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Moving house - helping your pet to cope


This article contains: cat behaviour moving house

Q: I've had my two nine-year-old feral cats since they were kittens. I've downsized from a house with eight acres of land, where the cats hunted mice. Since I moved, the male cat has turned on me. How can I master him?

A: Your cats have moved from a property where it sounds as if they lived a semi-feral existence to a much more restricted environment. They were used to hunting and I suspect the male cat is displaying predatory aggression towards you. Ensure he has lots of toys available upon which he can focus this behaviour. Have wine corks strategically located and in your pockets so that, should you think he is about to run at you, you can quickly roll a cork on the ground for him to chase instead of leaping at you. Don't underestimate the injuries a cat can inflict and seek professional help if this behaviour continues.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist


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Billy's Mum
I've just moved from a flat to a house with a garden. I've had my male cat Billy for 5 years now since he was 6 months old . He's got 3 legs after losing a front leg in an RTA accident before he came to live with us from Sussex Pet Rescue. So for the past 5 years he's always lived with us in a flat and only ever ventured onto a balcony. He's very interested in his new garden but the first time I let him out lat the weekend he just went straight over the fence and went on a voyage of discovery. My husband climbed over neighbours fences and eventually got him back. I'm really worried that he'll lose his way and not find his way home. He's neuteured, fully vaccinated and micro chepped. How best can I get him settled and know that he'll come back?
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