Introducing a New Cat To Your Household
CONGRATULATIONS on your new addition! It is such a joy to welcome a new family member and experience the happiness and love that these sweet animals bring.
If you already have cats or dogs, then it is so very important to acclimate your new cat or kitten in the right way. Don’t attempt to just “toss” everyone together because the results can be disastrous and long lasting. It truly is the worst approach because while your cats may become lifelong friends, they often take time to get used to each other. Take the time to introduce them the right way to avoid unhappiness and conflict.
When your new cat or kitten is brought home and placed in their Sanctuary room, place the carrier near the hiding place, open the carrier door and leave so that safe exploring can be done. You can go back in quietly after a short time and interact gently. Yummy food is a good way to have them feel at home. Use the food provided by the rescue at first. Playtime is also a great way to form a bond.
One sense at a time
Your resident pets need to learn of the newcomer one sense at a time. They will be aware of each other through smell at first and then noise. When you come out of the Sanctuary room, you will bring with you the scent of the newcomer. Same thing going in – having the scent of resident pets.
You know your home and your cats and kittens. If they seem calm and behaving as they normally would, then it may be time. This may take a couple of days, a week or a month. You just have to use your powers of observation and common sense. Let them have a quick peek through an open Sanctuary door a time or two or three. Usually kittens love to see other cats but they can also feel intimidated. Some hissing and growling is to be expected from the newcomer or residents. They may even swat at each other. Full blown fury and physical attacks are not normal and you would need to take measures to start the introduction process over again. If the peek looks go well, then let the residents come in and give everyone something really yummy to eat. Spray some feliway or play a cat video.
Give them every reason to be happy about a new addition. Help them find a reason to like each other.
Take it slow and easy. Most of the time, cats and kittens adjust and decide to accept each other.
You may be very lucky that everyone gets along from the start. But don’t assume this will happen.
We are here for you and you can call your rescue contact for help or if you have concerns.
There are other techniques and ideas we can share. HAPPY WHISKERS AND TAILS TO YOU!