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Things To Consider When Moving With Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats

November 30, 2012

With our new home quickly becoming more and more of a reality, it had me thinking back to the last time CG and I moved. After that time, I wrote up a post for the CH Kitty Newsletter on what I had learned during that experience and included advice from other CH cat parents.

CG moping on a bag of books I was hoping to move to the new apartment in 2011.

I thought it would be a good time to not only brush up on this advice now, but to of course share it with all of you. If you’ve moved with a CH cat and can offer any advice, please do!

From June 2011:

CG’s no stranger to moving. In his short three years of life, we have moved three times. (This move is going to be his fifth in four years.) He’s always been a champ – a curious little guy who goes with the flow.

But this fourth time was different. My fiance and I decided to move in to our new place gradually as we both hate the stress of moving in one evening. Plus our schedules didn’t allow a one-day move, so it was the most practical thing for us to do.

Big mistake.

The gradual removal of my stuff from the apartment I shared with three roommates put CG on high alert. He’d mope around as if I was leaving on a trip; a personal attack on his cuteness, he was sure.

When I’d pack up things and stack them by the front door, CG would sit by the boxes and scoot his rear closer and closer to the pile as if to say “You’re going to take me too, right?”

I’m happy to say CG’s moving day eventually came and he was thrilled to see that all of our possessions had just changed locations, not disappeared. He’s now a super-happy camper, and you can tell he’s especially glad that the confusion is over, the boxes are gone and that arranging the apartment is over.

CG sits near a pile of things I brought to my new apartment in 2011. I swear each time he hoped I would take him too!

Nonetheless, moving can be super stressful on any kitty, especially a CH one. Here’s some great advice I received about how to deal with this:

  • Try to keep life as normal as possible up until moving day. This includes keeping all of your cat’s stuff out and available until the last moment. Chances are they’ll notice the stress and extra activity around the home, but at least they won’t be anxious about their own stuff.
  • As you pack up things, be mindful of the new dangers that are around. You may be exposing new hiding spots, areas once blocked to prevent CH-cat access. Also be careful with packing materials (packing peanuts, box cutters, etc.).
  • If you have to move gradually like I did, and you can tell your kitty is stressing out, try taking your cat to the new home, so he can see where your stuff is going. That way he can see that things aren’t just disappearing, they’re going to a new place. This will also allow your cat to get to know the new place gradually.
  • Lavish your cat with lots of love. I think the stress of the situation rocked CG’s confidence. By spending extra quality time with him, I tried to assure him that I loved him very much.
  • Be careful with boxes. Cats LOVE them, and CH kitties can easily climb into them or bump into them. Take time to make sure your cat isn’t in the box you’re packing, and if you’re stacking boxes, make sure the pile is sturdy enough to take on a wobbly kitty bump.
  • When you move your cat to your new home, make sure he’s safe in a carrier. If it’s a long trip, make sure food, water and a litter pan are available. Make frequent stops so the trip isn’t overwhelming for him. Find other travel trip tips here.
  • CG enjoying his new home, after the move in 2011.

    When you’re moving out of your old place / moving in to your new place, confine your kitty to one room for a while. Make sure he has access to food, water, his litter box and a safe place (a bed, blanket, carrier). This will allow your cat to get to know the new place gradually. It will also ensure that he’ll stay safe and out of the way as you move things.

  • When moving in to your new place, do a quick safety check. Is there anything on the floor your cat can swallow? Are there bug traps a CH kitty could step on by mistake? Are there any sharp objects a cat can bump into?
  • Allow your cat to explore your new home gradually. Be patient as it may be overwhelming for him. When he does start exploring, praise him for being brave.

So we’ll see how CG does this time around! I think he’ll be a little more confident, especially with Ellie around.

Do you have anything else to add? Please share in the comments!

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