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Cats/moved house


   I moved house 6 weeks ago. I have 1 female (Jasmine 10 yrs) and 2 male cats (6yrs and 1yr) all are neutered. When we moved 6 yrs ago Jasmine hid in the eves of the house. I was advised to get another cat to make her feel less vulnerable and this appeared to work. Jasmine is the eldest and has always been very timid. We also have two children who when they were young she didn't tolerate and spent a lot of time outside until they went to bed then she would happily come inside to stay the night.  We moved only a ten minute walk away from our old house and Jasmine keeps returning to our old address.  I keep her in my bedroom and she appears quite happy using her litter tray and eating well. Away from the other cats. I gradually let her out and she was doing well until after a week of getting out she returned to the old address. This seems to be the pattern that she follows. I am unsure if one of my male cats is chasing her and so she goes back to familiar territory. Once she is at our old address it is very difficult to catch her (Even on the 3rd day of being there)she finally gives in too tuna usually. I have spoken to neighbours and the people in our old house and asked them not to feed her.  My sister has offered to take her to her house to live incase she isn't happy here, she also has a timid female but I am just not sure this is the best idea. She is happy when she is in my house and enjoys my eldest son stroking her. Will this gradually get less and less often? or should I just not let her out at all??

Hi Joanne,

The best idea is to not let her out at all. Cats form close attachments to their territories, and it will be hard to break them of the attachment unless they have no access to it. For some cats it takes years. I had one cat return to an old farmhouse miles away, even after he had spent months strictly indoors at my new house. Even after we got him back, he slipped out a few months later and showed up back at the farm (much more quickly this time, as he knew his way).

There may come a day when you can let her out, but as I found with my cats, they became so comfortable indoors, they didn't much care to go out after their mandatory indoor adjustment period. And I decided that since it was much safer, I would keep them in. If you decide you want to let her out someday, I would wait at least six months from the last time she was out. It's important to remember, though, some cats have memories that last years, and should she still head for the old house after all that time, I think it's best that she stay in for good.

Good luck!



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The areas in which I have gained the most experience are cat health and feral cat management/rescue. I provide supportive care to chronically ill cats, hospice care to terminally ill cats and also am involved in trap-neuter-return efforts. My specialities lie in taming feral cats and in the allopathic treatment of cats with illnesses or special needs. I also have owned Siamese, Himalayans, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, Savannahs, Bengals, Peterbalds, Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthairs and am well-versed in cat breeds as well as cat behavior and nutrition.


I have 15 years of extensive experience with cats ranging from breeding to medical care. My daily routine consists of caring for cats with diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney failure, feline leukemia, feline AIDS as well as feral cats. I have experience with liver patients, heart patients, feline infectious peritonitis, cancer, recovery from amputation and trauma, congenital deformities and most every disease in between. I have assisted cats giving birth and hand-nursed kittens who were neglected by their mother from 2 days old through weaning.

15 years' hands-on experience. Current nursing student. I've studied the parallels of human and cat anatomy as well as zoonotic disease, so my studies are broadening the depth of my understanding of feline anatomy, physiology and pathology.

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