How To Introduce A New Cat Into Your Household

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Posted in: Cats
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How To Introduce A New Cat Into Your Household

How To Introduce A New Cat Into Your Household

Have you recently been thinking about adding another feline friend to your family? If you already have a household cat and are planning to welcome another one, it’s important you take all the right steps to introduce them the right way. After all, most cats are territorial, especially if they have not been socialised from a very young age. 

So how do you introduce cats? Here’s a simple breakdown that can help you start the beginning of a new feline friendship.

  • Keep them separated at first

    Set up a separate enclosed space for your new cat with essentials like food, water, litter box and toys. Make sure the space is not accessible by your old cat to avoid any accidental encounters.
  • Exchange scents

    After a day or two of keeping the cats separated, start by gradually introducing the scent of the new cat. Allow them to sniff your hands and clothing when you interact with them, so they get used to each other’s scents. You could also try to rub a towel or cloth on your new cat  then place it next to the other to explore scents. 
  • Explore each other’s space

    Let them switch and explore each other’s spaces for a few hours during the day. Monitor each cat closely as they move around the other cat’s territory. If you see or hear either cat show signs of stress, go back to the previous step.
  • Encourage interaction through the door

    Place your new cat’s food bowl close to the door on his side. Your existing cat will smell and hear him through the door. Give your existing cat treats near the door of the new cat’s room so he associates it with good things.
  • Time for visual contact

    If the above steps have been successful, it’s time to let the cats see each other. Open the door slightly so the cats can see each other but cannot stick their heads out. If you hear them hissing or growling, distract them with a string toy. 
  • Let them out together

    Once the cats are comfortable seeing each other through a door or barrier, let them interact in person for 5-10 minutes under your supervision. You can try this step 3-5 times each day. Never force the cats together and try to observe passively. 

After successfully completing the above steps and you haven’t noticed any signs of fear or aggression, you can start leaving the cats alone for short periods of time. Use a camera to monitor their behaviour in your absence. If either cat has displayed any sort of stressed or aggressive behaviour, it’s best to keep them separate when you are not around. On the other hand, if they appear to be getting along, gradually increase the amount of time they can spend alone. 

 

Oct 24
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