Introducing New Cats
A peaceful relationship between new and existing feline housemates requires time, patience and work. When you choose to add a new cat to your house, it’s generally more exiting for you and your family than it’s for the cat you already own. Though most cats are lonely by nature, most will also come to accept or eventually tolerate any additions. Cats may be very territorial, which is why you should always be careful when you introduce a new cat to your current cat.
If you’re introducing kittens to each other, the entire introduction process may be short, lasting as little as 10 – 15 days. Introducing cats to one another all depends on their disposition and their personality. When you introduce a new cat to your current cat, you should always be sure that you give your current cat plenty of love and care. This way, your cat will feel safe and know that he isn’t in competition with your new cat for affection.
When you bring your new cat house, you should let him stay in a secure room until you’ve finished introducing the cats. Your secure room may be any small room in your house, such as a bathroom or spare bedroom. The key here is to use a room that your current cat doesn’t go in. In the room, you should leave your new cat a scratching post, bed, water dish, litter box, and food dish.
Initially, your current cat may howl and hiss when he stands at the door, trying to tell the other cat that he doesn’t belong. When this happens you should neglect it, as punishing your cat for his behavior will only lead to more problems. After a while, the first cat will begin to act calm when he’s near the new cat’s door. As he begins to act calm, you should pet him and give him praise.
When your first cat begins to go by your new cat’s door and doesn’t howl or hiss; you may begin introducing them to one another. The best way to do this is to get them used to each other people scent. You may begin letting them eat out of the same food dish, although you’ll prefer to feed them at different intervals at first. This way, the scent of each cat will be present at the food dish, and each cat will get the scent when he eats his food.
Once both cats hold used to the scent, you may begin to feed them closer together. To do this, you should keep your new cat in the secure room with the door closed, and your first cat on the other side of the door with his food dish. This time, feed both cats concurrently. After doing this some times, they should begin eating with no hissing or growling. At this point, they’re ready to be introduced to each other.
When you introduce them to one another in the same room, a little of growling and hissing is to be expected. Although they possibly used to each other people scent; your first cat will still feel a little awkward with your new cat being in his territory. You should play with them both initially, so they may smell each other and greet in their own way. If they begin to fight you should break them up, and give them some time apart.
It may take some time to get them fully used to each other, though once they do – they’ll become playmates for life. Cats love to be social, although it possibly a little rough initially, specially for your first cat. Cats may be very territorial, specially if you’ve a kitten around. If you get both of them used to one another early on – it will be more easier to add future cats to your home.