Moving house tips

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minkee
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Moving house tips

Post by minkee » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:34 am

In a week or two (I wish they'd give us a final date!!) we will be moving into a new house. As of yet I have done NOTHING for the animals to prepare for this! For those who don't know - I have 3 indoor cats (one of whom would love to go outside), and a 3 y/o patty x lakeland bítch.

The major change is that we're going from a flat on the 4th floor to a house - so we'll be at street level. At the moment Scout shouts 'Alarm alarm alarm!' everytime someone comes to our front door... but being on the 4th floor that only ever happens when it's me or my O/H! I DO NOT want her to do this everytime someone walks down the street!

We are also going to have a yard, but this will need some securing if the cats are to go out there... that's a future project. It's all concrete on the floor though - does anyone have any good ideas about making a toilet area for late night evacuations?

My plan so far will be to move the cats in as soon as possible, and put them in the top floor out of the way, so that they can have it as peaceful as possible and not get stressed out by workmen and removal men coming and going. We should have some feliway left too.

Scout will only be delighted to have people coming and going, so she can stick with us, that's fine. It will tire her out, I'm sure, but having a pooped out dog at the end of the day sounds good to me! I'm thinking maybe I will put up a stairgate straight away so that she only has access to part of the house though... or perhaps put one up on the landing where the cats will be and slowly move it down the house so they can explore and get used to it bit by bit. Scout is fine with the cats for the most part, but if she's really excited and wound up I don't trust her not to 'take it out' on the cats!

Any good ideas and / or tips? Anyone want to fix my roof? :lol:

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minkee
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by minkee » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:43 am

Oh and one more thing, in about 5 or 6 weeks we will also be getting a new puppy! That's a whole other story but as it's all 'fresh new start' anything that may help with acclimation is going to be a bonus - do you think if I get a blanket from the breeders and have it in the house from the get go that it might introduce the idea that another creature belongs there?

bendog
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by bendog » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:09 am

We didn't do much before our move in January.
We used took a couple of cushions from the old house that the dogs used to use, and the sashas dog bed, and didn't change our duvet covers for about a week before we went so there would be something that smells of "home". We brought them in one at a time on leads to explore and sniff about (only really on lead to avoid Ben marking since although he hasn't for years he used to occasionally mark in strange houses). We kept the spare room, bathroom and study doors shut so there was only really living room and kitchen downstairs and our bedroom upstairs to explore at first. And of course big long walk before we took them in.

When I moved with Ben into my boyfs parents I didn't really take anything of mine just a few of bens favourite toys, but Ben had met sash before loads of times by then and been to the house.

Charlie came with absolutely nothing except a lead and collar and he settled in instantly as well.

To introduce Charlie to the rest I had boyfriend meet me at the park with the others and we had a walk together (usual - parallel walk (and a bit of barking) then sniff, then we let them off lead). In the house there were no real issues. I made sure to have plenty of antlers and encouraged them to chew just to get used to spending time around each other without really interacting at first. Charlie had to learn not to go near sasha (she has personal space issues) but a growl or two and us calling him away whenever he went near her soon taught him.

Introducing poppy we just sat with her on our knee on the sofa and let Ben and sash have a sniff. She was a very confident little pup so there weren't really any problems. Poor sash was mostly confined to the kitchen at this point anyway because of the toddlers so she didn't really see or interact with pop that much.

I think the cats might be more stressed than scout. But I don't have cats so no advice I'm afraid

dontpugme
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by dontpugme » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:24 am

I've heard it's best for cats to be moved in once everything in the house is the way it is going to be when you are all done moving in. It reduces the stress of a new environment because if you move the cats in before everything is settled, something changes everyday. I watched a video of a guy moving into his new place with his two cats. He first brought them in in their little carriers and put the carriers in the middle of the main living area for a few minutes. Then he brought them in the carriers to the upstairs bathroom where one of their litter boxes was. He let them out of their carriers in there, and left them for a few minutes. Then he opened the door and let the cats explore the new place. This guy had also won a contest getting him $20,000 worth of new furniture, so he made sure that the rules with the old furniture applied to the new stuff. (He didn't like them on the sofa or on top of any tables.) He didn't have any problems with them scratching anything because they had about 10 different cat trees (which had also been in the old place). They practically had their own room of the house because these cats are famous on YouTube, and it was going to be easier for him to film their antics if they had their own room. This was about a year ago, and the cats have been doing great since day 1.
--dontpugme

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Re: Moving house tips

Post by Ari_RR » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:33 am

minkee wrote:At the moment Scout shouts 'Alarm alarm alarm!' everytime someone comes to our front door... but being on the 4th floor that only ever happens when it's me or my O/H! I DO NOT want her to do this everytime someone walks down the street!
I would start devising a neighbor relationship strategy... Perhaps I would tell them that a huge vicious black dog is coming soon, but they will probably be safe (stressing "probably")... Then maybe when they actually see Scout, it will be a relief and they will be happy with just barking ?? :)

Good luck, and congrats on the new place, new puppy, fresh start and all. Very exciting.
I have no advice on moving. Although it's dealing with 2-legged ones that is the most stressful part, in my experience. Animals can be surprisingly tolerant of inconvenience, we just proved it during our never ending renovation project.

WufWuf
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by WufWuf » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:31 am

Wait..... I know you're looking for advice but come on you can't just throw in that you are getting a puppy and then not tell us anything about the future member of the minkee family.

Come on .... tell us the who how's and whens?

You must be super excited, new house, new puppy - congratulations on both! :D
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

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minkee
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by minkee » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:12 pm

Don't worry, Claire! You will be snowed under with pics and info and lots of puppy-dog questions soon enough! It's not set in stone yet so I don't want to get ahead of myself - and the moving has to be complete first.

I AM excited, yes... but I'm also stressed up to my eyeballs with work to finish, removals to sort, workmen to schedule! It's hard work and I haven't even started packing yet :S Once we're in I can start getting excited about the p.u.p.p.y.

Ari, that's the most leftfield advice I've had yet :lol: I think I may, instead, load myself up on treats and call her to me at every noise! It's worked to stop her telling the seagulls off (who INSIST on strolling past the window, and then pecking at it if they get no response). I'm not 100% sure if she's going to be able to see out of the window - it's not a very busy road at all, but I'm going to assume that it's a bad idea to let her see out and try and keep it blocked off if at all possible.

Thanks for all your ideas everyone!

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Re: Moving house tips

Post by emmabeth » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:18 pm

Welllll

Thinking back to 12 months ish ago,, I'd say... DON'T DO IT, but actually I am glad we did!

So - move the animals first or last - I go for getting one room ok in the new place (ie, something to sit on, something familiar, something to do in there, for both humans and dogs), the most important point is that its set up so that people are NOT constantly in and out of that room.

That way, if necessary you have a secure space, with something to amuse an animal or a human, should you need to put an animal in there away from people coming and going, and should you need to have oneo of you in there to supervise things.

If you don't need it, fine, it isn't that much extra work to ensure one room is usable straight away, and you are only saving yourself time really as you'll eventually want those things in there.

It was a bit different moving here because we were moving long distance so we had to leave one person with the animals, but we managed to split up the animals so the rats and goos went first, then me and the dogs joined them (my sister lived here so she managed the rats and goos!) and then mike followed up with the mice and the hamster (including driving FORTY miles with a baby mouse on his shoulder and one sat on the steering wheel held safe by putting his thumb over its tail, because they had escaped in transit!).

Take familiar stuff or have it packed at the top of a box so you can get to it straight away - having familiar beds, bedding, sstuff that smells of you will really help. For the cats, take their litter tray with DIRTY litter in it!!!!

Since you are doing multiple cats + 1 dog, I would move the cats first into a bedroom, with their familiar litter tray and some stinky stuff of yours (but NOT your bedding unless you don't mind someone pissing on it, because someone will!), some food and water. Make sure the door is TAPED shut if you have people helping you move with a big sign saying 'DO NOT ENTER' etc (really, taping the door shut is NOT overkill, there is always some fool who cannot hear the words 'leave the back bedroom I don't want the cats escaping')

Then keep Scout with you for as long as poss, until you think she has had enough and then hopefully IF more moving needs to be done, one of you can stay with her in the new house (or the old one) - I would definitely NOT leave her alone in either house whilst its all going on, its too stressful.

Mmmmmm new puppy?? Tell us mooooooooooore! Take a blankie to the breeders for the pup so it can come home with you when pup does, take two and take one home earlier for Scout and the cats to smell but tbh, most animals dislike baby puppies for a while so I don't think that would make much odds.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

WufWuf
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by WufWuf » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:48 am

If you're looking for something easy to stink up bath towels are great. Just keep a few used ones for the move and you can then use them as cat/dog beds. After a week or so when they're more settled you can just wash them on a hot wash (the towels not the cats :shock: ) and you're good to go.

My cats are all likely to be found on a dirty towel if it's left somewhere they can lie on it.
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

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minkee
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by minkee » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:58 am

Good ideas everyone! Our new house is HUGE (if in need of some repair) so the cats can go on the 2nd floor where NO ONE will be going (yet... we're going to rent it out to a friend of ours, but he won't be in till we do it up!) so they can be out the way of any noise, and no one should be going in there! I may get that stair gate to put at the top of that landing like an 'airlock' so to speak.

The cats are currently loving all the boxes - 1) to chew on, and 2) they make a great adventure playground if I stack them up just right. I'm not loving it quite so much.. I just had a quote for removals that came in at almost £400 - and we're only moving down the road! Granted we live on the 4th floor... but still!

I will say this about the pup... he's not a terrier, saluki or deerhound. Or a husky or a collie! But he will have long legs and big ears.

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Re: Moving house tips

Post by bendog » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:02 am

Hehe I know!!
Don't worry minkee, I shall keep my mouth shut until your big reveal :D

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Re: Moving house tips

Post by Ari_RR » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:45 am

minkee wrote:The cats are currently loving all the boxes - 1) to chew on....
...
I will say this about the pup... he's not a terrier, saluki or deerhound. Or a husky or a collie! But he will have long legs and big ears.
Cats chewing on boxes?? wow.. some cats you've got there!!
The puppy... :? I got it! A Great Dane!! Yeah!! HUGE dog for a HUGE house, good choice!!

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Re: Moving house tips

Post by emmabeth » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:31 pm

Ooooooh you tease!

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minkee
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Re: Moving house tips

Post by minkee » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:30 am

Aaaannd we're back. I've missed you guys!!

The move went very smoothly as far as the animals were concerned - all three cats went in a room set up for them with their climbing posts, food toys, lots of boxes with blankets in etc. They all hid together in one box for most of the day (which in itself was good! I was worried the 2 boys might fight), then that evening I let them explore onto the hall stairs & landing. The next day when no one was about I included the bedroom & bathroom, then by the NEXT day just let them roam. They're really happy! There's loads of space for them to hare about in, and they all love having a good roll on the floors and finding the best sleeping spots.

Scout's been pretty much exhausted the whole time, but also ecstatic. She's convinced that all the people that kept turning up to help us paint or just see the place were, infact, there to see her and her alone, so she loved that. She didn't get much in the way of walks, but she was so tired out (and us, too) that it didn't seem to matter. She has also started to settle in rooms away from where we're working if it's comfier & easier for her, which is great. Previously we didn't even have enough rooms for that to be an option!

We've got TONS more work left to do, it's a real project! But it's coming together and we have kitchen, bedroom & a lounge done, bathroom almost done, and 2 rooms in the loft almost ready to be lodged in, which will be a big help. Once that's done, it's time to do the front room (can't wait for this, it has a gorgeous open fireplace in it!) and I'll be very happy :D Planning on taking up the carpet in there and having just the floorboards for a while. Hopefully New Pup won't have too many accidents but I'm thinking if he does, then wood is easier to clean. HOWEVER, perhaps carpet is temporary whereas if he wees on floorboards they're going to be wee-ey floorboards for life?!

Also to those who have portraits lined up, I'm back in business!

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Re: Moving house tips

Post by JudyN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:04 pm

We missed you too, Minkee :D I'm so glad it went so well and the animals are all happy & settled. It sounds like you've done more work on the house than we've managed on ours in about 18 years :lol:

I think I'd keep the carpet down until pup is reliably trained.You don't want wee soaking into the floorboards!
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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