Introducing a New Cat | Dr. Elsey's

Introducing a New Cat

Bringing a new cat or kitten into your home can be a stressful situation. With this time of year being kitten season there may be a number of you welcoming a new kitten or cat into your homes. Following are a few hints that will hopefully make the transition easier on you and the other cats in your household.

Keep in mind that the slower the introduction period the better the chance of the cats adjusting to each other. We recommend confining the new cat to its own room for a couple of weeks. Cats feel more secure in a smaller space when they go into a new environment so it is not only keeping the cats away from each other but giving the new cat time to adjust. Using Feliway will help to calm down the household. During this two week period you can wipe each cat’s fur with a towel and then place that towel under the other’s food bowl. This will help them get use to the other cat’s smell and it will be associated with something pleasant – eating. After a time switch the rooms out by letting the new cat explore the whole house while the existing cat spends time in the new cat’s room. The last step would be to block off the door of the new cat’s room. The opening needs to be big enough for the cats to see and smell each other and maybe play a bit with their paws within the space but not big enough for them to hurt each other should a cat fight ensue.

When you finally do let them out initially it should be under supervision and make sure to have enough elevated perches that one can get away from the other if necessary. Always remember to have one cat box for each cat plus one – this will help with any territory issues between the cats. Separate food bowls for each cat can also be helpful. If you have multiple cats, which most of us do, it is always a good idea to zone their litter boxes and food bowls so they each have their own space.

Good luck with your new cat addition and until next time please remember to hug your cat.