Cats/Blending a home
QUESTION: In July 2007 my boyfriend and I moved in together, he has 3 cats (6yr male and female siblings and another 7yr female)and I have two cats(almost 3 yr male & female siblings). As you can imagine it has been quite the assimilation. They two groups rarely interact, his group claims the top floor of our apartment and mine the bottom. We have given them separate food and litter, but they still fight, sometimes violently. They do now occasionally sit in the same room as long as they don't face each other. My question is, we have purchased a house and are moving. It is very large, and we wondered if there was anything we could do to help them blend more in this unfamiliar environment? Thanks for any help you can offer!
cats are not pack animals at all and it is quite rare for a large group of cats to live together without the occassional fight. I think the fact that you have got through the last 9 months with five cats is fantastic.
Regarding moveing home it is important that the cats are given time to adjust to their new environment before given full run of the house and being in constant contact with all the other cats, this could be very difficult for you as you have five cats as the normal way to do this is to keep the cat in a separate room for a few days, i don't know if it will be possible for you to allocate separate rooms for each cat or not.
Here is my pages regarding moving home and introducing cats to each other, i hope it can help the move to be as painfree for you all. :)
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QUESTION: Thanks Kate! Your websites were also very informative. Just a quick follow-up. We will have the space to isolate them in different rooms, is it best to keep them individually, including seperating the sibling groups? My female is the biggest problem, she hasn't adjusted to the cross country move or the other cats. She is also the largest of the bunch so we watch her carefully for bullying!
if you can keep them in separate rooms it would allow each of them to get used to a small space first. Make sure your spread all the cats scents around the house and each other rooms as this will also help to get them used to each other.
You may only have to do this for a few days and perhaps you could introduce the cats one at a time to the bigger home environment to try and reduce the stress.
It might be a good idea to keep the biggest cat to last and to introduce her to the other cats under strict supervision, perhaps using the carrier at first.
I'm sure they will all settle down it just might take some slow and careful handling, difficult i know when your in the middle of a move but it will pay dividends in the long run with a happier home.