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If you’ve been around my blog much, or if you follow me on social media, you know how much I love animals. Though I’m not expert, I’ve had lots of cats during my life. Introducing a new cat into a house where you’ve already got one or more cats needs to be done with patience and care.
Like people, cats all have different personalities, so it might take different tricks with different cats. I’ve got some tips to help you introduce a new cat to your other cats, so he or she doesn’t end up as scared as this one!
Keep your new cat separate from the others
Cats are very territorial, as I’m sure you well know. The kitties already living in your home will have marked the furniture and most of the items in your house with their scent glands. When they rub their faces all over things, that’s what they’re doing. They’re saying, “This is mine.”
When a new cat comes into the territory, they’ll smell that another cat has already been in your house. If you just let your new cat loose in your house, it is going to cause issues. Before you even bring a new cat home, you should set up a safe space for your new kitty.
The space you set up for your new cat should be completely blocked off from the others. You don’t want them to see each other that first week. The room should have a litter box, a scratching post, a soft place to sleep, food, water, and some toys to entertain him.
Keeping your cats separate from the new one will allow them to get used to the smell of a new cat without having any physical contact.
Share the smells and spread the love
Cats have an amazing sense of smell. In fact, their sense of smell is fourteen times greater than a human’s sense of smell. Your cats will be well aware of one another’s presence even when they can’t see each other. Since they have different smells, it is a good idea to start spreading the smells around.
A good way to start spreading the smells is by using the same brush on all of the cats. Another way is to feed them on either side of the door. You may just try treats or maybe some wet cat food. This way they can smell that the other cat is having the same thing, yet they aren’t feeling threatened. Also, you can take your new cat out of the safe room and let your resident cats smell around when she isn’t in the room.
After that first week, you can start to introduce them face to face. You probably just want to start with cracking the door open between them. Don’t be surprised if they don’t love each other at first. I remember bawling my eyes out, I WAS pregnant at the time, when we got a new kitten to keep our other cat company. Our resident cat, Punkin, was not happy with Precious, our new kitten. After a bit of time, Punkin did come to love Precious, but it did take time.
Years ago, when we brought in our stray, Midnight, we read somewhere that if you put butter on the cats’ heads they’ll lick it off and then get their scent on each other…it wasn’t a success, but it was amusing!
Be watchful during interactions
You don’t want to leave the cats alone while you go out until you feel that they’re really getting along. If you see problems arising, maybe they’re not quite ready to be together and you need to separate them for a bit longer.
Just remember, it takes time, care, and lots of patience when you introduce a new cat to your other cats.