Introducing a New Cat to an Existing Family Cat
So, you have a new cat but you also have an existing cat in the home, right? What do you do to ensure that the two of them will get along? Cats are territorial in nature, so introducing one cat to another isn’t always so easy. But with a few tips, along with some time and patience, you can help to ensure that your cats can get along and coexist in the same household. Here is how to introduce a new cat to an existing family cat.
Create a safe room for your new cat
For the first 6 or 7 days, create a safe room for your new cat. This needs to be a room in your house that is completely closed off to the other cat in the home. A place where the new cat can feel safe and has what they need including food, water, litter box, toys and scratching post. During this time, neither cat should have any interaction with the other cat, except maybe for the occasional peeking under the door.
Start slowly introducing each cat to the scent of the other cat
After the first 6 or 7 days, you want to start introducing each cat to the other cat’s scent. You can do this by brushing one cat and then brushing the other cat with the same brush. Also, when the new cat is not in their safe room, have the existing cat go in there to get used to the new scent and when the existing is not around, have the new cat smell around too.
Introduce the first face to face meeting with the new cat in a crate
The first face to face meeting should be with the new cat in a carrier or crate. Have the cat carrier or crate in the safe room and then allow the resident cat into the safe room. This will allow for the two cats to interact while keeping the new cat protected.
What to expect during this first interaction
Expect some hissing from both cats, since this is something new to both of them. You want to do this type of interaction a few times before removing the barrier. Once the cats aren’t shown any signs of aggression, then it is safe to allow them to interact face to face.