Introducing a new cat into your household
Introduction should be by scent first.
1. Keep both cats in a separate room for at least 2/3 days or longer if necessary. Your cat will know a new cat is in the house by its scent but will not be able to confront it directly. Swap beds between the cats daily and rub the cats all over the face and flanks with the same cloth to swap scents. Scent is very important to cats and is the best way to start a bond.
2. After 2/3 days of separation and if you have a new kitten being introduced to an older cat place the kitten in a carrier, open the door and allow your cat to meet the new kitten in her own time. Don’t open the carrier. Let them sniff and investigate through the bars for 5 mins or so. Both may show some aggression or fear but hopefully both will simply sniff each other at this stage.
If introducing two adult cats I would suggest feeding them either side of a door for a few days before gradually opening the door a little at a time so they can see one another but not quite touch.
3. let them keep meeting like this for a couple of days or until you feel your cats are comfortable and relaxed with the situation. Then begin by letting both cats interact . Make sure you oversee the meeting and use caution. Don’t shut the cats in one room when they meet as they both will need areas to run and retreat if they need too.
4. A little bit of hissing and wrestling is normal the first few weeks as both work out their place in the feline hierarchy of your home.
5. Give plenty of attention to both. Use separate food bowls, food stations and 2 litter trays. They will soon work out their territory between them.
Good luck! it’s not easy! Always have a backup plan incase things do not work out as you would like. Cats are very territorial and bond much more to humans than to other cats. It’s not wise to introduce an adult cat to an already established adult cat in a small flat as you will be asking for trouble. Make sure you have a large home before making this decision and make sure both cats have plenty of space to call their own with outside access so they can both escape from one another. Having high up climbing stations/cat trees is also good so both cats can be high up and away from one another when they want to be.
Introduction is best done with two kittens but can be done with adult cats if the right steps are taken and the introduction is not rushed.
Think very carefully before making this decision or you could have two very unhappy cats on your hands!
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