How long will it take for my cats to adjust to a new home?

by Elizabeth
(Manchester)

How long will it take for my cats to fully adjust to a new home environment? Relating to my question, I moved into my new house out of a one bed flat. I have three cats, two sisters (3 years) and a male (2 years).


It has been a month now, and both my females are still growling, hissing and smacking each other if they cross paths. They no longer wish to eat together. (I have supplied extra bowls.) The male appears very settled but was a very chilled out cat anyways.

There is also the addition of a kitten who I found as a feral suffering from severe conjunctivitis. (Rescues refused to take him so I decided to keep him.) He was separated for two weeks till he recovered.

The male has taken to him, but the females behavior still continues. I have two Feliway diffusers on either side of the living room which don't appear to be helping.

I would appreciate any advice, as I have never had problems like this even when I introduced my 2-year-old male as a kitten, and it's painful to see such close knit cats appearing to despise each other.
Thank you.

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It can take quite some time
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear your cats aren't getting along. It can take up to six months or even longer in some cases for a cat to adjust to a new home.

When you add in complications, such as other cats and a new kitten, things can get a little crazy. You may need more Feliway diffusers and/or some spray.

I've often talked about this, but when moving a cat or cats to a new home, I'm in favor of starting the cats out in a single room.

Bring the cats into the house in carriers and place them in the room you've prepared for them (place a Feliway diffuser in that room as well). Let the alpha cat out first and give that cat a chance to explore for a minute. Then let the others out to explore that room.

Once routines are established, everything is scented up nicely, and they feel more comfortable, then they can start exploring the rest of the house.

When cats fight, I like to separate them and do what I call a "reset." We pretend they don't know each other and the cats are being introduced for the first time. I would try a reset with a reintroduction (as described at that link) and see how it goes.

I hope they work it out quickly.

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