Tips For Introducing Cats
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. Although most cats are solitary by nature, most will also come to accept or eventually tolerate any additions. Cats can be very territorial, which is why you should always be careful when you introduce a new cat to your current cat.
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 all depends on their temperament and their personality. When you introduce a new cat to your current cat, you should always make sure that you give your current cat plenty of love and attention. This way, your cat will feel secure and know that he isn’t in competition with your new cat for affection.
When you bring your new cat home, you should let him stay in a safe room until you have finished introducing the cats. Your safe room can be any small room in your home, 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.
At first, 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 ignore it, as punishing your cat for his behavior will only lead to more problems. After a while, the first cat will start to act calm when he is near the new cat’s door. As he starts to act calm, you should pet him and give him praise.
When your first cat starts to go by your new cat’s door and doesn’t howl or hiss; you can start introducing them to each other. The best way to do this is to get them used to each other's scent. You can start 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 when he eats his food.
Once both cats have got used to the scent, you can begin to feed them closer together. To do this, you should keep your new cat in the safe 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 at the same time. After doing this a few times, they should start eating without any hissing or growling. At this point, they are ready to be introduced to one another.
When you introduce them to each other in the same room, a bit of growling and hissing is to be expected. Although they may be used to each other's scent; your first cat will still feel a bit awkward with your new cat being in his territory. You should play with them both at first, so they can smell one another and greet in their way. If they start to fight you should break them up, and give them some time apart.
It may take some time to get them fully used to one another, although once they do – they will become playmates for life. Cats love to be social, although it may be a bit rough at first, especially for your first cat. Cats can be very territorial, especially if you have a kitten around. If you get both of them used to each other early on – it will be a lot easier to add future cats to your home.