Help with moving and acclimatizing cats to new home

  • My partner and I moved into a larger place and brought our 3 cats. One is fearful and aggressive, while the other two are sweet. We have been keeping them in one small bedroom and want to let them out soon. What order should we let them out in?

    My partner and I moved into a larger place yesterday - from an apartment to a duplex. We brought our human baby and our 3 cats (our other babies). One of our cats is fearful and aggressive when we move, at the vet, or when the others come back from the vet etc. - any big change or change in smells. The other two are the sweetest things. As the wisdom states, we kept them all in one small bedroom with food, water, beds, and a couple coves ;)


    Later that night (still on first day), agro one escaped her captors (us), and ran into a nearby bathroom. So we decided let’s set her up in there with her necessities. This seems like it may have been a mistake. Cause then she got very aggressive again - scratching, growling and making her demonic sounds.

    So now - my question - since it’s been 24 hours, we want to let them out soon (next hour or two), as everyone seems anxious to be let out - so we want to know: What order should we let the babies out in:

    1) the two sweeties first, let them roam 30 mins or so, then let psycho out.

    2) vice versa Or

    3) all at once. Note: the rest of the house is pretty open - so there’s not really any more small places we can open them up to - it kinda has to be the rest of the place at this point. Thanks very much for your help !! Wish us luck. (If it doesn’t work, please send an exorcist.)

  • Hey there!


    My suggestion here is that the sooner we can get kitties out and exploring the better, as being confined to a small space could be stressful for them.


    I'd want to ensure the home has been set up with all of the right resources for all 3 kitties. So 3 of everything, all well spaced from each other.

    We'd want to ensure they each have their own safe space to go hide and have some time alone if needed.


    To increase the odds of this going well, I'd set up a Feliway Friends plug in and would also start the more anxious (psycopathic!) of the cats on some calming supplements e.g. Zylkene.


    I'd be happy to let them all out together, as they all know each other well.

  • Hello,

    I agree with Linda to get them out the sooner the better. My suggestion would be to allow the aggressive one out first, and given an allowance of a few minutes to roam around to explore and get familiar with the new surroundings. While she is calm, open the door and now allow the other two out. Since they all know one another already, there should be no concern of their reactions to each other. There may be some hissing from the aggressive one, but that may be just her showing off her displeasure of this new environment (and not necessarily towards her housemates or you). If there is a problem, return her to her room and try bringing her out again in an hour (or so) or once she has calmed down. It may take a couple of times, but with a bit of patience, she should find a comfort zone. 

    Give all the cats a couple days to explore and familiarize themselves with their new home, and make sure to set up their litter boxes and food/water bowls without changing your mind of the location of them to much. Give them a day or two to set a new routine for themselves (where they intend to nap, a favourite lookout location or windowsill, where the scratching posts are located and where they can escape to for some alone time etc.) and then you may be able to determine whether or not to introduce the need for a synthetic pheromone such as Feliway Freinds or any calming supplements. These can certainly be beneficial if the aggressive one is commonly unhappy most of the time, and especially with a baby in the home. 

    Make sure to keep new changes or surprises to a minimum for the first while, such as; buying new furniture, having a big moving in party or switching their litter types. Keeping the routine consistent is recommended until they are settled. And once they are, especially the aggressive one - then you can start making any desired changes or additions. 

    Be sure to include some playtime with your cats. Using an interactive toy, such as a wand toy with (at least) 15 minutes a day will help ensure they expel any excess energy that may otherwise be used (especially, you know who?) towards expressing displeasure or boredom. It also helps keeps the bonds and trust between you and your cats strong. 

    Best of luck! 



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