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We have two adult cats, and my son, his wife and their son are moving in along with their three adult cats.

I've read up on how to introduce one cat into a household ... does introducing multiple cats change the situation significantly? Should we do this in a staged fashion over a couple of months? Or can we bring them all in together, isolating the newcomers as a group, and gradually introducing them as a group?

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    Welcome to Pets! Please take the tour, it only takes a minute. We have a related question about introducing adult cats here. With so many cats, I would separate the groups, but not each individual. As long as they were used to living together, they should be ok in the new home together as well. However, when it comes time to introduce them, I would do supervised one-on-one introductions with each cat.
    – Elmy
    Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 6:16
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    Oh, and make sure each cat has their own territory (scratching post, cat tree or bed), their own food and water bowl and their own litter box. The usual advice is to have one litter box for each cat plus one extra, but that's a lot for 5 cats. But the group of 3 needs at least 2 boxes that need to be cleaned several times a day or they might develop problematic behavior like eliminating outside the litter box.
    – Elmy
    Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 6:28
  • Thanks, Elmy. All five are male. Of the incoming cats, one is by far the most dominant, and the other two (siblings) are placid and easy-going. We've decided to bring the one in several weeks before the other two. Hopefully he'll be settled before the people-moving happens and everything is upset and stressful. I'll post again when things settle. Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 20:09
  • I hope they are all neutered. Male cats are very territorial and usually fight with any other male in their territory. If there's only one intact male, you might be lucky that he accept the other ones, but 2 or more intact males are a recipe for disaster.
    – Elmy
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 20:19
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    Phase one is done. A week of keeping Caesar in a bathroom, then one on one introductions over a couple of days and now it's just before 7 am, cat breakfast is over, and we have three cats on our bed happily snoozing before the people day gets under way. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 19:56

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We introduced them in two phases. The dominant cat came in first, and was nicely integrated as has been described in the question's comments. The remaining pair was brought in and kept isolated in a large bathroom for a week with their own food, water and litter. When the week was up, we put the two in a glass shower recess and opened the bathroom door to allow the others to see them and associate faces with the combined scent. An hour later, well after the hissing had stopped, I locked the three up in a bedroom and let the two newbies out to roam the house for an hour. Then I opened the bedroom door and encouraged a bit of mixing. Seems like that's worked ok and they're socialising reasonably well.

One observation: the one that we brought in first was more aggressive (through the closed bathroom door) towards the two that followed until they were out of the shower recess. Then everything was ok.

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