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Thread: Van cats

  1. #1
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    Van cats

    So...

    I have two cats. At the moment they still live in the house my wife and son live in, but she wants to get rid of them. Since I moved out they've been stressed about changes, things being moved around in the house, no-one there to give them love and all that. I think I was effectively cat-mama since most domestic cats never really make it out of kittenhood. Also upset boy is chasing them around more often Stress comes out in behaviour - they piss on things in the house.

    Yesterday she gives me a deadline - I need to rehome them by Wednesday or they are going to the cats home. I can't believe I'm being put in this position where I can't 'save' my cats because of the position she has put me in.

    They're five year old cats, lived in one house since they came to us as tiny fluffballs (from Mrs M's friend, unasked), and as you can see above don't necessarily adapt well to change.

    My question to the NL crew is - will they cope with a move to the van? How can I make that work?
    I've got nowhere else to stash them.
    Can't see a way I can give them a cat flap or access to an indoor space unless I'm there. Mostly I'm by the allotment but I do move the van at present.

    I'd take them in a moment if I thought they'd be ok (and I'm not having them pissing in the van, it's too small a space!)


  2. #2
    Green around the gills ThreeMoons's Avatar
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    I'm sorry your've been put in that situation - poor kitties too! If it's any help I had to take my cat with me on a boat for a couple of years. First week was terrible because she had to be moved. I got a cat litter tray with good quality litter and locked her in for a while until she calmed down.

    Then little by little she was ok, the only disaster was how long she used to keep me waiting when I was ready to move off somewhere...that, and when she brought a live mouse on board and lost it. A few days later it had chewed the stuffing out of one of my cushions and taken up residence in the weetabix box.

    On the whole she adapted to nomadic life despite being an adult cat that had known no other way of life. Determination goes a long way to deciding if you can get them to adapt or not I think. Selfishly I didn't want to part with her so was prepared to give it a go before trying to rehome her.

    I wish you well
    Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up on your dreams and ideals, wrinkles the soul.

  3. #3
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Cats do not take to moving well , and living in a van even less well , you maybe lucky , but don't hold your breath expecting it to go well . We had a cat on the road , it got ran over , and our friends lost theirs as it had gone out while we were being evicted . I guess if you kept them in all the time you might not loose them , but probably not much fun for the cats . Better to try and rehome them to a permenant place where they are appriciated .

  4. #4
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    That's what I thought ma, and keeping them in isn't really an option, it's only a small van and they don't cope that well being cooped up together!
    The bastard of it is that I'd happily move them in with me if I had somewhere to live, but all I can afford right now is the van and ex Mrs knows this.

  5. #5
    Heavenly Creature
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    Firetree's got a van cat. The cat seems to be suited to it though. It doesn't sound like your would settle into it though.
    How hard would it be for you to try? Would it interfere with work or other commitments? If not it's worth a try.
    If you are concerned about them being put down by a cat's home, there are small charities that don't.
    Not too near you, but Battersea Dog's and Cat's home don't destroy animals. The Mayhew, also in London, have lovely room style pens not kennels.
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  6. #6
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    I did at first think they were essentially being killed, I'm assured that the home rehouses pretty much all their cats - except the very old or seriously ill ones no-one will take on. Bit calmer on that score. No, it's more just that I feel like they're being stolen from me because I'm 'temporarily inconvenienced' - and indeed by the person who has put me in this situation.
    It's like a country and western song round here I swear.
    Yeah I'm thinking to try, but if I can't offer them anything better than a stay in the home then off to somewhere else then I'm only doing that for me, not them.

  7. #7
    Heavenly Creature
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    Exactly. It's not about you in that respect
    If it comes to it, do your homework and check out any home you pick. Many RSPCA homes have a destruction policy. Smaller independent homes are good, but have limited resources.

  8. #8
    Radiant Being emmadilemma's Avatar
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    I've toyed with the idea of living in the van in a park up with mine, but I think it comes down to the individual cat and I'm fairly sure that one of them wouldn't adapt. Cats are quite prone to certain illnesses/conditions when they get stressed too so you have to be careful.

    It can be quite hard to get them into a cats home many of them have long waiting lists but hopefully you'll get lucky. It might be worth thinking about rehoming them separately as it's much easier and quicker than finding a home for two...they're solitary anyway so often just tolerate each other cause they have to. Good luck with it is a horrible situation you've been put in!

  9. #9
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    Yeah our two don't even really tolerate each other that well. That may be the only good thing that comes out of all this for them!
    I suppose I could pick one to try with the van, but which?!?

    Oddly the one I'd reckon most likely to adapt would also be most likely to piss in my cab.

  10. #10
    Jesus is not your friend Fire-Tree's Avatar
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    Thought I'd weight in, as I do indeed have a van cat.

    Firstly she has a harness on. Easier to catch, and to restrain.

    She is rather sensible. If we go somewhere new, she will not run out if I open the door; however, somewhere she knows, the little bitch will run out the van in a hot second.

    She is perfectly comfortable with the driving. She hated being in the box, so in the end we have settled to her being on a lead where she cannot disturb the driving, but I can still stroke her etc. Sometimes she will look out the window, other times she will just sleep. Has done multiple 4 hour drives with no issues.

    I let her out on a long lead when I'm in my usual park up. She knows where the van is, and that this is her home.

    I'm worried about having to move [work etc] and she's done a runner. I have faith she will be there when I get back. She's been out overnight a couple of times when she did a runner, and in the morning, before the door opened an inch she was trying to get in.

    Don't know the situation, but if you can. make a few high shelves in the van for the cats to feel confident, and also allow them to not have to see each other all the time.

    Anyway, feel free to PM if needed.
    Blog: Experiencing England in a car with no money
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  11. #11
    Heavenly Creature realnutter's Avatar
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    Trying to get this one to be a van cat... At 14 years old it might be a struggle, but he's happy enough when we're parked up at home...
    1492725412278.jpeg

    -- Posted from the UKHippy mobile app ---

  12. #12
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    I lived in a 17ft caravan with my fella and two cats for a while. They were fine with it, even came to festivals with us. We did have to leave our little girl cat a few extra days at one site and then go collect her later as she did a runner on moving day. They transitioned into being boat cats no problem, the issue came when we adopted a new kitten who took a dislike to the little girl. They still can't be in the same room together 3 years later. We can just about manage their mutual hatred on our big boat, it wouldn't have worked in the caravan!

    Good luck which ever path you choose. I'd be inclined to give them a go in the van and see how they get on, unless you have to park up in high traffic areas they'd be likely to get hurt in.

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