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Old 08-06-2012, 05:03 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,176 posts, read 18,015,668 times
Reputation: 17570


Some of you might be aware that just last Friday , I moved from California to Boston to live closer to my son.

I am okay, but poor Sophie...... She had made such wonderful progress after being rescued from a shelter.

She is a shy cat anyway & seems to be afraid of most men (big ones anyway) . Well, imagine how frightened she was when three huge loud guys came into our little house and removed all of "her" furniture while she was locked in the bathroom.

THEN, the next morning, she was put in a small carrier for her long trip across the country. She spilled her water so she was wet for the trip and the airplane made huge and scary noises. She was in that little thing for twelve hours.

When we got here, of course this place was empty and her favorite bed to hide under was not here.
Now she hides under the plastic blow-up bed I am using temporarily , but it is so hot under there & I am afraid I might roll over on her when I am sleeping.

She has not eaten very much at all & I am very worried. The furniture will not be delivered until at least Friday so we have a ways to go.

Does anyone have any ideas that might soothe her? Maybe some of that cat pheronomes , if I can find any without even a car to get to Petsmart. That won't be here for about ten days.

Thanks for any help.


People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:34 PM
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 12,560,173 times
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Poor little Sophie! Are there any kind of generic things that she likes, that could be easily found in your neighborhood? Soft folded blankies, a cardboard box? They wouldn't "smell right" at first, but they might be a little comfort. Maybe you could fix her a nice cozy spot with towels or blankets in a closet. Maybe even a little stuffed animal to snuggle with. And some soft soothing music might help. I'd try lots of things to see if one appeals to her. I'm sure she'll be OK in the long run, but I know everything will be topsy turvy for awhile. I hope she comes around soon.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:07 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,938,347 times
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Every time you change clothes, do what men do and leave "used" garments in a pile on the floor. She will derive reassurance from finding things with your scent on them. And if your stack of laundry is in a cooler corner of a room, problem solved. By default it will be her new favorite nap spot.
Please DM me b/c you know I'm just a few miles down the road. Making a big-box pet store run would be something I'm happy to handle. (Just restocked on food and kitty litter for Seteria and Blaliko last week!) And I also want to recommend to you the vet clinic I entrusted with Weasie's care for many years and to which I'll now be taking the new additions. Sophie definitely needs to get her microchip updated pronto, even if she's "only indoor." If you have an account set up on homeagain.com you can do the revisions yourself.
Welcome to the Hub!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:49 PM
Location: Philaburbia
31,201 posts, read 57,331,348 times
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Poor kitty! I second the closet or box idea - somewhere for her to hide when she gets stressed. Did you bring any of her toys or anything from the old place? And give her lots of pets and skritches, of course.

The not eating much isn't abnormal -- Checkers climbed up onto the foundation sill in the basement and didn't come down for three days after we trapped him and brought him in the house. Hopefully she'll settle in soon.

Give her a pet for me!
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:42 PM
Location: El Paso, TX
2,806 posts, read 6,312,934 times
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Poor Sophie!
I agree with the above suggestions about cardboard boxes, what I do is close all the flaps, and then cut out a little "door" in the front...if you line the bottom with an old shirt that you've slept in, even better! That should at least give her a "safe spot" until the furniture and familiar objects/smells arrive. Hang in there!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:33 PM
Location: Northern Illinois
2,189 posts, read 3,413,505 times
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First of all - I'm happy that you are able to relocate and be near your son - and I'll bet you're happy the move is behind you now!!! Be patient with her - spend as much time with her as possible, get down on her level and play with her. Her appetite will eventually return when she feels more comfortable, and when "her" things arrive and she smells familiar smells, she will slowly return to the girl she was previously. I find that just talking softly to my cats helps soothe them, and I make up silly songs and use their names in them - they know you are talking to them and mine seem to like it. I would definitely take Goyguy up on his offer to pick up some Feliway spray and see if that helps her - and also his veterinarian referral could come in very handy. If you need to have her looked at and give you some peace of mind about her comfort I think that would be excellent.
Moving is very stressful for cats (and their people) and when we moved our 24 from Ohio to Illinois last year - it was a very trying time for all. For the most part - the majority of our cats handled the move and the stress very well - but one of our boys who is spooky anyway nearly went into a total meltdown. He freaked out when we tried to catch him and put him in the sunroom on the day when the movers came to start loading the other house. When we finally got to our new house after an 8 hour car ride - after carrying all the cages in and getting litter boxes and food and water put down for the kids, we turned them all loose. Charlie IMMEDIATELY scampered away and found the stairs to the basement. He was absolutely terrified, freaked out, upset, you name it.....he found his way into the overhead area of the unfinished basement and crouched there, crying, and gasping. He would not come to either of us - so I brought down some food and water and a litter box for him, sprinkled some catnip, wished him well, and went back upstairs to focus on the others. I had the Feliway spray and 2 of the diffusers - which I plugged in, and I had used the spray in the carriers and the towels they laid on during the ride there. Most were just curious, none really seemed too hungry but they were thirsty. We set up an air mattress in the living room and fell asleep just as the sun was coming up. I woke up about 8AM and the kids were stuck to us like tape - snuggled up and touching us. I knew they were tired, and I also knew that as long as my husband and I were there with them they would be fine. Long story short, Charlie did not come back upstairs for days - I was worried sick about him. I went to the basement numerous times daily and I would glimpse him so I knew he was alive, and he was eating and drinking and using the box - but he was not about to come upstairs. He would hiss at me After about a week or 10 days, after furniture and boxes had arrived, and I was getting the house put together, hubby at work every day, and I am home every day. One evening as we were watching TV, I happened to look over and saw Charlie sitting on the stairs, looking through the railing and watching his brothers and sisters, longingly looking at all of us. I talked to him softly, tried to coax him, and after about 2 days of him watching, I finally saw him sauntering through the house, checking it out, and finally making himself at home. He was the only one who suffered so - and he's spooky to start with. I do believe the Feliway helped tremendously and I continued to use them for a couple of months. I do wish you good luck with Sophie - I think she will be fine when she decides to. As long as she knows she has you there and she feels comfortable with you - she will be fine. Please let us know how it goes!!!!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:44 PM
1,991 posts, read 3,147,033 times
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You can use your computer to play [even] the short preview versions of the songs on ~Harp of Hope ~ by Diane Schneider

I haven't been able to access my itunes account info, for the last 2 years! So I played the preview, over and over, for Saber, and now for my new kitties.

You can use itunes, or there is a [much shorter] preview feature here: Listen

There may be other sites as well.

Diane Schneider's Harp of Hope

Introduction to Dr. Diane
Diane Schneider, J.D., Ph.D., is a professional Vibration Medicine Therapist. Dr. Schneider is a specialist who has developed a tested protocol for sequencing harp vibrations, tempo, chord structure and plucking technique in order to resonate with and 'entrain' a patient's own cellular rhythms. For over 15 years, her intervention has been shown to calm anxiety and lift depression, release tense muscle tissue, improve digestion, induce restful sleep, and increase endorphins for pain management. Overall, it gently stimulates the immune system and aids the body's own efforts to heal itself. Over 30,000 of her therapeutic harp CD's are currently in use, in Mayo Clinic and other hospitals, Veterans Administration facilities, and in thousands of homes, schools, and veterinary practices.

Diane Schneider, J.D., Ph.D., is a Kentucky native. She trained for many years at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and later became the first music director of the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.

Dr. Diane was also an attorney for physically and mentally disabled persons for 10 years. She moved to Canada to earn her Ph.D. in Theology in the area of spirituality and medicine. While serving as a pastoral theologian and hospital chaplain, she began to use the harp with hospitalized patients. She continues to actively conduct research in the Mayo Health System on the effects of harp vibrations upon patient symptoms.

In 2001, people began to report that they were using the Harp of Hope CD with their sick or elderly animals, especially to help arthritic dogs fall asleep and to calm agitated cats. Diane, who has fostered almost 40 felines over 12 years for the Humane Societies in Toronto and Minnesota adds, I routinely use live harp music and the Harp of Hope CD to relax and comfort nervous or post-operative cats. She adopted "Frosty," found near death in a Minnesota minus-20 winter, after using a regimen of harp vibrations to support her healing. This 1 year old female Siamese mix was able to regenerate three frozen extremities which had been scheduled for amputation, and was also found to have regrown necrotic ear tissue and fur which had previously disintegrated. Frosty, now 8 years old, has always shown a marked interest in music, often lying at the foot of the harp while it is being played.

Last edited by leanansidhex; 08-06-2012 at 10:50 PM.. Reason: add info
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:24 PM
2,319 posts, read 3,966,644 times
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My husband moved with our cats before the furniture and I arrived. Our oldest cat, the one who passed on June 1 (Spooky), adjusted quickly; but the little guy didn't chill out until the furniture came - 6 months later. He pooped and peed everywhere. He paced and just couldn't calm down. Even now, when he's upset, he poops or pees somewhere naughty. I don't know why some cats react that way.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:02 AM
Location: Los Angeles
1,673 posts, read 1,844,929 times
Reputation: 1768
Poor kitty Sophie. Well at least the trip is behind her. There is some good advice in this thread too. But, I'm curious, why was she in the carrier for 12 hours? Isn't the flight about 5 hours?
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:10 AM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,724 posts, read 11,753,874 times
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I just moved locally with 7 cats. They were in a separate room labeled "DO NOT ENTER -- SCARED CATS" when the movers were there. That room at the old house and at the new had several litter boxes, cat beds, and some of Mom's clothes for "comfort."

One of my cats, Einstein, was so terrified at the new house that he went into one of the litter boxes and wouldn't come out. (Luckily it had just been cleaned out for the "cat room" AND there were other litter boxes in the room too.) Clearly that little boxed-in area gave him comfort. I would sometimes pull him out and hold him, and he let me, but as soon as I let him go he'd go right back in the litter box.

After I opened the "cat room" door at the new house and let them out to explore, it took Einstein a little while to come out, and he still would run back to the "cat room" whenever he got scared. So what your cat is doing is totally normal. She has been traumatized. SHE WILL DO BETTER, so please please please have a LOT of patience with her (as it sounds like you do). As people, we know what is going on when we move; all our animals know is that they have been uprooted and gone to a scary new place. It's natural that it will take them awhile.

If you could keep Sophie in her own room when movers are there, that might help. I didn't want there to be ANY chance of the movers inadvertently letting one of my cats out.

Good luck, and please keep us posted! I am sure she will get better!
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