The adaptation of dairy cows to methane (CH4)-mitigating feed additives was evaluated using the in vitro gas production (GP) technique. Nine rumen-fistulated lactating Holstein cows were grouped into three blocks and within blocks randomly assigned to one of three experimental diets: Control (CON; no feed additive), Agolin Ruminant® (AR; 0.05 g/kg dry matter (DM)) or lauric acid (LA; 30 g/kg DM). Total mixed rations composed of maize silage, grass silage and concentrate were fed in a 40 : 30 : 30 ratio on DM basis. Rumen fluid was collected from each cow at days −4, 1, 4, 8, 15 and 22 relative to the introduction of the additives in the diets. On each of these days, a 48-h GP experiment was performed in which rumen fluid from each individual donor cow was incubated with each of the three substrates that reflected the treatment diets offered to the cows. DM intake was on average 19.8, 20.1 and 16.2 kg/day with an average fat- and protein-corrected milk production of 30.7, 31.7 and 26.2 kg/day with diet CON, AR and LA, respectively. In general, feed additives in the donor cow diet had a larger effect on gas and CH4 production than the same additives in the incubation substrate. Incubation substrate affected asymptotic GP, half-time of asymptotic CH4 production, total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, molar proportions of propionate and butyrate and degradation of organic matter (OMD), but did not affect CH4 production. No substrate×day interactions were observed. A significant diet×day interaction was observed for in vitro gas and CH4 production, total VFA concentration, molar proportions of VFA and OMD. From day 4 onwards, the LA diet persistently reduced gas and CH4 production, total VFA concentration, acetate molar proportion and OMD, and increased propionate molar proportion. In vitro CH4 production was reduced by the AR diet on day 8, but not on days 15 and 22. In line with these findings, the molar proportion of propionate in fermentation fluid was greater, and that of acetate smaller, for the AR diet than for the CON diet on day 8, but not on days 15 and 22. Overall, the data indicate a short-term effect of AR on CH4 production, whereas the CH4-mitigating effect of LA persisted.