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Introducing A New Cat To An Established Cat

A Tale Of Two Kitties:

Introducing A New Cat To An Established Cat

When bringing a new cat into a home where another cat resides, it’s important to make the introduction gradually. Throwing two cats together and expecting them to bond is an unreasonable expectation, and can lead to conflict down the road. For the first few days, the new cat should live in a single room of the house. Make the room as comfortable as possible, complete with toys, catnip, a bed, litter box, and scratching post. While the door will be kept closed, the two cats will still be aware of each other’s sounds and scents. This allows them to adjust to the idea of sharing their environment without unnecessary stress. Make sure you spend equal amounts of time with each cat. As you carry their scents back and forth, this too will allow them to slowly adjust to the new normal.

Throughout this process, feed both cats close to the closed door. Treats should be given in this manner as well. This exercise teaches them to associate each other’s presence with something predictable and positive - food!  After about three days, have the cats switch places. The established cat and all his possessions will move into the bedroom, while the new cat explores the rest of the house. Again, this gives each cat plenty of time to become acclimated to the other cat’s scent, and reduces the chance of either cat perceiving part of the house as his “turf.” Repeat the visiting and feeding rituals, making sure each cat gets plenty of TLC. After several days, your cats should be ready for supervised, face-to-face meetings. While the lead-up can be time-consuming, the reward of a drama-free household is well worth the extra effort.

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