she wasn’t seeing him around every day! We have also talked about a cat door from time to time, but are concerned about uninvited guests using it too. I’ll see if I can find some catnip toys up here and send them down to her to keep near the door (she’s not a gardener and probably by the time a pot got sufficient to really help him we’ll be home again). What if we slept with them for a couple of nights first to get our scent on them too – would that be likely to help or hinder?
I suspect Penny has it right though – give him time and stop stressing. He might be unhappy but at least he’s got food and water and somewhere safe and dry (if it ever rains there :dry: ) to hide out while he gets used to the changes.
Thanks again – I knew ALSers would have some ideas and rational thoughts 🙂March 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm #521906
Is your neighbour trying to actively engage with him? If so, she is probably scaring him off. If she can spare the time to take a book over and sit reading for a while so he can approach her, rather than the other way around, things might ease up a bit. Cats don’t respond well to strangers taking over their space. But if he is eating and drinking and being sighted at least daily then you can be assured he has found himself a safe place to hole up in until your return.
Cats adapt pretty well, but they like to make you sweat.March 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm #521907
Re the cat door. I picked up a leaflet in our local pet store describing a cat flap that will only open in response to your cat’s microchip.
Sorry, can’t remember the manufacturer. May google be your friend 🙂March 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm #521908
it’s also what they can bring thru the cat door with them :blink:March 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm #521909
yeah, maybe you dont want 5 week old dead bunnies. Male cats are loners but he has kept your place as his home, and when you come back I think he will zone back to your lap.March 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm #521910
I had a dream last night that when we got home he just attached himself to me and wouldn’t let go 🙂 I haven’t heard of doors that work by micro-chip, might be worth investigating when we get home – he has a common habit of losing collars so couldn’t get one of those varieties.
Like the idea of asking Emma how she’s trying to interact with him – I think he’s probably seeing her and running off, but perhaps if she could sit quietly near him when he’s eating and just let him get used to her presence it might help.
I’m just feeling like a really, really bad mum at the moment 🙁March 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm #521911
Those air-thingies tend to be quite expensive initially.
Perhaps Clomicalm to reduce stress/anxiety?
Or, as suggested.. wait it out. 🙂March 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm #521912
Put something of yours outside the door like a jumper he can lay on and smell your scent.
When my friend gave my son Garfield a maloe desexed ginger cat. she sent and old jumper for him to lay on and son put one of his with it and after a few days took hers away and he layed on his till he was well settled.March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm #521913
Greth post=340224 wrote: yeah, maybe you dont want 5 week old dead bunnies. .
No .Live ones are a lot more challenging until you can catch them and return them to the Great Outdoors…….
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