cats playing with each other

How should you integrate a new cat with existing household cats?

Cats can be amazing, fun, and full of joy, and in most cases, having more than one cat will only multiply your love and happiness.  However, before you decide to add another feline fur baby to your home, be sure you have a strong bond with your current cat, and that she trusts you to do right by her.

First Steps

Take your time finding the next cat for your household.  How well you know your current cat’s personality is going to help in finding the perfect match.  Once you’ve found that perfect match, you can begin to prepare your home for the new arrival.

Before bringing your new feline companion home, find a space for her to settle into where she will have her own food, fresh water, litter box, and privacy from your existing cat.

cats playingMake sure you have the new cat in a carrier when you enter the house and try not to make a big deal about bringing the cat into the house.  Come in without any fanfare and go straight to his designated room.   Your resident cat will definitely be curious about the new arrival, but initially you will not want your new cat and the resident cat interacting.

Getting Comfortable

Once you are in the room and the door is closed, put the carrier down on the floor, open it and let the new cat come out of the carrier at his leisure. Find a place to sit in the room and wait for your new feline resident to be comfortable enough to come out and explore. Try not to hover: just be cool, talk with the cat, and wait for him to approach you.

If he is too nervous to leave the comfort of the carrier, just leave him alone – it may take some time for him to adjust to the new environment.

WHO is this??

Once your resident cat discovers there is another cat in the house, she is going to be very interested, and typically, not too happy about it. This is to be expected. It is important to keep up with your routine because cats (like dogs and young children) crave routine and like to know that someone is in charge.

For the first couple days, spend time getting to know your new cat’s personality before integrating him into the household.  Take your time with the integration, because these first interactions are going to dictate the future relationship of your cats. Before bringing the cats together for the first time, it’s a good idea to give the cats an object that has the others’ scent on it, like a toy or blanket, so they can get familiar with each other in a non-threatening way.

This Could be the Start of a Beautiful Thing

For the initial introduction, you may want to put the new cat in the carrier, and let the resident cat into the room, where they can interact in a safe way.  If the cats are being friendly, the next step could be to let the new cat out, and let them interact together.  Throughout this process you will want to be careful and watch for any signs of aggression.

Never rush things. It takes time, love and patience to integrate a new cat into a household that already has a cat, but if you take it slow, and do it the right way, your life, and the life of your cats, will be that much richer for it.

 

 

©Onpets, LLC 2017.  All rights reserved.

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