Bringing new kitten home w/ upcoming house move?

tabbaldwinAugust 18, 2010

I haven't posted on here in over a year since we lost our almost 21-yr-old CRF kitty, Casey. It happened just 2 months before we relocated across the country, and we wanted to wait until we were settled (out of the temporary apartment) before getting another kitty.

Anyway, it's been over a year since we moved, and we decided to build a house that we were supposed to move into in June, but it hasn't happened yet (oh, so close). Back in June, with the anticipated move just weeks/month away, I started thinking about kittens. I've only ever had rescues before, but with our experience with Miss Independent, touch-me-not Casey (and how long cats can live, combined with our ages, and hubby's great desire to have a cat he can hold and love on, etc.), we decided to "buy" our love and get a Ragdoll.

As luck would have it, we found a breeder just a few miles from our new house, so I was able to go check her out and meet the kitties, etc. And, she just happened to have 2 litters that would be ready to go home in late August / early Sept--which sounded perfect to us back in early June (and we're getting 1 from each of the 2 litters, born 2 weeks apart).

Here's the dilemma: we can get the first one this weekend, but we're probably about 2 weeks away from moving into the house (we'd have been in by now except for a comedy of errors regarding the hardwood floors--botched stain job requiring complete re-sanding and starting over and then on the second try, they spilled a bucket of polyurethane down the stairs!).

Should I go ahead and get my first baby or wait until we move? I hate to miss out on anymore of his babyhood (he's 12 weeks this weekend).

Thanks for your advice.


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I think a kitten may be more open to change than older cats. I'd go ahead and get the kitten but what I'd do is keep them confined to one room until you move then keep them confined in another one room until they adjust. I'd provide in both rooms the same cat furniture/toys so that even if the room is different there will be something familiar present. I love kitty towers but even a small one that has someplace they can crawl into and feel safe would work. That way they have a nest/den they are familiar with and will feel safe in no matter what room it might be in. Also setting up a cat carrier/crate all comfy with toys and snacks and making it a safe, fun place to be will give them some security. I'm sure that there are others here who can suggest some other options to make your kitten(s) feel comfortable and safe.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Tracey! I remember you! So glad to see and update from you and that you made it through your long distance move.

I think kittens are very adaptable and probably won't think much of being moved around a bit this early on. I'd go ahead and get the kitten and just enjoy the heck out of him. I bet you will be giving him so much attention at this point that he may not even realize you've moved. As far advice goes, get him a blanket and don't wash it until a while after the move so he has that familiar item through it all. Also, moving with a tiny animal in the house can be stressful- I'm still worried about setting something heavy on my 1 year old cat by accident- so make sure he's secure and out of the way on moving day, and also later when you are moving furniture and goods around the new house.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:49PM
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Please be sure there are no fumes, dust or chemicals that will affect the kitten. I have never built a house from scratch but I know even minor remodeling can make a huge, stinky mess. Enjoy your kitties - Ragdolls are so cute! Did you see the story about Matilda at the Algonquin Hotel in New York on CATS 101 on Animal Planet? The cat runs the hotel!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:51PM
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Are the litters separated at the breeder's home? If they are mingling with each other already over there (or will be), then I would wait and take them both at the same time. (Sorry, I know you don't want to wait)! This way you can quarantine them together in one room; it will be an easier and less stress free adjustment for them. It would also make it a heck of a lot easier for you! It's hard to keep them quarantined in a room because you'll want to hang out with them but have to leave the room at times! They will bond with you very nicely while penned up in their room.

If they will not be swapping germs at the breeders, then consider taking home the first kitten and start your bonding process. Is there any chance you can put him in your bedroom? When you move to your new house he's not going to have his 'safe' room anymore on top of all new smells. It might be easier for him to have you guys for nighty-night time. Then, you'll have to put kitty # 2 into its own room for a bit and start the introductory process (should be easy) once #2 has settled in.

How did you select your breeder? Did you get very high recommendations for her? I made a fatal mistake with a breeder selection and it was a nightmare.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 6:42PM
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Thanks for all the great replies! I'm still torn, but you've made me feel better if we go ahead and get him.

I remember you, too, Quasifish! Hello again!

To answer some questions--the 2 litters have been co-mingled. The breeder has a "nursery" (separate room in her house, closed off from the foyer with a screened-type door) where the kittens all stay together after about 4-5 weeks in their separate places w/ their moms. In their last week there, they get let out into the rest of the house to be raised "under foot"--w/ 4 home-schooled kids and a dog. She'll let me bring home a towel that's been in the room with all of them, so some familiar smells will accompany Coco to his new surroundings (that's what we've named him--he's a real "Cocoa puff").

I read the breeder's website from all the ones I looked for that were in my state, and it was at the top of my list, and then I found that it was only 7 miles from the new house. Great testimonials and pics sent in by satisfied customers. Some were repeat customers. And, we visited there before we decided for sure to do this (had never bought an animal before and still feel weird about it). I've visited every other week since early June, starting with when she let me have first pick of each litter.

Seeing the Ragdolls on that Cats 101 was what convinced me to do it (and yes, I've seen Matilda story too)! It was between them and a Maine Coon, which hubby wanted because we now know the MOST lovable cat in the world since we moved (who's a Maine coon). He goes limp when you pick him up, so we've enjoyed loving on him whenever we catsit him--at our house no less, so we fight over him! We knew then that after Casey, we needed a cat like this one. From what I'd seen and read about Ragdolls, this seemed our best bet.

This breeder makes you sign a contract which says that if for whatever reason you can't take care of the cat anymore and can't find a suitable new home for it, she'll take it back. She seems very responsible. She was an herbalist prior to starting this venture a few years ago, and she's quite holistic with the kitties.

Oh, she wants me to take this first one before getting the second one. He's more shy than his cousin, a little female. She thinks he should have a chance to bond with me first instead of just her (if they arrive together). The other one is a little spitfire which we can already tell will rule the house. We're already crazy in love with them and talk about them all the time (and constantly look at the many pictures and videos I have on my iPhone). We're soooo ready for another kitty to love.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:02PM
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She sounds like a wonderful breeder, Tracey! How great to be able to visit so much. It sounds like she knows the personalities of them too, which means she spends time with them. It really gives you a great idea of how the cattery is run when you can check in so often.

A couple of weeks alone with the shy little guy should get him all warmed up to you! He might even surprise you and be the king of the house - you just never know lol! I think you'll be fine with a house change. Just take it slow so he doesn't get too overwhelmed with the stress. Even the excitement of a new kitten to play with will cause (happy) stress. He'll have you and your husband as familiar things and I'm sure that will help him feel safe & secure.

We want pictures - lol!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:46PM
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My builder just told me he thought the house should be ready by end of next week, so if it's that short a time, I think it'd be best for the little guy to stay where he is. After all, I'll be soooo busy that I really won't have the time I'd like to devote to him when he first comes to us. I just want to do what's best by him.

Of course there'll be pictures ;-)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:53PM
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