January 23rd, 2007, 07:02 PM
My boyfriend and I are moving in together into a brand new home. This will be new territory for all the cats. He has a female approx 3 yrs old and I have 2 cats. A male approx 8 and a female almost 20 months. They are all fixed.
I am looking to learn the best way to introduce everyone and create a happy household. We won't be moving into the new house until the spring.
Should we introduce one of my cats at a time or bring them all together at once. As it is new territory should they all be brought into the new home at the same time? Or should we start introducing them now and build up to the full move.
We live about 1.5 hours apart so bringing the cats together to meet before we move would mean travel time for the cats and that might lead to cranky confrontation.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
January 23rd, 2007, 08:12 PM
You'll probably have to isolate them in separate rooms for awhile and then let them out separately to explore. Do the blanket switch so they get used to each others' scent. Then at some point either cage one in the presence of the other(s) or vice versa; or if things are going well, release them into a common area and supervise closely.
If you integrate them very slowly, there shouldn't be a problem. There might be a little diva behaviour but that's OK. They may not all end up sleeping together on your bed but gradually a new 'order' will be established.
January 24th, 2007, 02:40 PM
No one here seems to like my method of doing this, but it's worked for me a zillion times, so I'll give my advice on this again. I have a wire cage that is about 3 foot by 3 foot, that is bing enough for a cat blanket, small litter pan, food and water. I put the cage in the room where everyone usually is, like the tv room or den or something. I put it up against a wall, slightly out of the way, with a blanket over the top and 3 sides, so that just the front is open. And I put my newcomers in there. This way, the cats already in the house can come and sniff, or hiss or whatever, the newcomer is safe in the cage and won't get hurt, and can go to the protected rear of the cage and hide if she needs to. After a few days, I might take her out in my arms, or let her walk around for a bit, but always supervised. After one week or so, I open the door and see if the newcomer feels confident enough to come out. Usually it takes about 2 weeks for them not to need the cage at all. Now, in your situation, I would put both your cats in the cage, as they are used to each other and will find comfort in each other in a new place. Cats hate change and I'll bet that even if your cats, in your house, aren't that close with each other, they'll cling together when you move. And just to prove I'm, well, er, right, I'll give you a little background. I was friendly with an old woman who had 2 very skitterish, nervous cats (that didn't really get along that much with each other, either). When I would go to visit her, the cats would always run upstairs or out into the yard. They were afraid of everything. Anyway, the old woman died, and I had promised to take care of her cats. For 6 months, I went up to her house twice a day every day and left food for them. After about 5 months, they began to come to me. Finally, they let me pick them up. The following day, I brought my huge wire cage in the back of my van, and was able to put the 2 cats into it. I took them home, and set them up in my kitchen/den, using the above method. They huddled together in the back of the cage for the first few days. I would open the cage door and half sit in the cage, petting them and talking to them. Soon they moved about the cage somewhat. I had 6 cats already in the house, males and females, who would come to the cage and sniff. There was hissing, etc. After a few days, I lifted part of the blanket so that more of the room and more of my animals were exposed. This went on for about 10 days, and they started to get more comfortable. Finally, after about 2 weeks, I opened the door of the cage...the phone rang, so I left them for a moment. When I cam back, the 2 cats were gone! I looked all over the floor and couldn't find them. Then I looked up...the 2 of them were nestled on the couch, as though they lived there all along.
I know that others here post about putting your newcomers in separate rooms, etc., and this may work for them, but, I find my way is better for me. (How's that for being diplomatic??) When new pets are in a different room, they are not being acclimated to the main rooms they will eventually live in, they can't get acclimated to other pets by sniffing at them under the door, and when you finally do let them out of the room, it's almost like starting over again, as suddenly there are all new visual things that have to be gotten accustomed to. Sorry, I'm getting long winded here (they're going to turn this post into a movie...) Anyway, it's just my opinion!!