How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Taus Your Own Question
Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Taus is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In three weeks time, my family and I will be moving into a

This answer was rated:

In three weeks time, my family and I will be moving into a new home. We currently have two cats (Biskit 10 years old and Muffin 13 years old). They are both very lazy, sleep all day and get along quite well. My sister is also moving into the new house as well however she has her own cat (Bootsie 3 years old). Bootsie is a pretty crazy cat, very energetic and cuddly. However in certain situations she can be very on edge and scared. By the way... they are all desexed girls!

My question is how exactly should we introduce these cats! Muffin has been quite harsh with cats in the street before yet Biskit tends to stand back. Muffin is definitely the alfa cat of the house.

We are worried that Muffin and Biskit will gang up on Bootsie and she will never feel comfortable. Also taking into consideration the stress of them all moving house as well.

I should also mention that we have self diagnosed Biskit with separation anxiety as she gets very sad and cries whenever she hears keys and the roller door closing. She is very obsessed with my Mum and always has to be near her. Anytime there is a little too much noise for her she will run to her bedroom (the garage) and sleep there for hours. She has also been vomiting at times after meals, which I also read as a symptom.

We also bought three pheromone collars to use when we move hoping that it may help calm them.

Please help us!
Pheromone collars are a great place to start and can sometimes be quite helpful. The other things I would suggest are:

-Give the cats separate "areas" of the house. These don't necessarily have to be sealed or blocked off from one another, but have food and litterboxes for Muffin and Biskit in a separate room from the ones for Bootsie. Cats will often guard resources as a sign of dominance or territorialism, so having the areas far enough apart that one cat can't guard both areas is important.

-Have 1 more litter box than you do cats. In your case, 4 boxes.

-Start out in an area like a bedroom. Open your carriers and give your cats room to explore. Keep Bootsie out for the first little bit (few hours). Then, open the door and let them explore further. Make sure they can run back to the bedroom or Bootsie can run to one of her favorite spaces if they feel uncomfortable

-For the first few weeks, if a cat is hiding, let her hide. Don't try to bring them out and make them get to know each other. Let them interact on their own terms.

-Dirty laundry is your best friend. Keep a t-shirt or towel that has been worn and not laundered, and rub it on the walls, furniture, etc of the new space. This makes it smell like home and seem less threatening. You can even pet Bootsie and your cats with it.

I hope this is helpful. Ultimately, it takes patience and giving them their own space and time. Don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.

Dr. Taus and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Nicole,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Muffin, Biskit, Bootsie. How is everything going?