Introducing a new cat to the family is tricky. They are mysterious creatures, and this is one of the many reasons that we love them! They make the experience of being a pet parent full of discoveries each day.
Cats by nature, are territorial beings. This trait can cause a massive tiff between the new kitten and your resident cat. Rushing the introduction process can cause stress to both cats resulting in fights. Not handling the transition properly, could be detrimental to a new kitten as ‘they’re too small to defend themselves against a bigger cat. The resident cat could feel threatened or replaced.
Having a solid preparation plan to introduce a new cat to the family and your other pets can help with a smooth and peaceful transition.
Here are Tips On Introducing A New Cat
Choose The Right Feline
Unfortunately, there is no definite way to judge whether a new kitten and your resident cat will get along. To help increase the odds of them becoming besties, choose a kitten that will not pose a threat like one of the opposite sex. They are less likely to show aggression to each other in this case.
Prepare A Separate Room
Isolate your new kitten in a separate room with their food, water, litter, bedding, toys and a scratch post. Choose an area that your resident pet cat doesn’t often use so they won’t be upset about losing it to the kitten. Keep them separated until the time is right to introduce them.
Over time, you can help your kitten get used to their new house by using a crate. Leave it in the room every so often and place the kitten inside. Play with your kitten and reward them with treats.
If your kitten or resident cat is in distress, you can use a pheromone sprays such as Feliway spray, to keep them calm.
Being scent oriented, you should help each one should get used to each other’s smell. When your kitten arrives, pet them separately without washing your hands. You can also swap beddings and other toys after a few days to help them recognise each other’s scent a lot faster.
Spend a lot of time with each other INDIVIDUALLY at this point.
Getting To Know You
When introducing a new cat to another one you have at home, it is best to initially use a barrier, such as your kitten’s crate. This allows the cats to sniff each other and get used to the company before an actual physical interaction. Expect hisses and moaning as they are entirely normal.
Keep the introductions short and slowly increase them in length day by day. It’s best to let the two meet at a neutral part of the house.
Once they are comfortable enough around each other, you will no longer need a barrier. However, supervise these interactions and monitor each of their behaviours closely. Tensions may still arise at this stage, so when this happens, immediately place a barrier between them.
Reward calm behaviours with treats and praise them in a soft voice.
Eventually, they will get used to each other’s company without the need for your constant supervision.
Peace and Harmony
To ensure lasting peace and harmony, make sure that you have separate litter boxes, drinking and feeding stations. Cats don’t want to be forced to share necessities.
Kittens may most likely be active and bouncy, and this can be overwhelming for older cats. To foster a good relationship between your furry felines, make the cats feel like they have their own space.
As your new kitten becomes more comfortable, they will be more likely to explore and test the boundaries. Check for potential hazards in your home, such as breakable objects, full-length curtains and poisonous plants.
Take Your Time When Introducing A New Cat
Don’t force or rush into the process. Have a plan in place, and the transition becomes more natural. All the time and effort will be worth it as you witness your furry feline babies become the best of friends.
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