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How to Introduce a New Cat to the One You Already Have at Home

The author is a true animal lover. Has 2 dogs, Scotty and Cosmo, and a cat named Misty.

how-to-introduce-a-new-cat-to-the-one-you-already-have-at-home

When you decide to add a new cat to your home, it’s normally more exciting for you and your family than it is for the cat you already own. Despite the fact that most cats prefer to be alone, most will eventually learn to accept or handle any newcomers.

Cats can be very territorial, which is why you need to be careful when you introduce a new cat to your home and your resident cat.

Age and personality

If you are introducing kittens to one another, the entire introduction process can be short, lasting as little as 10 – 15 days. Introducing cats to each other depends heavily on their temperament and their personality. Always be sure to provide your existing cat lots of love and attention when introducing a new cat to the household. With this approach, your cat will feel safe and confident and understand that he is not vying for your attention with your new cat.

Two Adult Cats Playing

Two Adult Cats Playing

Consider their energy levels and previous social interactions

Adopting a cat with similar energy levels or who is of a similar age is the best way to go. For instance, it really wouldn’t be wise to bring a kitten into your home if your resident cat is already more than 6 years old. It’s most likely that your older cat will get extremely annoyed by the little one’s energy and its need to constantly play.

how-to-introduce-a-new-cat-to-the-one-you-already-have-at-home

It might also take your cat some time to get used to having a new cat in the house if they have never been around cats aside from when they were kittens. Likewise, the introduction process will also probably go more smoothly if the new cat is known to like being around other cats.


The Process

When you bring your new cat home, you should let him stay in a safe room until you have finished introducing the cats. Any little area in your house, like a bathroom or extra bedroom, can serve as your safe room. The key here is to use a room that your current cat doesn’t go into. You must provide your new cat with a scratching post, bed, water dish, litter box, and food dish in this space.

Your existing cat may hiss and wail at first when the other cat approaches the door, trying to communicate to the other cat that he doesn't belong.

how-to-introduce-a-new-cat-to-the-one-you-already-have-at-home

Ignore this when it happens, because correcting your cat's behavior will simply make things worse. The current cat will eventually be more relaxed when he is close to the new cat's door. When he eventually calms down, you should pet him and give him praise.

When your resident cat comes to your new cat’s door and no longer howls nor hisses; you can start introducing them to each other. Getting accustomed to each other's scent is the best strategy around this. You can start by letting them eat out of the same food dish, although you’ll want 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 of the other cat when he eats his food.

Once both cats have gotten used to the scent, you can begin to feed them closer together. To achieve this, keep your first cat on the opposite side of the door with his food dish and your second cat in the secure room with the door closed. Feed the cats simultaneously this time.

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They ought to start eating without hissing or growling after doing this a few times.

It is normally at this point that they are ready to be introduced to one another.

how-to-introduce-a-new-cat-to-the-one-you-already-have-at-home

First encounters

When you introduce them to each other in the same room, a bit of growling and hissing is to be expected. Your first cat will feel a little uncomfortable with your new cat being in his territory, even if they are familiar with each other's scent.

You should play with them both at first, so they can smell one another and greet each other in their way. If they begin to fight, you should separate them and give them some space.

Cats Getting Acquainted

Cats Getting Acquainted

Conclusion

It may take some time to get them fully used to one another, although once they do – they may very well become playmates for life. Cats love to be social, but it will probably be a bit rough at first, especially for your first cat. Furthermore, cats are very territorial, especially if you have a kitten around.

Lastly, do ensure that each cat has their own space, litter box, water bowl and food bowls, toys, scratching posts, and comfortable resting spaces. Each cat is to receive equal attention from you - they must never be made to feel that they are competing with one another.

Have you ever had to bring home a new cat to your existing cat? What method did you try and what was your experience?

Let me know in the comments below.

Sources:

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/how-introduce-your-new-cat-resident-cats

https://anticruelty.org/pet-library/introducing-new-cat-your-other-cats


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Raf Palmer

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