Cat to Cat Introductions
Did you know?
Research has shown that a single hostile encounter between two unfamiliar cats can set the tone for their relationship for a long time to come. To prevent your new cat getting off on the wrong foot with your resident cat, introduce them gradually.
Simple tips for cat to cat introductions
- It is generally easier to introduce a kitten to an adult than to introduce two adults.
- Time and patience are the keys to successfully introducing a new cat into the household.
- Exchange bedding to acquaint through smell before meeting.
- Rotate rooms and let the new cat explore while the resident cat visits the new cat’s room.
- When they are relaxed about this step, open the door of the new cat’s room so that they can see each other, but can’t push the door open.
- Give the cats treats and toys on both sides of the door.
- When comfortable with limited exposure, try feeding them on opposite sides of the same room, returning the new cat to its room when finished.
- After a few days of common mealtimes, they may be ready to share the same living space. Let the new cat out for a few minutes, gradually increasing the length of time.
- Throughout introduction, speak quietly and calmly to the cats and praise!
- Let them set their own pace and never force them to be together.
- Never punish or use harsh tones if one of them is intolerant to the other.
- Give special attention to the resident cat - this is their territory.
- Keep them separated when you are not home to supervise until you are certain they can tolerate each other’s presence.
- If the cats become fearful or hostile, return the newcomer to its room and close the door - a minor setback will not ruin the friendship, but a fiercely aggressive encounter will be remembered for a long time and should be avoided at all costs.
- If you run into a problem, back up to a previous successful stage of the introduction, and move forward carefully again.
- Not all cats like sharing litter trays, so you will need to keep this in mind to avoid any potential problems.
- Only you can determine the pace of the introduction. It may be only a short time, but keep in mind it could also take months.