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Unread 08-04-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Moving--Mod Please move to Cat Advice (sorry)

I tried to look up threads on this, and couldn't find any. Sorry if something similar has already been discussed, but I need help!

Things have gotten tough moneywise. My hours are reduced to only 1 or 0 days a week because less patients are coming in (economy I suppose). I am originally from the Chicago area, but am in a serious relationship here in NYC. My bf and I want to save up to get a place together. Times got really tough and I cannot afford rent anymore. I considered going back to my parents until I get on my feet (and bring my cat). My boyfriend said absolutely not, there are other options before I go and do something like that. I didn't WANT to run off to my parents that are 800 miles away, but thought I had to. His mother is happy to take me in. We feel like losers. He was out of a job for 10 months and started a good one in May. So he's home saving up, helping me with rent and sort of living between me and his mother (because my apt is small and he has lizards that I don't have room for). But he needs to save up too, can't just pay my whole rent and bills.

She lives in a 2 bedroom apartment downtown in a highrise. However, she has an old English Bulldog. I'll be moving in end of August. We thought it would be a good idea to bring my cat over to see how things go. The dog, Otis, is losing his sight and hearing. He wasn't really aware of Sam (my cat). We kept Sam in the crate for about 15 minutes, to let him take in the surroundings before being let out. At one point, Otis realized something was there and went to sniff and of course Sam hissed and hit the cage gate. Otis backed off, like Sam was a crazy moe-fo. We stayed for 3 hours.
Sam retreated to the bedroom (which will be ours) and hid under a tank. He wouldn't even eat human quality CHICKEN! He was breathing heavy and I had to be alone with him in the room and calm him down. I showed him the window, he was VERY interested (38th floor) since he's never seen anything like it. However, he was still scared and stressed.

I don't know what to do. I don't think Otis will bother Sam much, I'm actually more afraid that Sam might take out one of his eyes! I keep his nails trim, but still. Do you think he'll adjust? Does anyone know on average how long it takes a cat to chill out and get used to a new place? I don't want him to stress too much. I thought since he was once a street cat that he'd adjust easier, being used to change. But now I don't know. To make matters worse, we hope to only be there 4ish months...then we'll hopefully be moving into our own place, AGAIN! Does anyone have advice or ideas for me??

Last edited by Ka ka ka kitty face; 08-05-2009 at 07:29 AM. Reason: realized this should be under a different topic
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Unread 08-05-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Any kind of change is very stressful for a cat.

I am sorry your life has taken such a difficult turn, you are not alone and should not be calling yourselves losers. Life happens.

The important thing is that you are concerned for Sam's welfare.

Yes, it will take him time to adjust. He may have been a street cat, but he's used to good living now, and there may still be the fear, subconsciously, that this good living is not going to last and he will be back on the street.

For the first week or so, I advise you to keep him in your room only, let him get used to that small space, before allowing him more access. Leave his carrier open and give him a carboard box, for hideyholes. Clear off the top of a dressser.

For the dog's safety, they should never be left alone in the same room together.

However, what Sam needs in the apartment is a high place, in the general living area, where he can perch and survey the place in safety. When he's up there, he won't feel threatened by the dog and will not feel the need to defend himself. As a street cat, you can imagine he's had some bad dealings with dogs.

Clear off the top of a book shelf, or dresser, or anything, that will give him a perch at least six feet high.

You can help him also by getting some Rescue Remedy, if you can spare the $10 or so it costs. I would recommend feliway plug in diffusers, but I know that is probably beyond your means right now.

Keep an eye on his litter box habits, as stress can sometimes cause illness, such as urinary tract infections.

It is good of his mother to take you in, I hope it works out okay, until you can get back on your feet.

One more thing: Make sure those windows are secure. It would be the worst tragedy of all if he were to fall out of a window.



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Unread 08-06-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the kind words and help! I will take ALL of your advice!
I will definitely look into that rescue remedy, he was super stressed!

What worries me and his mother is that there is a balcony. If it's a nice day she leaves the balcony door and windows open. The windows have screens, door doesn't. She mentioned maybe she should get a screen door, but I feel bad having her get that and have it installed and all. I also can't afford to pay for it myself. What if there's a moth or bird and Sam runs out to get it, not realizing he is 38 stories up?! My bf said we are over worrying and that, "Sam wouldn't do that, cats aren't that stupid; you know how many cat owners are in tall buildings?"
Which I can't think of any stories/news about cats accidentally jumping to their death. Only ones of lunatics throwing them.
So many worries! That's why I'm awake now! Plus money....job...moving. UGH!

Thanks again!
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Unread 08-06-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Let her get the screen door. They aren't very expensive (relatively speaking) and she and you would never forgive yourselves if Sam fell/jumped off the balcony.

And yes, it could happen.

You can always pay her back for the door when things get better for you.

Check all window screens to be sure they are secure, as Sam may want to sleep in the windows.

Let us know how things are going!


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