Introducing a new feline friend to your household can be an exciting moment for everyone involved. Yet, it’s important to take a few things into account to guarantee a smooth integration with any existing cat companions.
Gradual introduce the new cat
In order to increase the likelihood of unfamiliar cats becoming friends, introduce them slowly and gradually. Monitor their actions to determine whether you can move on to the next phase. It may take several weeks to months to complete the introduction process, so be ready for this.
Step 1: Scent swapping
Use a towel to transfer the scent of each cat to the other’s space. Rub one towel over your current cat and leave it in the new cat’s area, and rub a different towel over your new cat and leave it in your current cat’s space. Continue doing this daily until both cats are comfortable with each other’s scent or a shared scent is established.
Step 2: Allow independent exploration
Let them explore each other’s living spaces when the other is absent.
Step 3: Supervised visual contact
Incorporate brief periods of monitored visual interaction through a barrier such as a child gate or screen. If they are at ease, progressively prolong the periods of visual contact.
Step 4: Supervised free contact
If your cats appear at ease conducting their own activities with a barrier present, initiate short, monitored sessions where the barrier is removed. Make sure they have separate resources, areas to retreat to, and are fed separately. If they appear to be getting along, gradually increase the duration of supervised unrestricted interaction.
Step 5: Unsupervised free contact
After your cats have become at ease with monitored unrestricted interaction, gradually extend the duration of unsupervised time they spend together and slowly remove the need for supervision.
Adding a new kitten to your household can be a thrilling experience, but it requires preparation and patience to properly introduce the new family member to your older cat.
The cats must become accustomed to inhabiting the same area so they can coexist peacefully, but introductions should be made gradually and over an extended period of time, allowing them to perceive each other as members of the same social unit.
It’s common for there to be initial disagreements and hissing, but if you encounter ongoing issues, seek guidance from a veterinarian or animal behavior specialist.