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Cats/Question about moving my cats


Hi Norman,

My boyfriend and I have just moved in together and have introduced my one female cat, Scarlett, to his 2 cats (one boy and one girl who are brother sister). It has been a hard process, my cat Scarlett has taken it hard and has developed behavioral issues and insecurities. They have been introduced for 3 months, and she now is calm around the male cat, but not the other female cat. We are moving in to a new place, and I need advice on how to introduce them all into the new home. My main question is who do I let into the house first? thank you.


This is a more complicated question than you may know.  Cats are very territorial! So, moving a household can be very traumatic to the cat!!!!!!!!!! On the other hand, there are existing relation ships, BUT, my experience is that something like moving the household tend to turn all the relationships topsy-turvy and they all have to re-establish a new pecking order.

Remember, cats do not think like we do and we do not really understand how they work out their inter-relationships.  Furthermore, we humans have a habit of attributing human motives and emotions to cats, and tend to miss the boat.

So. my advice is to start them each in a different part of the new digs each with their own food and water and litter pan. If possible they can smell each other through closed doors and get re-familiar with each other's scents. (Cats recognize each other more by scent than by sight!) After a week, let them intermingle and hope for the best.

I realize, with three cats, the logistics of what is suggested may not be possible.

A different approach is to take the shyest one first and let them get used to the new place first for about a week.  Take the next shyest one and isolate him/her in its own area with  its own food, water, and litter pan, so it does not have to compete. After a week, let the two intermingle and then bring the third one over, again, with its own food, water, and litter pan, for about a week, and, then let all three intermingle. This may also logistical issues.

My point is anything more gradual than throwing them all into a new place together tends to be less traumatic. In addition, there are no guarantees that their inter-relationships will be any better or worse!

Please let me know how you finally decide to move them to the new place.

Also, our rule of thumb is at least one litter pan for every two cats and two litter pans for three cats with some separation as cats can get highly territorial over litter pans.

Best regards... Norm.  


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Norman Auspitz


I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.


I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.

Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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