Cats/Cat running away
My challenge is my 6 year old ginger male. I found him and his brother on the street as six week old kittens. I was living interstate and 4.5 years ago the cats and I came home. I rented a house from my best friend, in front of her house. The cats were very happy there. 18 months ago I built a house 700 metres from the rented house and across a really busy road. The problem is every time I go away for business Ginger goes back to the old house. We are up to 14 times now. I dont want to think about how he gets across the busy road. My girlfriend hears him up there and knows he's there. A month ago she went out in the night to check to see if it was him, fell over and broke her leg!! I have also had it twice where I have had people over for dinner and when they leave hes snuggled up but in the middle of the night he runs back to the old house again. He used to wait for me when I visited my friend on the gate post and I often find him there when I go back looking for him. I have just purchased a Feliway diffuser. I have to go away for 3 days next week for work and dont know what to do. I have people stay in the house but he still runs away. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to settle him. Everything I read it seems like separation anxiety. Hes a beautiful loving cat (to me, he sometimes bites others and occasionally me). He purrs so loudly and loves to cuddle. Please help Ginger settle as I can see hes really stressed when I go up and find him. He does love to sit on my lap as we drive home in the car though!! Thanks for your help.
unfortunately as the new house is so close the the old one it will be very difficult if not impossible to stop your cat returning there. it is part of his territory and as cats can have a territory which is upto a mile wide it is not unusual for him to still go there.
i assume he is an indoor outdoor cat.
i think you may only have two choices, either try to make him an indoor cat only or to allow him to continue to return to his old home but wait for him to return to his new one. he will return home given time (make sure you spread his scent around the door posts est by rubbing him down with a clean towel and then transferring the scent. Also you could leave something of his outside the door, a blanket or toys etc.
You also need to make your home as attractive to your cat as possible, so give him plenty of things to explore and stimulate him. there are many toys and interactive climbing things available now which can make his world far more interesting to be in and help to stop him looking for other things to keep him entertained.
i would keep him in his new home for a three week period with these new things to explore before letting him out again. this should strengthen the bond to the new home.
I have some web pages which you may find of further use here
best wishes Kate