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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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New member - blending cats

Hi everyone

I will post this in the behaviors forum, but have seen that I have to post in the introductions forum first.

My partner and I are moving into a new house at the end of March, and both of us have 2 cats. I have a male who is relaxed and soppy (but very jealous if my attention is on anything else and fairly shy of others), and a female who is very much a diva and hisses / growls a lot for no reason. They used to get on wonderfully and would always be cuddled up, but now my female is very grumpy with the male and often hits and hisses at him. Occasionally they do lick each other and sit next to each other, but not often. I have a neighbours cat who wonders in and out of my house who they both love, they play and sit together all the time (I'm not sure if its male or female).
My partners 2 cats are both male and very cuddly, relaxed and inseparable.

The house we are moving into is a decent size and has 3 bedrooms. I wondered if anyone else has had experience of blending 4 cats, and how you logistically separated them? The conundrum I'm facing is:

1) Do I keep my two in the same room and risk them fighting, or keep them in separate rooms but risk them missing each other? My partners cats will be fine in a room together. The difficulty with keeping mine in different rooms is that then one lot will have to be in our bedroom, and that might look like favoritism in their eyes.

I have bought a feliway diffuser and spray to put in the house before we move the cats in.

Any help would be most appreciated

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:21 PM
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Hi ladyshay,
Welcome to the CF!

How old are your kitties? Some senior cats just rather be left alone than interact with other younger felines. Could this be your girl? Or maybe she is in pain? When was she last vetted?

With 4 cats in your new, upcoming single household, you'll probably going to need to also think about adding vertical space into your new home. Cat shelves, trees, window beds, more cat scratchers, etc, will also help all the cats to increase their limited square footage, too. Cats are territorial, so investing in these "feline furniture" is a necessity! I'd also try to keep your two each have their personal spaces, initially, at least. A move is really stressing to cats, so the less changes you can do, the better. Bring along favorite cat beds, blankets, toys, familiar litter boxes, dishes, etc. Also, keeping your schedule as routine as you can will also help.

Have you ever watched Jackson Galaxy's shows? They are pretty informative, too, for any cat owner. The simple version of cat-cat intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZrwcoiy_gY

Hope others will chime in with more suggestions. Wishing you all a smooth transition.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Tabbcatt! Thanks for the reply

My kitties are still quite young, my girl (Ruby) is 2 years old and my boy (Benji) is 1 1/2 years old. Ruby was last vetted June 2014 when she had her booster jabs. I think she may be stressed as Benji is quite boisterous and likes to play and run around, and she prefers a quieter life. I'm hoping the feliway spray might help but if not, I will take her to the vets to make sure she is alright.

Thanks for the tips about vertical space - that's really helpful; i may well treat them to a cat tree . I think giving my two their own personal spaces is going to be the safer option as well, it's just working out which room to designate to whom! Benji sleeps with me every night and I think would be very lonely if he was left in a room on his own.

I've been reading through loads of threads on here and some threads seem to say that introductions are generally less stressful when it's on neutral territory, so i'm hoping that will be the case in that we are moving to a new house that hasn't previously had cats - so shouldn't be any funny scents!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:26 PM
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Hope you're right with the neutral territory thing, if it hasn't been inhabited by previous cats, it's a good sign, but what about dogs? I think it may take a while for a multi-cat household situation, so patience will be key, as well as forming positive reinforcements with lots of yummy treats from both you and your partner.

It seems swapping out rooms will be important so that a single cat can't "claim" one area as their territory, so with Benji, maybe it would help him more if you got his favorite cat bed with a worn t-shirt you own on those nights he's left in another room? Leaving your worn PJs, socks, etc, will all provide him with a sense of familiarity, at least.

Having multiple litter boxes placed so it's not threatening or a "dead end" for a cat will also be equally important. Otherwise you'll need to be prepared with lots of enzyme cleaners and a good black light. Good luck!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 12:48 AM
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I agree with swapping rooms, especially if you're going to be having at least one of the cats in the bedroom with you. Rotate the room they're in maybe daily or every other day so they get used to each other's smells on things and sharing the attention.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Do you think I should designate their room, or see which room they go into first and settle them in there? Luckily I have the week off work after I move so can spend plenty of time settling them in and attempting introductions if it feels right.

My cats are very much outdoors cats so not sure how they are going to like being indoors for a few weeks after the move - how long would you recommend keeping them indoors; just until they seem settled? I guess we need the cats to be tolerating eachother before letting them all outside unsupervised...

I've started keeping them in at night now to get them used to not being able to come and go as they please (plus I was getting lots of mice including live ones- joy!) and although the first few nights were pretty rowdy, they are quiet until around 5am and then Benji will start running round like a loon
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some photos of the four soon to be blended kitties

Left to Right: Benji, Ruby, Cece, Schmidt
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 07:01 AM
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Aww, bless them all I just love Benji's adorable face!

I'm not really sure whether it's best to settle them in one room first before shifting them around. It might be, but other's might have more suggestions.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 12:13 AM
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Hi ladyshay,

I have absolutely no advice for you, but just had to say how adorable all four kitties are! I adore Ruby's pose. She does look like a very mellow kitty. You're going to have a beautiful, blended fur family! Is Cece one-eyed (hence the name...)?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your lovely comments about the photos; they are all cheeky little monkeys.

Cece and Schmidt are names of characters from a TV show called New Girl which my partner loves. Poor Cece lost his eye in December, we're not sure what happened but vets think he was either kicked or hit by a car . I'd never thought of the irony of being called Cece and only having one eye He was thought to be a girl at first, so after the vet broke the news that he was actually a boy he is more often called 'Cec' to make it sound a little more manly.

It's a shame no one else has had experience of introducing 2 separate households of cats into a new household; i got very excited when I found this forum and thought there must be someone who has been in an equally bizarre situation. Nevermind! Thank you so much for your input though - very much appreciated. Happy to keep you guys informed of how we get on - so I can hopefully provide advice to anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation. The move date is 27th March.
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