Moving home with a cat – keep the bed smelly!

I have just moved to a new flat in London, which is very quiet for the capital city by the way. Charlie and I both like some quiet. I deliberately made sure the bed clothes were not washed for about 10 days. I don’t know what the routines of people are in respect of bed clothes but 10 days is quite a long time. It ensures that your bed smells very strongly of you and your cat if he regularly sleeps on your bed.

This is exactly what a cat needs when he moves to a strange place. A cat becomes nervous. He wants reassurances. He gets reassurances from the scent on objects with which he is familiar. It feels like home. Humans are very visually orientated. We get used to the way a place looks. Cats get used to the way a place smells. For cats, scent outweighs vision sometimes.

If he smells unwashed bed clothes he is immediately right at home. He should feel calmer more quickly. It certainly applies to my cat. Despite being very anxious, he settled down on the bed and felt comfortable. The bed, incidentally, is on the floor because I am too exhausted to construct a very complicated storage bed this evening. This suits Charlie very well as he has difficulty getting off beds because he has three legs.

He feels at home on the bed and it is great for me too because he can keep me company while I type this page and settle in myself. It is a joy to have a cat companion when you are suddenly alone. It increases the intensity. You need each other more than usual.

A bed that has your scent and the scent of your cat is an ideal object to settle in a cat because moving home is a day long event. Everything is in a mess and you have to make a bed at the very least. It is probably the first thing you do. That is good for your cat too.

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

16 thoughts on “Moving home with a cat – keep the bed smelly!”

    • It is great being liquored up when you’ve been stressed for a while. To be honest I work through it 😉 True. In fact, Dee, there is a moment during having a beer when I think more clearly and have insights and good ideas… Great excuse isn’t it 😉

  1. Hoping you and Charlie are very happy in your new home Michael, it’s great that you’ve found a quiet sanctuary in the city of London. Very good advice about the traumas of moving for cats too, I hope you both had a good night’s sleep on your floor level bed and feel up to the rigours of sorting out your new home today. I’m astonished that even after a long day of moving you still managed an article for POC.

    • Thanks Babz. About mid-afternooon, I stopped and had a couple of beers, which I was lucky to find in a box 😉 Things got better from then on….

      It was not that bad a day. It panned out well. Plenty of opportunity for disaster but none happened.

      The only problem is that I have too much furniture! I have to get rid of a bit. I can’t move in the living room 🙂

      • Your finding the beers in a box made me laugh, Michael! The timing of that find probably made you very happy. Like when I found a candy bar my piano student’s father had dropped behind a chair. I was vacuuming and found it and I ate it right away figuring the universe was rewarding me with candy for finally doing some housework. Then I realized where it must have come from. Oh well.

        • Joy comes to mind. I just happened to choose the right box. You know what it is like, chaos. When I saw the beers I thought – thank God, I can chill out now for a bit. I slept badly though 😉

  2. Good luck to you and Charlie in your new home.
    How on earth did you manage to move and still keep PoC up to its usual high standards? No wonder you are exhausted!
    Moving is a nightmare and I’d dread having to move with Walt and Jo who are both 12 years old and very terratorial. But having said that, we did move here with Ebony and Bryan who were 8 years old at the time and they settled immediately as we tried to set the rooms out the same as our old home and lay our familiar smelling clothes around.
    It’s a good idea of yours to keep your used bedding on so it smells familiar and homely.
    I hope you have a nice garden, I think Charlie will soon find his way around outside too, we took our cats out into the garden a few times a day for a week and stayed with them while they got to know the scents.
    You must have felt sad leaving the tabbies behind 🙁

    • The tabbies — I definitely feel sad to leave them but they are friendly with Michelle the person I was living with so they will be loved by her. I left some cat food behind too.

      I couldn’t take them with me. The owner knows me and it would be theft and too stressful and problematic.

      The best part about this new place is that it is very cat friendly. I was saying to Dorothy, there are extensive grounds with lots of trees and it is far from the road and quiet.

      When I came to view it I saw the Siamese cat, I knew it was a cat place. There is even a LaPerm in the gardens. That is a rare American cat breed.

      I hope we will be happy here. We are not under the Heathrow flight path either, which helps a lot.

  3. Michael, hope your cat Charlie likes his new residence as cats are territorial and consider their house their territory.Taking your old bed-sheet would make your cat Charlie realize that he is in familiar territory in a different location.In the West it seems people change homes more frequently then in Eastern Country’s.As for me, been residing since 1975 in my present flat along with a succession of pets that began with dogs.Honestly, i would find relocation more difficult to adjust than my 2 cats and parakeet if and when at all i have to shift from my present location in Mumbai.I think pets quickly adjust to a new home with their human companions but its we humans who find it difficult to adjust to a change in residence, City or Country!

    • Totally agree. It is hard to adjust. I chose somewhere that had a connection with my previous place – Richmond Park is very near by. Also it not far away so I don’t feel I am on the moon.

      Also, I moved slowly, over four months, so I gradually adjusted to the new place and surroundings.

      I feel OK at the moment. Actually, I feel good, relaxed and calm. Charlie is fine too. He looks less nervous than I thought he would.

      Thanks for the comment Rudolph. Sometimes change is good. I refreshes life and leads to new opportunities.

      • My last partner lived in Shepherd’s Bush; when I visited him there we went to Richmond Park quite a bit to spot deer and green parakeets.

        I’ve stayed put for over 25 years and don’t plan to move. We moved about too much when we were kids and I don’t like upheaval.

        • I hate upheaval too but this has been a good one (if it ever can be good). Yep, the deer and parakeets are still there. I go walking in the park and feel at home. I feel at home in nature. It is a beautiful place and very good for the mind, soul and physical wellbeing.

  4. Only one of the reasons we have decided never to move again– Monty wouldn’t like it. Moving is awful. I hope you and Charlie settle in and feel at home soon in your new place!

  5. Very thoughtful Michael. Oh the sacrifices we make for our cats! Eww. Will Charlie have a garden to roam? Best wishes for a comfy new beginning. For both of you.

    • I chose the place for him and me equally. This a London condo that is made for cats! I see lots of cats here and quite a few are pedigree, surprisingly. It is safe too. The gardens are extensive and listed which means protected by law.

      We are about 300 yards from the road and there’s a wall too so the place is about as safe for a cat as you can get for West London. Thanks for the best wishes. I feel calmer.


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