Cat to Cat Introductions

Things to consider

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.

Remember

  • 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.

 

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