How to introduce a new cat to your cat
Bringing a new pet into the home is exciting for any family. Your new pet will become a beloved member of the family and you may be anxious to get started. However, you must first prepare your home and family.
First impressions count and it’s important to start off on the right track. A common concern is introducing a new cat to an existing cat. How will your original pet respond? Will the two cats get along? What can you do to ease the introduction?
What to prepare?
When you bring a new cat or kitten home, it’s important not to rush introductions. A new pet will need some time to get used to its new environment. Adult cats may take longer to relax than kittens.
First, make sure you have enough supplies for your new cat. You may want to buy a new bed, new toys and, no doubt, new food and water bowls. Put the new cat in a room by himself, so he has time to adjust.
The next step is to get each cat used to the smell of the other. Place a few items from each cat in a room with the other, so they become familiar with each other. You can also rub a damp cloth over the new cat’s paw pads and cheek pads to pick up some of their scent.
Then rub the cloth over certain areas of the house, such as window sills, chairs, etc. This will help the new cat begin to feel comfortable in its new home.
First impressions count!
Don’t rush to introduce your cats. A disastrous first meeting can lead to an icy and strained relationship later on.
Once you are sure that your new cat is comfortable in his or her new home, you can gradually begin to introduce the two cats to each other – your current cat will definitely know something is up!
If your cat sniffs curiously around the door of the new cat’s room, it’s a good sign – it means cats are curious about each other. Curiosity can make the first few meetings go well.
Next, wedge the door open a little. Don’t open it wide enough for a cat to get in or out, just wide enough for the cats to see each other. If this meeting goes well, you can move on to the next step.
Your new cat is probably comfortable with the room they are in at this point. Now it’s time to introduce them to the rest of the house. If you feel confident, you can allow the old and new cats to meet properly at this point.
However, it may be best to keep the older cat away during this time. Let your new cat explore the entire house, getting comfortable with their surroundings.
The final introduction
Now it’s time to introduce your cats properly. It’s a good idea to have a friend or family member on hand, just in case the meeting goes wrong.
Take your new cat into one room and your assistant will take him or her into another. Open the connecting door and let the cats go through in their own time to meet each other.
Watch the cats closely. If the meeting goes well, reward your cats with attention or treats.
The two cats may become best friends, or they may not. Cats are individuals and will not allow themselves to be rushed or forced. Take your time with initial meetings and stay alert.
If you’ve had two cats before, you might assume that your new and old cat will automatically get along. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Think about it: just because you’ve had a roommate in the past doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get along with a new roommate. The same is true for cats.
Therefore, it’s important to keep a close eye on cats, especially during the first few days. It’s possible that the cats will simply tolerate each other or just ignore each other. That might be the best you can hope for.
In conclusion, introducing two cats can be a bit stressful, but it can be done smoothly. The key is not to rush it. Give your new cat time to settle in and give both animals a chance to get used to the idea of the other.
If your current cat is well-trained, social and has a history of getting along with other cats, chances are you and your cats will be fine with the newly formed family.