How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Old Cat

scottish fold kitten factsYou may have fallen in love with a new (even if “new” means older) cat that you know has to be a part of your life. The one thing that may make you stumble is the fact that you already have a cat at home that you’ve had for years. Introducing cats isn’t difficult.  You can follow our tips below:

First Impressions

When first bringing home a new cat, it’s best to set up a scenario that is safe and peaceful for all involved. Prior to bringing in your new cat, go inside and take your first cat into his favorite room and close the door. Ensure that he has access to food, water and litter box facilities, as well as his favorite toys and bedding. Once that is done, bring your new cat into the house and let her go free – with the exception of the closed room where your first cat is now residing.

This allows your new cat to explore freely without interference of your other cat. There will, of course, be much sniffing going on, and perhaps some spraying. Expect to have the two cats also “meet” through the door. There may be some vocalizations between the two, but this is natural. There should be this separation between the two of them at first to allow your new cat the comfort of discovering her new home without too much stress.

Be sure that you have another separate water and food bowl, as well as a separate litter box for her. However, after a day, start feeding both of them close to the closed door where your other cat is hiding out, so that they may continue to get used to one another while knowing that they will be eating together. This is one of the safest ways (for both of the cats) to bring them together. This whole process should take a few days, and you will want to switch the cats’ positions (switch rooms) every couple of days so that they will get used to each others’ scent.

Training Tips – How to Introduce Your New Cat to Other Pets – Without WWIII

Bring Them Together

Once they have a few days of getting used to knowing each other is present, it’s time for a face-to-face meeting. Open the door and let them take the lead on how fast (or slow) the next step goes. One may go and hide from the other, so don’t force this to move forward. Just let it play out on their own terms and their own timing.

However, you may also be faced with a not so smooth meeting. Keep a squirt bottle of water at the ready just in case they begin to fight with each other.   You may have to separate them again until they calm down, but don’t let this worry you. This is just the nature of cats, especially if they are of the same sex. Alphas will fight for domination, as this instinctual. Just keep a watchful eye and a handy squirt bottle until they resolve their differences.

Doing these steps will help you and your cats create a bond that will last many years.   Create a space and an environment that will encourage the two of them to gently get to know one another. Enjoy this process, since you’re experiencing the birth of a beautiful relationship.

For tips on introducing a new cat to your other pets, visit the Humane Society’s website.

Do you have any tips for introducing cats to one another?

 

Photo Credit:  Thinkstock

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