Introducing Cats

Are you thinking about bringing another cat into your home? Introducing cats can be tricky, as cats are territorial by nature. This is why you need to be cautious when bringing a new pet into your home and you should make sure that you take things slowly.

No matter how friendly your cat is with you the likelihood is that your pet will not welcome a new cat or kitten into the home with open paws – at least not right away. It can take time, effort, and a lot of patience for your pet to accept a new cat. Whilst there is no guarantee that they will become the best of feline friends, putting some effort and time into getting them properly acquainted can really pay off.

Here are some steps you can follow to make the transition a smooth one:

  • Separate the cats at the beginning.
  • Use scent. Take a clean towel and rub it all over your new cat. Let your existing cat sniff the towel to get used to the other cat's scent. You can also let your pet cat go into the room where you have your new cat, but make sure that you take the new cat out of the room first! Remember, this stage is only to get your existing cat used to the smell of the new cat.
  • Be sure to pay lots of attention to your first cat so that he doesn't feel neglected while the other cat is in the house – cats can get very jealous very easily!
  • When introducing cats, it's important to do so very slowly. Put your new cat into a cat carrier where both of your cats can see each other, and stay in the room with them. There may be some growling and hissing at first, but don't be put off, this is normal. The first time you try doing this, only do it for a few minutes. Repeat the process every day, increasing the time gradually.
  • Finally, once the aggression is gone, and there is no more hissing, you can let the cats free in the room around each other without the use of a carrier. However, don't leave them alone yet.
  • Offer treats to encourage proper behaviour between the two cats. This should help to make each cat feel calm and not feel threatened. If a fight does break out, separate them before it escalates.

-- Introducing Cats --

Make your home a happy place for your cats

Once you have both cats out and around each other, it's important to give them their space and their own belongings. Have separate litter boxes that aren't too close to one another and not too close to their food. Each cat will want his own privacy. Don't put their food bowls too close to one another, and never keep them next to their litter boxes.

You should provide separate bedding for each cat, even though once they get used to each other, they might end up cuddling up next to each other when they sleep.

After introducing cats you should make sure that you spend equal time with each cat. It is extremely important that you do this. Just like a child who may feel neglected if you pay more attention to a sibling, cats can feel neglected and jealousy can arise. Give lots of love to each cat so neither one feels neglected.

What if your cats never like each other?

This is a possibility that should always be considered. It is possible that neither cat will take a liking to the other. Sometimes this is not a big problem. You may find that whilst the cats aren't the best of friends they will tolerate one another and simply do their own thing separately, which is fine – many cats are solitary creatures and don't want other cats to intrude on their privacy.

However, in other cases you may find that the animosity between the cats is too much. They may be fighting in and out of the home every time they see one another, and this can lead to injury, behavioural problems, and difficulties for both the cats and for you. If this is the case, it may be in the best interests of both the cats and you to find another good home for the new cat so that both of them can be happy and relaxed in their homes.

-- Introducing Cats --

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