Your family has decided on adding a new cat to the family, everyone is excited! Keep in mind that your other cats may not share your enthusiasm. Cats, in general are territorial animals that dislike change!
When introducing a new cat to the furry part of the family, you must approach the situation with realistic expectations. Moving slowly through the introduction process is sure to increase the odds of a successful outcome.
Cats are creatures of habit. When you bring home your new cat choose a separate room to keep them in away from your other pets. Place the litter box, dishes, and any bedding into the room. Be sure to give attention and reassurance to all pets during this introduction period. Every time you feed the cats move their bowls a little closer to the door. After a few days of doing this they will be eating just inches away from each other.
Since cats are territorial, scent is very important to them. Swapping out the bedding from the new cat and the existing pets will get them used to each other’s smell without being in each other’s space. Once the cats are eating closer to each other and have swapped bedding a few times, next let the new cat out of confinement. Place the other pets in a secure location to avoid any tension or fighting. The next step will involve leaving the door slightly ajar. This allows your new cat to “meet” your other pets briefly. This can be done several times a day but always under supervision. Once you feel your pets are ready to meet open the door further and allow them to interact on their terms.
Gradual introductions, patience, and consistency are your best bets for having a successful introduction. Taking the wrong approach, such as abruptly throwing pets together can lead to aggression and other behavioral issues. Remember, that your veterinarian and their staff are always here to answer any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to use your resources! Enjoy your new addition!
For additional information please visit:
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff