How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Home
Cats are often described as being solitary and territorial animals which do not get along with other cats. But the truth is that cats which grow up together almost always develop a good relationship and it is also possible to successfully introduce a new cat to your home. Some cats will never learn to coexist but most will do just fine when they learn that they do not have to compete for food or somewhere safe to sleep.
If you wish to welcome a new cat to your home then it does help if you get off to a good start!
The First Day
Choose a quiet time for your introduction when there are no visitors to the house. Confine the new cat to one room and stroke its head using a cloth. Then take the cloth and wipe it on furnishings in other rooms to mark them with the cat’s scent. This will help your other cat or cats to familiarise themselves with the scent. You could also consider swapping the cats’ bedding around so that they can all smell each other before a physical introduction.
Allow the new cat to explore each room first without meeting the other cats. Keep your pets separate for a couple of days if you are able to.
It is best to introduce your new cat to the rest of your feline family when they are in their carrier. This will reduce the chances of your other cats seeing them as a threat and will protect them against any initial aggression. However, do not use the carrier if the cat is unsettled by it as this might
teach it to associate the carrier with a stressful experience.
Place the carrier in a room with the other cats and observe their behaviour. If there is little or no aggression from any of the animals then it should be possible to make a full introduction. If things look less friendly then remove the new cat from the room and try again later. Follow this procedure until the mood improves.
Face to Face
When it is time for an unrestricted meeting choose a room with furnishings that the cats cat retreat behind or jump onto to get away from each other. Place the new cat in the room with the others and allow them to interact. You could experience any reaction from calm indifference to a major scrap. If the meeting is a peaceful one then you can then give your new pet the run of the house. If things don’t go quite so well then remove your new cat from the room and try again later in the day. Keep trying until the cats react calmly to the situation.
As long as your cats have a good supply of food, plenty of affection and enough room in the house to create their own personal space then they should all learn to get along. Some with always remain indifferent to their housemates and others will develop strong bonds. In rare cases they never learn to tolerate each other and a new home may have to be found for the latest arrival.