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October 01, 2019 4 min read
Cats are often mistakenly considered antisocial animals. While they may not be as outwardly friendly and forward as dogs, cats are still very playful animals and can enjoy the company of people and other animals, as long as they’re introduced to their home in a proper way. When you’re bringing a new cat home to another cat, there are a number of things to keep in mind in order to make sure the two felines get along appropriately. King Kanine is going to share some of the most important things to remember when introducing a cat to a new home. Keep reading if you want to know more, and be sure to add any thoughts you might have to our comments section below!
When introducing a cat to a new home, the most important thing is to remain patient. It might seem super exciting to have a new feline in the house and a potential new playmate for another cat, but if the introduction process is rushed, owners could be in for a number of problems. Because they are historical predators, cats may be prone to aggressive behavior if their territory is suddenly compromised. Many cats do not have experience with other felines, as they have been separated from the litter from a young age. These cats might have grown comfortable living with other people, but that’s a different situation than living with other cats. Carefully planning your new cat’s introduction into the household will make things easier.
At the beginning of the introduction process, owners should be sure to keep the cats separated. The new cat should be put in one room in the house where he or she can slowly become comfortable, and the other cat should be barred from that room for the time being. Cats have a keen sense of smell, and they’ll be aware of each other’s presence without having to see each other eye to eye. Let the exchange of their scents be the first step in the introduction phase.
The room in which you’re bringing a new cat home to should be stocked with all necessary materials, including a litter box, a water bowl or fountain, a plate for food, and a sleeping pad. The new cat will want to spend time understanding their new space and growing comfortable within it. This can take a few days, which is why it is often recommended to keep the new cat separated for 1-3 days. After this time, it might not be a bad idea to bring the new cat to a different room, still separated from the other cat in the home, that way he or she can become acquainted with another space in the house in which they’ll be spending the rest of their lives.
One popular trick for introducing cats to one another is by handling the exchange of scents yourself. Consider rubbing a sock over the new cat to collect its scent, and then leave that sock with the other cat. This will allow the resident cat to understand that there is a new friend in the home and that you are facilitating the introduction process.
After a few days, owners can begin to bring the cats into visual contact with one another. Bringing a new cat home to another cat can be scary if this process is at all rushed, so patience is still stressed in this phase. It is not uncommon for cats to ignore each other even when meeting visually for the first time. In reality, the cats are well aware of each other’s presence and are just skulking around the home to get a sense of territory. If it seems the cats are not taking to their introduction very well, consider separating them with a screen or glass door, that way they can still see each other, only without the threat of potentially pouncing or attacking. In this phase of bringing a new cat home, it is also important not to spend more time with one cat than another. They will both need human contact to make them feel comfortable and accepted in their shared space. Showing more attention to the resident cat may validate their dominant behaviors, while showing more attention to the new cat may make the resident cat feel threatened. Everything introducing a cat to a new home is about balance.
After completing the gradual introduction phase, it is time to allow the cats to spend time together. As we said earlier, it is normal for cats to ignore each other when first making contact. Likewise, it is normal for there to be small wrestling or hissing matches at the beginning of their relationship. These are biological predators we’re talking about, making them especially territorial. Try to be in the room as often as you can when letting them spend time together, that way they can be separated in case any significant problems arise. If things go poorly, owners can always try separating the cats again and bringing them back together in a few days. Bringing a new cat home to another cat is a day by day process, and even though it can be tiring at the start, by the end it will reap a ton of rewards. Once the cats get to know each other and become comfortable sharing a space, you can bet that they’ll be inseparable playmates.
We hope this article will prove to be helpful to cat owners who are bringing a new cat home for the first time. Owning a cat is a wonderful experience, and owning two or more can be even more wonderful, as long as owners are careful about what they’re doing. If you have any more ideas as to the best ways of introducing a cat to a new home, be sure to leave a message in the comments section below. We’d love for you to join our community of cat lovers!