Introducing cats

If you’re bringing a new cat into your home, be patient. The introduction must be gradual. Following the initial introduction, it can take a very long time for a relationship to grow.

You only get one chance at a first impression. The first meeting t is critical. If two cats display aggression during their first meeting, this may set the mood for their future relationship. For this reason, it’s best to separate your resident cat from your new cat when you first bring her home so that you can control their initial meeting.

  • The two cats should be able to smell and hear—but not see or touch—each other.

  • Each cat should have her own food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, bed.

  • Feed the cats near the door that separates them so they learn that coming together (even though they can’t see each other) results in a pleasant experience.

  • In addition to regular cat food, feed the cats extra-special treats near the door as well, like tiny pieces of tuna, salmon, cheese, chicken or liver.

  • After two to three days, switch the cats’ locations so they can investigate each other’s smell. This also allows the new cat to explore a different section of your home.

 Assuming that you see no signs of aggression at the door (no hissing, growling, etc.), you can introduce the cats to each other. Have someone  to help you with the introduction. Have one cat and one person on each side of a partially closed door or baby gate , and start the introduction by setting each cat down a few feet away from the door or gate. When the cats notice each other, say their names and toss treats to them, aiming the treats behind them.

The next stage is to permit the cats to spend time together without a barrier between them. Supervise these initial face-to-face interactions carefully.

  • It‘s good to bring the cats together when they are likely to be relatively calm, such as after a meal or strenuous play.

  • Keep a squirt bottle handy in case the cats begin to fight.

  • As the cats become more familiar with each other, allow them longer and longer periods of time together.

If you’re bringing a new cat into a household with multiple cats, introduce each resident cat to the newcomer individually. After each of your cats has met the new cat one-on-one, you can start to allow all of the cats to mingle as a group.Your cats will be more likely to get along if they’re happy in their environment. Look at the layout of your home. Make sure there are plenty of hiding spots for your cats. Some like to sit up high, on shelves and on kitty condo perches. Frightened cats, on the other hand, tend to hide under and behind things, so make sure you provide spots at floor level as well. Place food, water and litter boxes out in the open so your cats don’t feel trapped when they access these resources. Make sure you have at least one liter box for each cat.