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Introducing a new cat to an existing cat

It may seem a simple task to introduce another cat to the family, and although your intentions may be good, your existing cat will not see it like that at first. As lovable as cats can be, they are also very territorial and bossy and anything that threatens their position is seen as the enemy.

It is easier to introduce cats of a similar age, as this will not only make it easier for the owner in terms of feeding times and pet food choice, but it will also start both cats off on as even a level as possible. Cats like to mark their homes so it is a good idea to introduce a new cat slowly. Try and keep the cats separate for the first few days or even weeks, gradually letting the new cat into the home with the other cat, whilst under your supervision. Have a separate litter tray and feeding bowl in a designated room for your new cat, until he or she starts to feel comfortable.

A good time to introduce them to each other can be at feeding time, as this promotes a happy atmosphere and will also mean the cats are pre-occupied with something else and will associate each other with pleasant experiences. Ensure they have separate bowls which are kept quite far away from each other.

Cats are playful creatures so encouraging any interaction between the two cats is also a good idea. Simple cardboard boxes are effective, as are balls and string. If the cats can play together then this should bring them closer.

Expect some resentment at first, along with possible fighting and hissing. This is to be expected but they will soon tire of this. As an owner, try not to cuddle or stroke each cat too much in front of the other, as you do not want to portray having favourites as this will make one cat feel left out and one cat too cocky.

The most important thing is time. Your cats will eventually become friends, quite often extremely close and begin to sleep near each other and even wash each other. Be patient and watch them closely and they will soon be inseparable.


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