Are you adding a new cat to your family? If you already have a cat at home, you might wonder how they will welcome a new feline friend. Cats can be hostile to newcomers in their territory if not properly introduced. There are steps you can take to make the transition period way less stressful. Continue reading for tips that will make your new cat’s introduction seamless.
Remember Your Existing Cat’s Needs First
Before you decide on a cat to adopt, think about your current kitty’s personality at home. Does your cat have a preference when it comes to female or male cats? If your cat enjoys the company of male cats, you should adopt a male cat. Adopting a young kitten as a companion for an older cat typically works well as kittens will get along with any age. The older cat will tolerate a youngster more easily and still feel dominant over their territory. Kittens do have a lot of energy, which may annoy an elderly cat who prefers a more calm and peaceful environment. Make sure to consider your cat’s personality and preferences before adopting another cat. Fostering a cat through a shelter or rescue is a great way to see how your cat will react before committing to adoption.
Pamper Your Resident Cat with Extra Attention
As with territory, cats can feel the same with their humans as well. You don’t want your current cat to get jealous of a newcomer. Ensure you’re giving your cat extra cuddles and attention when you introduce a new cat into your home.
Keep The Cats Separate At First
Your existing cat will be confused by a newcomer roaming, so a slow introduction is best. Until your cat is comfortable around the newcomer, it’s best to keep them in separate rooms or areas of your home. Each area should have a food bowl, water bowl, litter box, and cat furniture for both cats. Spend quality time with the new cat to help ease the stress of moving into new, unfamiliar territory. The new cat may be scared or hiding the entire time, but that’s okay. They may not want to receive affection at first, but spending time in the same room will allow the cat to get used to your presence.
Gradually Introduce The New Cat
After letting your cats get used to each other’s scents through a door, you can begin to bring the new cat into your cat’s territory. Do this in short increments & if you notice your cat getting upset, put the new kitty back. Let the cats naturally interact, and don’t try forcing any contact between the two. When you let the cat into the room, make sure your cat is far enough away from the door. This will allow them to ignore or approach each other as they wish. If either cat starts getting scared or annoyed, it’s time to separate them again. The next day, introduce the new cat again with the same steps. Once the cats are more comfortable with each other, you can increase the amount of time that they spend together. When they seem to be relaxed with each other’s company, you can have them mingle freely.
Encourage The Peace With Food
When the cats’ first encounter each other it will probably be stressful for them both. For a smooth introduction, you can give the cats a special treat when they first meet. Do this again for the next few meetings so they associate each other with special treats. Put each cat’s treats in different parts of the room to prevent any spats over the sweet treats.
Don’t Rush To Introduce A New Cat
Cats are routine animals by nature and can often get stressed out by changes. So, it may take longer than you think for the cats to accept their new roommate. Don’t lose confidence over your adoption, however. Continue to gradually get the cats used to each other’s presence, and make it as rewarding as possible. If either cat is stressed out, you can even pause for a few days if needed. While not all cats will become automatic best friends, there’s a high probability that they will at least tolerate each other in time.
At the end of the day, just remember to take your time to introduce a new cat into your home. This will increase the odds of your cats accepting each other and becoming friends for the foreseeable future.