(Closed) We moved to a new house and now our cats won't eat

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
3170 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My dog was terrified when we moved to our house last summer for a good week. It’s a three level house and she was stuck on the middle level for many many days. I had to leash her and take through the garage to go to the backyard (the back door is upstairs). She didn’t eat unless I brought her food to her and left her alone. It’s normal, yours cats will eat when they get hungry enough.

Post # 4
Member
1660 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

They should start eating soon, but it could take a few weeks for them to really settle. It just depends on the cat.  Some cats are really laid back and get over big changes like that easily, others it takes a while.

My husband had two cats when I moved in and shortly after we (ok, I) got a dog… One of our cats adjusted pretty quickly, and the other it took weeks for him to get over his initial shock and honestly, it took 3 years for him to be 100% comfortable with our decision (he’s kind of a grump and independant anyway).  Just hang in there.

Do they have wet food or do you feed dry?

Post # 5
Member
1293 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

Ugh, we just moved to. And we will be moving again in a couple of months. Furbaby is a bit suspcious about what’s going on, but he does eat (I don’t think he could give up eating). It helps that I work from home, so while he is unsure about what’s going on, at least he’s with his mom 🙂

I think animals settle in within a few days to a few weeks depending on their temperment.

Post # 6
Member
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

They’ll adjust soon- maybe try Feliway to calm them down. Do you have a sweatshirt or towel that has your scent on it that you can leave where you think they are hiding the most? If there’s familiar scents around, it may speed up the process of acclimating. Poor kitties!

Post # 7
Member
311 posts
Helper bee

I would set them up in a small room with stuff that was in your house previously so it has familiar smells (their toys, maybe a cat tree, furniture, etc) and let them stay in there until they’re comfortable and are eating again. Once it seems they’re comfortable, let them out so they can explore a bit but that’ll give them a safe haven in case something spooks them. My cat adjusts pretty easily to moves and I haven’t had the issue of not eating, but he’s always very cautious when he’s in a new place and looks for hiding spots immediately. Once he realizes that there’s nothing that’s going to hurt him, he’s a little more willing to venture out into everything.

Post # 8
Member
569 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Awww poor babies!  You did the right thing putting their litter and food in a contatined space for them to get used to.  They know where it is, and where you sleep, and they’ll be bouncing around like normal in no time!  While you’re at work today they will explore their new home and will likely feel more comfortable there.  Do you give them kibble?  If so, maybe give them some wet food for a treat to get them eating again.  My little guy loves company when he eats and when he’s been traumatized (like moving or going to the vet) I’ll sit on the floor with him and pet him while he eats and he seems to eat more.

Your little guys will be running and playing in no time 🙂  Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I think you’ve taken good measures to help them adjust, but the truth is that cats/dogs are not stupid, and they will eat when they get hungry if there is food out for them. I had a dog that would try to refuse to go to the bathroom away from home. She could get away from that on a walk or even a trip for a day or two, but eventually couldn’t hold it anymore and would go. I think it will be the same with your cats eating, they will try to get comfortable before they eat, but eventually when it’s clear it’s not just a visit, they will start. 

Post # 11
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

When you introduce a cat to a new home, it needS to establish a ‘safe spot’.  Generally, vets say to keep the cat in a smallish room (like an extra bathroom) where they have food, water and a litter box.  When they become comfortable in that small area, then expand their territory to the rest of the home.  The process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week.  By taking your cat out from his hiding space in the basement, you’re being counterproductive because the message the cat is receiving is that the space he chose isn’t a safe spot.  Since you’ve only been there for a day, begin again.  Give the cat an area where he can settle down with his food, water and litter and become familiar with that area of the new home.  If you decide to get another cat at some point, the process is the same.  When you bring the new cat home, it should stay in a small room for the first few days while it adjusts to the new home.  Bring the other cats’ blanket or toys into to room so that the new cat can smell them.  

Post # 13
Member
2376 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’ve moved 7 times in 10 years.  My Vader has become reluctantly used to it.  Best thing is what you’ve done – give them easy access to food, water and litter.  Giving wet food and other yummy treats is great too!  Normally, the boys don’t get people food, but I’ve been known to bring home a bit of chicken after moving day, just to bribe my way back into his heart.

Post # 14
Member
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@NurseMandie:  You could try getting them calming treats, I believe the brand is Pet Naturals.

We had 3 cats at our last move, 4 now, and they were all very different. One came out right away no problem, one hid in the closet until it got dark then came out and one started chewing her fur off as soon as she saw moving boxes…then didnt come out of the closet for a few days after the move. It took her a while to adjust. We did everything for her on the last move, including calming collars, pulg ins that are supposed to help make her at ease. I think the treats were good because she was getting a little something to eat and hopfully it was making her feel better.

Post # 16
Member
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Cats won’t eat when they aren’t comfortable.  Others have already said to establish a ‘safe zone’ for them, and this is the best advice.  If you want it to be the basement, that’s fine, or it can be an extra bedroom or whatever room you choose, (bedroom would probably be better than the basement, just because it’s like smaller than the basement).  Put their food and toys in there, as well as any familiar items from the old home, like pet beds, blankets, etc.  

Just because they are in the safe room doesn’t mean you can’t interact with them.  My cat was a stray, so we had to keep her away from the other cats when we first got her, as she hadn’t been tested for contagious diseases yet.  We kept her in an extra bedroom, but we would go in there several times a day to feed, brush, snuggle, and play.

Also, if they don’t already have one, a cat tower is a great idea.  You can some nice towers at a much more reasonable price than those at the pet store at Overstock.com. Towers allow your cat to survey the room from up high, and it can really help boost their confidence.  

After a few days, open the door to the room and let them out if they so choose.  Leave their belongings there so they can return to their safe zone if they get scared.  Once they’ve adjusted to the house, then you can move their bowls and box, etc. where you want it.  

Good luck!

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