upset over old cat and future move

I have an 18 yr old (neutered) cat. I got him from our local shelter after moving to horse property in 1993 to keep rodents from invading our house. He did a fantastic job but hated being in the house and preferred living in the barn or garage. That seemed to work out fine until I moved into town 3 yrs ago. He still refuses to stay in the house and has the garage as his home (let out to backyard every morning in good weather). The problem is he has never been happy here and has shown me such by pulling his fur out. It gets really bad if I have to leave for a few days. His back will be bald when I get home. It doesn't matter if I leave him with the Vet, family members, or have my niece stay here. He seems to be getting worse with age and has also started to "miss the litter-box" when anything is different or, to him, stressful.

I am moving to another City in a few weeks and am beside myself on what to do with my cat. I am afraid he won't tolerate the move well at all and my new house's garage has no access to the back yard (he is terrified of traffic so never goes out to the front of the house). I keep going back and forth as to whether it is better to put him down before moving, or to take a chance of taking him with me and knowing his last time with me will be nothing but unhappy stress for him. He can't see well, can't jump or run due to old age but is not sick.

Has anyone else had to decide something like this? I lie awake at nights not knowing what is best for him. I don't know what to do.

This is a difficult question to answer as he is not sick as such but then again he is an old cat who is starting to feel his age too if you say he is having mobility issues as well as sight problems.

The ideal would be to find someone who has a bit of land or large garden that is happy to let a old timer live out the rest of his days sitting in the garden doing not very much. But this can be a difficult find, it may be worth advertising to see if someone is prepared to do this.

As for your move. Yes it sounds like he won't be happy there and yes pulling of fur can be an indication of anxiety. There are treatments you can buy which are designed to help relax your cat, see this page for more information on anxious cats

Your vet may also be able to prescribe something.

It is a difficult decision for you i understand completely. It may be worth having a conversation with your vet about your cats general health etc and see if he has any recommendations, he may even know of someone who is willing to take him.

I hope you find a solution to your problem soon
best wishes kate

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