Searching for a new cat to add to your family? If your home already has another cat, you may wonder how your cat will welcome a new feline. Cats can be hostile to newcomers if not properly introduced to their territory. There is a simple process to make the transition way less stressful, for both you and the cats. Continue reading for tips that’ll make the transition purrrfect for your cats.
Your Existing Cat’s Needs Come First
Before you head out and adopt a cat, remember to think about your current cat’s personality and quirks. Does your cat like female cats over male cats? If your cat enjoys the company of female cats, adopting a female cat can help. If you adopt a young kitten as a playmate for your older cat, it can work well as kittens get along with any age of cat. The older cat will be happy to still be the oldest in the household, too, maintaining “dominance” of the territory. Kittens like to play a lot though which may stress out or annoy your elderly cat. Thinking about your cat’s personality and preferences before adopting another cat will help them form a friendship. If you’re still on the fence, try fostering a cat through an animal rescue first. It is a great way to see how your cat will react before committing to adoption.
Shower Your Resident Cat With Extra Attention
Cats can be territorial with more than just their space; the same can be true for their humans as well. Your cat can get jealous of a newcomer pretty easily if they feel neglected. Giving your cat extra cuddles and attention during the introduction of a new cat can help ease them of any jealousy.
Separate The Cats Initially
A slow introduction is ideal so your existing cat won’t try to defend her territory. As soon as you bring your new cat home, it’s best to keep the cats in separate rooms or areas of your home. Each cat should have their own spaces with a food bowl, water bowl, litter box, and cat furniture so they don’t feel the need to compete. Make sure to spend extra time with the new cat as they can also be stressed or scared in a new environment. The new cat may hide, and not want to receive affection at first but spending time in the same room will help the cat get used to your voice and presence.
Introduce A New Cat Slowly
Your cats will have the chance to get used to each other’s scents through the door. When they seem curious or interested in meeting, you can bring the new cat into your cat’s territory. Do this at least a few days after the new cat arrives, and keep the time short. If you notice either of the cats getting uncomfortable, separate them and don’t try forcing the cats to interact. If the cats feel comfortable enough with each other, they will smell and touch each other’s noses. When opening up the room for the new cat to explore, make sure your cat is on the other side. The cats will approach or ignore each other as they wish or as they get closer to each other. If either cat begins to get upset by the other’s approach, it’s time to separate them again. Go ahead and do the steps again the next day, and the next. As the cats begin to tolerate each other, you can increase the amount of time that they’re out together. When they seem really relaxed with each other’s company you can allow them to hang out freely.
Treats Encourage Peace
Either of the cats can be stressed or uncomfortable the first time they meet. To encourage peace, give both of the cats a special treat when they first meet. You can give them treats the next few times they meet so they associate each other with something pleasant. Place each cat’s treats in different parts of the room to prevent any squabbles over the food though.
Take Your Time To Introduce A New Cat
Cats can get stressed out by sudden changes as they are routine animals. If it’s taking longer than you anticipated for the cats to accept each other, don’t fret. And do not allow this to discourage your efforts so far. Keep trying to get the cats used to each other, at a slower pace if need be, or you can even pause for a few days. All cats may not become best friends, however there’s a good chance that they will at least tolerate each other in time.
The moral of the story is to not rush either of the cats during the introduction phase. Although it can take time, the odds of your cats accepting each other will only increase and keep the peace in your home.