Are you thinking about buying or adopting a cat or kitten, but you already have a male or female cat at home? Want to know how to introduce a new cat or kitten to your family’s feline? Find out below.
To each cat his own
For starters, every cat should always have access to food, drink, a place to sleep and a pee corner that’s not in the way of other cats. Giving the new cat it’s own space increases the chance of a successful introduction if you want to adopt or buy a cat/kitten.
All in good time
To properly introduce a new cat, it can easily take several days or even weeks. Be patient and don't force anything. Under no circumstances should you let them fight it out: that will inevitably lead to an irreparable relationship, where one of the cats will be chronically terrified of the other.
First, put your new cat or kitten in an area it has all to itself. Don’t allow the cats to see each other until the new cat is completely at ease and no longer shows any signs of stress or unease about her new home. This can easily take a week.
How to introduce a new cat?
Place the familiar cat and the new cat on either side of a closed door and give them both a treat. This way you teach them to make a positive link between the 'other cat' and 'treat'.
When both cats are quietly eating the treat, you can leave the door ajar. Note: do not do this for too long per 'session'. If the cats remain calm, open the door a few centimeters more next time. Repeat this exercise twice a day. After a few weeks, let the cats sniff each other.
Some cats are not easily swayed by food or treats. You will have to distract them in a different way. Catnip can be an alternative way of getting their attention: you can spray toys with catnip and entertain your familiar cat using the above method.