Looking to add a new cat to your family? If you already have another cat you might wonder how welcome a new feline friend will be. Most cats tend to be hostile to newcomers in their territory. However, there are things you can do to make the transition period way less stressful. Read on for tips that’ll make it easier to introduce a new cat into your home.
Consider Your Existing Cat’s Needs First
Before you decide on a cat to adopt, think about the cat that you already share a home with. Does your cat tend to get along better with female or male cats? If your cat prefers the company of male cats, you should adopt a male cat. Adopting a young kitten as a companion for an older cat can work well because kittens tend to automatically accept the older cat. Plus, the older cat will have “seniority” and can maintain dominance of the territory easily. Kittens like to play a lot though which may annoy an elderly cat who prefers a more calm and peaceful environment. So, make sure to take into account your cat’s personality and preferences before adopting another cat. Fostering a cat through an animal rescue is a great way to see how your cat will react before committing to adoption.
Make Sure To Give Your Resident Cat Extra Attention
Since cats are territorial, that often goes for their humans as well. You don’t want your cat to get jealous of a newcomer. So, be sure to give your cat extra cuddles and attention when you introduce a new cat into your home.
Separate The Cats At First
Your existing cat will probably try to defend her territory so a slow introduction is best. Until your cat is ready to accept the newcomer, it’s best to keep them in separate rooms or areas of your home. Each cat should have their own area with a food bowl, water bowl, litter box, and cat furniture. Make sure to spend a lot of time with the new cat to help ease the stress of moving into new unfamiliar territory. The cat may be scared, hide, and not want to receive affection but just spending time in the same room and allowing the cat to get used to your voice can help.
Introduce A New Cat Gradually
After giving your cats time to get used to each other’s scents through a door, you can start to bring the new cat into your cat’s territory. Do this for short amounts of time & separate them if you notice your cat getting upset. Do not try forcing the cats to interact, let them do it on their own. When you let the cat into the room, make sure your cat is on the other side and allow them to approach or ignore each other as they wish. If either cat starts getting cranky or annoyed, it’s time to separate them again. The next day, go and do it again. Once the cats are starting to tolerate each other, you can increase the amount of time that they spend together. When they seem to be comfortable with each other’s company you can allow them to mingle freely.
Encourage The Peace With Treats
The cats’ first time encountering each other will probably be stressful for them both. In order to encourage peace, you can give the cats a special treat when they first meet. Then, do this again for at least the next few times that they meet so they associate each other with special treats. Make sure to put each cat’s treats in different parts of the room to prevent any fighting over the food.
Take Your Time & Don’t Rush To Introduce A New Cat
Cats are routine animals that often get stressed out by changes. So, it may take longer than you anticipate for the cats to accept their new living situation. Do not let this discourage you though. Keep trying to gradually get the cats used to each other and you can even pause for a few days if needed. While not all cats will become best friends, there’s a good chance that they will at least tolerate each other in time.
The moral of the story is to take your time to introduce a new cat into your home. This will increase the odds of your cats accepting each other and keeping the peace in your home.