The introduction of a new cat to your resident cat or cats should be treated as an event, not a race. Read our recommendations on how to make the introduction go as easily and effectively as it possibly can.
If the cats are exposed to each other too quickly, it could leave a negative initial impression that would be difficult, if not impossible, to erase. There’s a common misconception that introducing a new cat into a household where there’s already one resident cat will be completely OK.
This isn’t always the case, especially if you’ve just just lost one of a very close pair of cats within the past six months. In that situation, they were probably quite close to each other.
Here is how to introduce cats in a few easy steps
STEP 1: GIVE YOUR NEW CAT TIME TO SETTLE
It is important to keep in mind that your new cat will require some time to acclimate to its new environment; therefore, you should provide a space for her where she can feel secure and begin making the necessary adjustments.
Make sure there is no way for your new cat to get out of her room and keep her there at first.
During this period, you should give your new cat any furniture or blankets that your current cat has used. By doing this, we can guarantee that both cats will become accustomed to the smell of the other. To make your current cat feel more at ease, take a damp towel and rub it over their smell glands.
This will help them feel more protected (these are on the cheekbones and the pads of their paws). Then, massage the cloth over the spots where they feel the most at ease, such as the windowsills, the area near the radiators, and particular chairs. You should do this at least twice a day, and it will reassure your cat that they can still smell their own scent in the places that are most important to them.
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It’s possible that the resident cat in your home will hang around the doorway of the room where the new cat is staying and try to get a whiff. It may be a relief when the cats finally get to see each other because of the growing interest.
STEP 2: LET THEM CATCH A GLIMPSE
After your new cat has settled in for a day or so, try squeezing the door open just a crack so the two cats can catch a glimpse of each other. If everything looks like it’s going according to plan, then you can proceed to the next stage of the process.
After she has had some time to adjust (this could take several days), you should let your new cat spend some time outside the room so that she can become accustomed to her new environment. Take precautions to ensure that your older cat will not come into contact with them during this time.
STEP 3: RELAXED FIRST MEETING
If you don’t have access to a large pen in which to introduce your new cat to the other pets, have a trusted friend or family member assist you. While you and your other cat are in another room or some distance away, your friend should open the door to the room where your new cat will be staying while you continue to care for your other cat.
Keep an eye on the cats to see how they get along with one another, and if everything is peaceful, give them a delectable treat to show your appreciation.
Each cat will eventually become accustomed to the presence of the other as time goes on. The more you try to force the situation or hurry it along, the more stressful the situation will become, and the longer it will take for you to get settled in. While some felines will quickly become inseparable, others may take a while to warm up to each other.
If you have the impression that your cats are not getting along with one another, please get in touch with us so that we can offer further guidance.
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