Introducing another Adult Cat or Kitten to your Cat
It is always going to be challenging to welcome a new cat into your household with your current resident cat. However, it is vital to remember that even when the introduction procedure is carried out with the greatest care, there is no assurance that the cats will get along well with one another. Cats have a natural aversion to living with other cats, and it is critical that you be able to recognize and address this in order to ensure that the cats in your care have the greatest possible welfare, both in terms of their physical health and their psychological well-being.
Your cats may be with you for a long period of time.
In addition to the fact that owners feel much better when their cats get along rather than dislike one another, the stress level of the cats is decreased significantly as well.
Setting up the home for your new cat
In the event that you have decided to adopt a new cat, the first step you should take when you bring the cat home is to restrict the new cat to a single room. In an ideal situation, choose a space that is not frequently used by your resident cat and to which you do not require regular access, such as a spare bedroom or office. Make certain that the new cat’s room has the following items:
- Food, water, comfortable resting spaces with bedding, hiding spots, a litter box, toys, and a scratching post are all provided.
Ideally, these objects should be those that came with the cat, or they should be completely new. You should avoid using some of your resident cat’s items since these items will smell like your resident cat, which may make your new cat feel anxious at a time when you are attempting to assist it feel at ease in its new environment. Similarly, lowering the quantity of possessions that your present cat has (for example, by removing a litter tray) has the potential to cause it unhappiness as well.
This may aid in the adaptation of the new cat to the new surroundings, while it may also aid in the prevention of any emotions of being threatened by the incumbent cat’s territory.
This is what will happen:
- In a proactive manner, by rubbing the scent gland regions on the sides of your cat’s face against furniture and the corners of the walls, and by scratching its scratching post
- Observe your cat napping and relaxing on bedding and playing with toys in a passive manner
It might take several days to a week or two for the cat to become used to the new environment depending on the cat. The following are signs that your new cat is settling in to its new home environment:
- When you enter the room, friendly behaviors like as approaching you, stroking around your legs, chirruping, purring, and meowing are displayed. The animal is lying on its side with its belly exposed and is prone to turning over. It is occupying itself with its toys
- Furniture, edges of walls, and other things in its room are rubbed against the face of the animal. Behaviours such as normal feeding, drinking, grooming, and toileting
If your new cat is displaying any indications of frustration (as described below) as a result of being kept in a single room, you may desire to offer it with more space, such as a corridor or an additional room that is not shared with your incumbent cat.
If this is not feasible, it may be desirable to begin the introduction process as soon as possible after the meeting. The following are examples of signs of frustration caused by confinement:
- The act of scratching or pawing at the entrance and its surroundings, or at the glass
- Cats that meow for several minutes at a time Pacing in front of the entrance
- Arriving at the front door
- When you try to exit the room, someone swipes at you
The procedure of introducing the cats to one another should begin once the cat has become completely comfortable in its own area of the house. Begin by gently introducing the scent of the other cat to each of the cats in your household (without actually physically meeting). This is necessary because cats use the scent of individual cats to determine whether or not they are members of the same social group. To do this, we will create a common fragrance that will allow all of the cats to recognize one another as members of the same social group.
This increases the likelihood that they will accept one another’s bodily presence since they are more likely to perceive one another as members of the same social group if this is accomplished.
Step 1: Exchange bedding
Begin by removing one item of each cat’s bedding (for example, a single blanket) and placing it in one of the other cat’s beds to start the fragrance swapping process. There should be enough bedding for both cats so that this change in bedding does not result in either cat having a limited number of sleeping or resting spots after the transition. We anticipate that each cat will lay onto the bedding of the other cat, so blending their two distinct odors to form a more cohesive overall aroma. Keep a close eye on both cats’ responses to the new bedding.
As a result, the cat may need to move through the steps at a much more leisurely rate.
For more than one piece of bedding, you can repeat the technique described above.
This will allow you to measure your resident cat’s reaction to the new cat’s scent as soon as possible after bringing it home.
It is possible to wear a light cotton glove while stroking the cats (one glove for each cat) or use a cloth to wipe over each cat’s facial glands (under the chin, cheeks, and areas in front of the ears) and then wipe it onto the furniture in the part of home where the other cat lives to make the cats feel more comfortable being stroked by the human.
This will allow for increased smell exchange as well as the potential for the cats to face rub on top of the markings, resulting in the creation of a collective aroma among the cats.
Step 2: Allow exploration of each cat’s area
Starting with one item of each cat’s bedding (for example, a single blanket) and placing it in one of the other cat’s beds, you may gradually increase the number of cats involved. This change of bedding should not leave either cat with a restricted number of sleeping or resting spots, so make sure there is plenty of bedding for both cats. We anticipate that each cat will lay onto the bedding of the other cat, so blending their two distinct aromas to produce a more cohesive overall fragrance. Examine both cats’ reactions to the bedding in the privacy of your own home.
As a result, the cat may need to move through the steps at a much more leisurely pace than usual.
For more than one piece of bedding, this procedure can be performed several times.
This will allow you to assess your current cat’s reaction to the new cat’s fragrance as soon as possible.
It is possible to wear a light cotton glove while stroking the cats (one glove for each cat) or use a cloth to wipe over each cat’s facial glands (under the chin, cheeks, and areas in front of the ears) and then wipe it onto the furniture in the part of home where the other cat lives to make the cats feel more comfortable with being stroked.
Step 3: Allow visual contact
The cats should only be permitted to interact with one another when they have been completely comfortable in the home as a whole and after they have detected the scent of the other cat. The ability to see each other should be achieved through the use of a physical barrier. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including the following:
- A door that is slightly ajar (to prevent them from passing through)
- A mesh barrier – some individuals build a wooden door frame that fits within their current door frame and is coated in mesh wire
- A door that is slightly ajar (to prevent them from passing through). a stair gate designed specifically for toddlers
Advice for using crates positively for kitten introductions only
- The use of crates, such as those used for dogs, for adult cat introductions should be avoided at all costs since the limited size of a box limits their ability to flee from the other cat. For kittens who have become accustomed to being house-trained during their early development or who have been positively trained to enjoy being in a crate, it may be possible to use this method during introductions if your home does not have separate rooms or cannot be divided in any other way, such as using a crate. If you want to bring a cat or kitten to your home, never confine one or both to a cat carrier since they do not allow any option for escape. Cats can be introduced to their new environment through the use of a large crate in a room that is strategically placed in the corner and partially covered with a blanket to provide an area where the kitten can be out of sight. In addition to a blanket covering one area of the cage, the crate should always contain a hiding place within it where the cat can remove itself from visual view. The crate might be furnished with a cardboard box or an igloo bed in order to accomplish this. Having a place to hide when the resident cat comes gives the kitten the opportunity to relax. The entrance to the room may then be opened and the resident cat can be let out to explore the room while the kitten is contained in the crate. The kitten can be distracted with a few treats or high-value toys, and the resident cat can be fed a high-value food reward as well, in order to establish good connections between the two cats. These goodies should be saved for times when the two cats are exposed to each other in order to retain their value. Crates should be spacious enough for the kitten to be able to walk around freely and should have essential resources such as food, water, a litter tray, and a hiding spot. These materials must be placed as far apart from one another as possible, which means that the larger the container, the better the result.
When people are in visual proximity to one another, they should experience positive sentiments. As a result, cats can be played with or provided food treats, with each activity occurring independently of the other. It should never be a competition of stares. Instead, the cats should be content with going about their own business while yet being able to gaze at one another sometimes. Allowing them to smell one another through a barrier is acceptable; however, any signs of negative behavior toward one another (e.g., growling, hissing, flattening or rotating of ears with tense body posture) should be immediately distracted, for example, by luring the instigator of the negative behavior out of sight of the other cat using a toy such as a fishing rod toy.
If there is more than one resident cat, visual contact should be established between only two cats at first (one resident each time and the new cat), and subsequently the number of cats should be increased as necessary (more residents and the new cat).
As soon as one of the cats displays symptoms of anxiety or antagonism toward the other, remove the cats physically and visually from one another immediately.
As a result, the cats may begin to feel more comfortable with one another once more.
In these situations, Feliway Classic and Feliway Friends can be used in conjunction with one another.
Step 4: Physical access but supervised contact
This following stage should only be carried out once the cats are completely familiar with the idea of seeing each other via a barrier. It is preferable if the removal or opening of the barrier occurs softly, particularly at a time when both cats are engaged in a joyful activity such as playing or eating. Never push the cats together and always try to be as passive as possible. The primary goal is for the cats to feel comfortable in each other’s company; they do not need to be physically engaging in order to achieve this.
If cats appear to be at ease when in the presence of one another, then physical access should be provided as frequently as feasible under supervision.
Step 5: Free access without supervision for short periods
As long as there is no bad behavior between the cats during the ‘physical access but monitored touch’ stage, free unsupervised access for brief periods of time (a few minutes) is permissible. Once free unsupervised access has been established, it should be made available as frequently as feasible. During the rest of the time, the new cat is kept apart from the others. If pleasant behaviors are observed between the new cat and the resident, they can be kept together for increasingly longer amounts of time; however, they should always be allowed access to their respective areas of the house when separated.
- The separate room can be left permanently open over time if everything is going smoothly.
- Cats can access the entire environment while also retreating to areas where they are not in conflict with the cats with whom they are in conflict in some cases.
- Increased chances for vertical space use, such as shelves, pathways, and perches, can assist cats in maintaining their own personal territory.
- If you are having difficulty completing this introduction procedure, or if the cats have a breakdown after an initially successful introduction, it is a good idea to seek expert assistance.
Contact your veterinarian, who will be able to provide you guidance or send you to a skilled behaviorist if necessary.
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Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat
Wild cats and feral cats endure complicated and hectic lifestyles that require constant attention. It is common for them to maintain far bigger territories than most people think, and these territories frequently comprise a diversity of settings, including woodlands, farmlands, urban gardens, and yards. Cats roam free in these zones, exploring, hunting, and scavenging for food on their own. They only engage with other cats on a very rare occasion. There is no evidence that they live in groups or even pairs, and they do not actively seek out interaction with other cats.
- In light of cats’ innate territorial instincts, it should come as no surprise that it may be extremely difficult to bring a new cat into an existing cat’s territory, even when that area happens to be your own.
- The introduction must be done in stages.
- For most cats, it takes between eight and twelve months for them to form a bond with another cat.
- Although the majority of cats that aren’t best friends learn to avoid each other, some cats fight when they are first met and continue to fight until one of the cats has to be re-homed.
- If your cat has previously coexisted peacefully with other cats, the chances are strong that she will get along with a newcomer as well.
- Unfortunately, there are no proven methods for determining which cats make the greatest pairings among themselves.
- The unique personalities of the cats are more essential than any other element, such as their gender, age, or size, in this study.
How to manage introductions
Step 1: Keeping first impressions under control In order to establish trust, the initial impression a new cat makes upon meeting your resident cat is crucial. In the event that two cats show signs of aggressiveness at their first meeting, this may set the tone for their potential relationship in the future. In order to maintain control over their initial encounter, it is recommended that you separate your resident cat from your new cat when you first bring her home. The two cats should be able to smell and hear one other, but they should not be able to see or touch each other.
- Feed the cats near the door that divides them so that they learn that coming together (even if they can’t see each other) results in a pleasurable experience for everyone.
- Approximately every two to three days, move the cats’ placements so that they may have a better sense of each other’s smell.
- Some behaviorists recommend wiping the cats individually using the same towel in order to intermix their odours more effectively.
- Then you should massage the other cat.
- After a few more days, take turns playing with each of the cats who live near the front entrance.
- Eventually, the cats will be able to play “paws” under the door between themselves.
- An alternative technique is to temporarily replace the door with a screen door so that the cats can see and communicate with one another.
Instruct a friend or family member to assist you with the introduction process.
Have one cat and one human on either side of the door.
Continue encouraging feeding, eating rewards and playing near the barrier over the following several days, gradually moving the food, treats and toys closer to the barrier.
Maintain close supervision over these early face-to-face contacts.
Make sure you have a spray bottle on standby in case the cats get into it.
Allowing the cats to spend longer and longer lengths of time together will help them get more familiar with one another. If one cat spends the majority of her time hiding, or if one cat harasses and chases the other on a regular basis, please contact with a specialist.
If you’re introducing a new cat into a household with numerous cats, you should introduce the newcomer to each current cat one at a time. Following one-on-one introductions between each of your cats and the new cat, you may begin to allow all of the cats to socialize as a group. If your cats are content in their surroundings, they are more likely to get along with one another. Take a look at the design of your house. Make sure your cats have a variety of hiding places to choose from. Some prefer to perch on high places such as shelves or kitty condo perches.
Food, water, and litter boxes should all be accessible to your cats so they do not feel imprisoned when they are utilizing these resources.
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The Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing Cats to Each Other
The fact is that cats are extremely territorial creatures, as we all know. Despite this, whenever the question of introducing two cats came up throughout the years, I would repeatedly hear people say, “Just put them in the same room and they’ll figure it out.” Is it possible for it to function on occasion? Sure, but it’s cat Russian Roulette; they could figure out who loses an eyeball just as often as they figure out who doesn’t. However, they will not miraculously figure out how to be friends.
Follow this time-tested, step-by-step protocol to the letter if you want to offer yourself and your cats the best chance of a successful integration.
How to Introduce Cats
Step One– Preparation: Meals on the Schedule and Basecamp Before you bring your new cat home, there are a few important things you should do to offer yourself a major advantage in the process. These are as follows: If you already have a cat, make sure you have turned her over to a pattern of meal feeding rather than free-feeding her. A.No free-feeding. When it comes to my method, this notion is fundamental, and nowhere is it more crucial than throughout the introduction phase. Once these planned meal times are established, it will provide the ground for both your existing cat and your newcomer to experience a shared, ceremonial way of being: they will both be fed at the same time, x number of times per day, for the foreseeable future.
A separate Base Camp (as well as the obligatory isolation phase) – In your house, a cat’s base camp is a specified region that serves as the core of the cat’s territory.
This might be the master bedroom or a second bedroom, an office, or even the bathroom if there is no other alternative available to the homeowner.
As long as the human fragrance is strong, it will aid the cat in establishing a sense of belonging by mixing odours with other animals. Also included are a few other critical components of a good base camp routine, which include the following:
- Keep lots of “fragrance soakers” at their base camp since cats are highly attracted to the scent of their surroundings. Fragrance soakers are soft materials that absorb a cat’s scent and, in essence, indicate “I live here,” while also allowing for rubbing, scratching, and sleeping in the item. Everything from beds to blankets to carpets to cardboard scratchers to scratches posts are good smell absorbers.
- It is important to note that this integration strategy is distinguished by the fact that the new cat and the resident will not first look each other in the eyes. This is a non-negotiable requirement. At your peril, you will choose to ignore this portion of the introduction procedure.
Once your new cat has demonstrated a significant amount of comfort in his new home, it’s time to introduce him to.
- Site switching is a technique in which one cat gets to explore the territory of the other without ever having to come face to face with the other. This is also an excellent time for essential signposts such as cat trees, litter boxes, and other such items to develop a common aroma. Cats rely on smell for the majority of their communication, thus getting to know them is essential to the “getting to know you” process.
Follow this simple process for harmonious site swapping:
1. Take the newbie out of his base camp and place him in the bathroom, then close the door behind him. 2. Give permission for the resident cat to step into the newcomer’s base camp, then close the door behind him. 3. Give the newbie the opportunity to tour the remainder of the house. 4. Rinse well and repeat. And, by the way, your new cat will let you know when he’s ready to leave base camp and explore the rest of the home on his own initiative. For example, it might take anything from a few hours to many days.
- The Feeding Ritual on the “Other Side of the Door”: This feeding routine, which is all about establishing a good link between the newcomer and the existing cat, has altered through the years, but it has, for the most part, always been successful for us. What exactly is involved? Mealtime will consist of two bowls put up on opposite side of a closed door, which will serve as the entire meal. These bowls should be spaced far enough apart so that the cats may go up to them, eat, and then walk away without encountering each other, but near enough so that they are aware of the presence of another cat on the other side of the door as well. Starting from there, we gradually bring the bowls closer to one other.
Here’s a video with further information: Eventually, this will bring us to a situation where.
Step Two – Visual Access
After a few weeks of being able to smell each other’s fragrance, it is time to let the cats to actually see each other. All of your hard work has resulted in predictable behavior between the two cats as well as a friendly (or at least tolerant) “scent handshake” after every meal. It is erroneous, however, to believe that they will remain as friendly after the visual aspect is added to the conversation. As an alternative, start from the beginning and reset the Challenge Line; then bring the feeding line all the way back to the beginning so that they can eat with little or no disturbance.
- But first and foremost, you must make a decision.
- The use of a pet gate or a screen door to introduce the cats has proven to be the most effective method in my experience.
- Once you’ve decided on a method, take into consideration.
- The “Raising the Curtain” approach – This technique is similar to the one used in the movie “Raising the Curtain.” Make use of clothespins to put a blanket over that gate or drape a blanket over the screen (or, perhaps less effectively, a cracked door).
- The curtain enables you to begin with the bare minimum of visual access possible to begin with.
- Step Three–Eat, Play, and Fall in Love The goal here is to bring both cats into a room together, without any form of barrier, and maintain things as amicable as possible for increasing amounts of time as the experiment continues.
- In order to facilitate the ultimate positive association, you should arrange for both cats to co-exist in a room together.
- Never forget that bringing both cats into a common place without providing them with anything to do is the worst thing you can do for any type of in-person/no boundaries introduction.
- When introducing cats during the Eat Play Love period, it’s important to pay attention to the environment and be prepared to respond immediately if any warning signals appear.
As a result, it’s critical for you to have a strategy in place in case disagreement arises, and it’s perfectly OK if it does. Here’s a checklist to help you feel more prepared in the event that anything unexpected happens.
- The fact that both cats are intensely aware of the scent of the other indicates that they are ready to interact physically. Everything you’ve done up to this point has resulted in predictable behavior between the two cats and a friendly (or at the very least tolerant) “scent handshake” after every meal. It is erroneous, however, to believe that they will remain as friendly once the visual aspect is added to the equation. As an alternative, start from the beginning and reset the Challenge Line
- Then bring the feeding line all the way back to the beginning so that they can eat with little or no interruption. Continue with the practice of moving the bowls closer to the entrance, but this time incorporate the factor of improved visual access. However, you must first make a decision. In terms of a buffer barrier, do you just break the base camp entrance, or do you install a pet gate or screen door instead? The use of a pet gate or a screen door to introduce the cats has proven to be the most effective method in my opinion. A pet gate is preferable to a baby gate because pet gates are taller and have a walk-through door, which eliminates the need for the human to disassemble the base camp door every time he needs to cross the threshold. You should think about the following things when you’ve settled on a method: B. The “Raising the Curtain” approach — This technique is similar to the one used in the movie “Raising the Curtain”. Make use of clothespins to put a blanket or a sheet over the gate to keep it closed (or, perhaps less effectively, a cracked door). Because you may “raise the curtain” gradually over a period of time, you will have a much stronger sense of control over the degree of visual access available. By using the curtain, you may begin with the very minimum of visual access possible. When it comes to feeling comfortable with their new companion, this extra layer of security might make all the difference. Step Three–Eat, Play, and Fall in Love with Yourself We want to be able to get both cats into a room together, without any form of barrier, and keep them there in harmony for longer and longer periods of time. It’s a continuation of the “other side of the door” exercise, from a philosophical perspective. It was just a matter of time until you began to associate anything good with food. In order to facilitate the ultimate positive association, you should arrange for both cats to co-exist in a single room. You should aim to provide them with the most valuable of high-value experiences that we humans provide to our cats in the course of a day, which are three things: eat, play, and fall in love with one another. Never forget that the worst thing you can do for any form of in-person/no boundaries introduction is to put both cats into a common place and leave them with nothing to do while they wait. As a result of this ill-advised behavior, the other cat becomes their “something to do,” and you’ll most likely discover that the “staredown” quickly escalates into a “throwdown.” Occasionally, you will need to end this session early, and that is perfectly OK. In the Eat Play Love phase, it’s important to be aware of any warning signs and be prepared to act quickly if any do appear in the environment. Due to our cats’ high level of sensitivity to energy, the increased temperature in the room is definitely noticeable to them. If you want to avoid conflict in the future, it’s important to have a plan in place, and it’s perfectly fine if that plan fails. Listed below is a checklist to help you feel more prepared in the event that something unexpected occurs:
- Prepare Your Sight Blockers Ahead of Time: This item is used to direct someone out of a room and it is something that does the following: In order to prevent the cats from seeing through it, it must be substantial enough that you can set it between them and they will not be able to bust through it, and it must be high enough that you will not be need to bend down to place it between them.
- Using a blanket as a last resort removal option can be useful in the event of a significant lockdown, when you are unable to coax the cats out of their hiding places even with the Sight Blockers down, or when a fight breaks out despite your best efforts. Basically, just throw it over one of them and scoop him up to get rid of him from the room.
A. How It Works – The gist of the Eat, Play, Love (EPL) philosophy is rather straightforward: When you introduce one cat into a room where there is already another cat engaged in a high-value, completely engrossed activity, you are creating a conflict. And your goal is to keep them engaged for as long as possible with goodies, positive reinforcement, play, and. well. love—all while avoiding the dreaded staredown/throwdown scenario from occurring. I recommend that you work with a partner to help you through the process: 1.Begin with One Cat: Begin by playing with only one cat in the room to get a feel for the situation.
- 2.Invite the Other Cat: Have your lover casually bring the other cat into the room and instantly engage him in conversation.
- A perfect world would be one in which you would bring your cat into the space with whichever food or toy they like the most.
- 3.Keep the “Rhythm” Going: This is where your partner’s assistance is crucial, since he or she can strive to keep the other cat focused on the session while you work to keep your cat focused on the session.
- It goes without saying that you would choose the latter option over the former every time.
- From there, you may remove the door/gate barrier for lunchtime and conclude the session by feeding the cats on the side of the room that they are currently occupying (if applicable).
- Check out my latest book, Total Cat Mojo, for more more information on the Cat-to-Cat Introduction procedure, including an entire chapter dedicated to it.
- The Best and Worst Ways to Train Your Cat
- Before You Get a Kitten
- How to Introduce Two Cats
Introducing your new cat to resident cats
When you bring a new cat into your house, it might be a major adjustment for your existing cat (s). Why? Because your existing cats are likely to perceive the new cat as a threat rather than a companion at first glance. That’s hardly the best way to begin a relationship, but that’s the way cats operate in the real world. There is, however, some good news! By following these rules, your new cat is more likely to be welcomed by your existing cat(s), resulting in at the very least peaceful cohabitation and, preferably, bonding.
Consider your current cat’s needs.
Getting another cat who is around the same age as yours and/or who has a comparable energy level is a smart choice.
When a kitten comes into the house, it may appear that your 10-year-old cat would profit from all of the excitement. However, it is more probable that your elder cat will be constantly harassed by the kitten who wants to play all of the time.
What’s their experience with other cats?
Your cat may need some time to acclimate to a new cat in the house, especially if they have never been around other cats until when they were kittens. The new cat should be well-known to enjoy the company of other cats, since this will likely make the introduction process less difficult for everyone involved.
The introduction of cats should be a gradual approach. As a matter of fact, the more time spent on the procedure, the greater the likelihood of a successful introduction. If you say “slow,” it signifies that you’re going at the same rate as your cat who is most stressed. This may be the new cat or it could be the resident cat (s). This introduction might take a few days, a few weeks, or even months, depending on the cat. In the short term, it may be tempting to speed the process, but patience will ultimately benefit everyone in the family (both people and cats) in the long run.
Step 1: Separate the cats
During the first phases of this introduction procedure, your new cat should be kept in a separate room with the rest of the household. In order for the new cat to begin to feel comfortable in their new territory and for the current cat to acclimate to the new cat’s presence in the home, it is necessary to do so as soon as possible. The new cat should be housed in a room where the incumbent cat does not spend a lot of time in order to ensure that everyone has a successful relationship. If you live in a small flat, this may not be possible.
During this time of separation, you might alternate the cats’ bedding to allow them to become accustomed to each other’s scent.
Do not proceed to the next stage until both the new cat and the resident cat are behaving calmly and comfortably together.
The incumbent cat should be behaving in the same manner as they did before to the advent of the new cat.
Step 2: Create positive associations
Now you’ve got two or more cats that may be intrigued about each other based on their scent, but who may also be afraid and/or agitated by the presence of the other. The purpose of this stage is to demonstrate to the cats that pleasant things (such as rewards) happen when they meet each other, in order to establish positive connections between them and one another. To begin, identify a snack or treat that each cat enjoys (that is different from their normal diet). From now on, they will only be able to enjoy this reward if they are in the presence of the other cat.
At this point, there should be no direct interaction between the cats.
Neither cat should be picked up and pushed to come into contact with the other cat.
Here are two examples of how to use the baby gate to generate good connections (the first would take place before the second):
The baby gate should be covered with a sheet so that the cats can’t see each other. After a few moments, lift the sheet and call out, “Happy kitties!” (or anything else you’d want to say) and toss a treat to each of the felines. Then cover the baby gate with the sheet as soon as possible. This is simpler to accomplish if there is a second person there, although it may be accomplished by one person. Repetition of this practice five to ten times in succession, at least once or twice a day, is recommended.
Prevent tension from manifesting itself by concluding the conversation on a good note before any indications of stress manifest themselves in one of the cats.
Engage the cats in interactive play by holding a toy in each hand (or, better still, by having a second person on one side of the baby gate and you on the other). Use a different toy for each cat to keep things interesting. Cat laser lights or a fishing rod toy, which has a long rope and feathers tied to the rod, are both good options. Keep the gaming sessions brief and to the point. Always come to an end to the game on a positive note (before the cats show any indications of stress) and give the cats a treat as a reward.
When you notice encouraging signs that the cats are becoming more comfortable with one another, you may increase the amount of time they spend together and decrease the distance between you and the animals when you toss the treats.
- When the goodies are consumed in the presence of the other cat. In the presence of the other cat, he is occupied with a toy
- On opposite sides of the baby gate, they are completely ignoring one another and going about their business. touching noses through the fence, dancing beneath the gate, and/or pressing their bodies against the gate are all common occurrences.
When you notice signs that one or more of the cats is anxious, you should go more slowly with the procedure. If one or more cats exhibits a very high level of stress, the procedure should be reversed. It is not a setback; rather, it indicates that the procedure will take longer to complete than you had originally anticipated. The following are examples of warning signs:
- A pattern of hissing or growling directed towards the other cat A hiss or two here and there isn’t a cause for concern as long as the cat is otherwise behaving in a positive manner
- They are putting themselves in a position where they cannot see the other. For the new cat, this may entail hiding in their room until the situation is resolved. This may entail the resident cat fleeing to another room
- Nevertheless, it is unlikely. Body language that is tense. Take note of any of the following characteristics: a swishing tail, ears flattened back against the head or twisted sideways, hair on the back of their neck lifted, hiding or slinking away
Step 3: Supervised time together
It has been several months since the cats have become increasingly acquainted with one another, but they have not yet engaged directly. You may now allow them to spend supervised time together without the use of a baby gate. Treats should be given to them for any encounters that are either good or neutral. At the first sign of a bad interaction (such as stalking, chasing, or pouncing), use a toy to divert and redirect the cats’ attention. Try to conclude the contact on a positive note, and then progressively increase the length of time that the cats are allowed to spend in the same location under your close watch as the relationship continues.
Set the cats up for a positive relationship.
To ensure a successful introduction, make certain that the home environment provides enough of everything for each cat, including enough litter boxes, scratching posts, water bowls, food bowls, hiding places, comfortable resting spaces, toys and human attention, so that the cats do not feel they are competing for any of these resources. It’s also critical that the cats have adequate elevated resting areas to keep them comfortable (any object from a few inches off the floor to a few inches from the ceiling).
Cats enjoy perching on things, and doing so makes them feel more secure in their surroundings. Furthermore, larger resting places enhance the amount of territory available in the house, increasing the likelihood of harmonious cohabitation among cats.
4 steps to a stress-free cat-troduction
Are you considering acquiring a second cat? Listed below are some suggestions for introducing your new cat to your existing feline companion (PDF).
Go slow with cats!
Never put your new cat and your existing cat in the same room while bringing them home to meet each other for the first time. That might be a frightening experience for both of them! Slowly introduce them to the group. This may be a difficult period for both of the animals involved. It is critical for them to have a progressive introduction procedure if they want to develop a friendship. If one cat is hissed at or swatted, she may develop a fear of the other cat for the rest of her life.
Step 1.) Before you take your new cat home
- Make a separate area for your new cat that is not in the same room as the current cat’s favorite spot. Possess a comfy resting room, a concealing area such as a carrier box or “tent bed,” a litter box, water and food bowls, and a feeding dish for each pet. Connect a Feliway® diffuser to the wall. Your veterinarian’s clinic will be able to provide you with one. It imitates the scent of cat face pheromones, which are calming to cats. It will assist them in reducing their tension. In the new cat room, as well as anywhere else in the house where the resident cat spends time, it is a good idea to have a diffuser.
Step 2.) Bringing your new cat home
- Cats are more secure when they are surrounded by their own scent. Place a towel or bedding that she has been sleeping on in the carrier box so that she will be able to smell something familiar during the journey. When you get home, immediately take your cat to her room. Do not get into contact with the cat who lives on the premises. Keep her enclosed in the carrier box until you have entered her room and closed the door. Place her box or other hiding space in a corner of the room (away from the litter box) and the carrier box next to it for easy access. Do not compel her to come out
- Instead, open the door for her. She may be anxious and stressed as a result of her new surroundings. Allow her to be alone in the room. Allow her to settle in and come out on her own
- This is her time.
Step 3.) Later that day swap cats scent
Cats not only interact visually, but they also communicate by scent. As a result, you must begin by introducing the cats to one another by “swapping” scents with them.
- In order to entice your new cat to approach, throw a towel on or near your current cat’s favorite spot. If your cat begins to hiss, spit, or otherwise shun the towel, lay it on the floor far away from his bed or food dish and repeat the process. Every day, move the towel a little closer to the cat’s water bowl. The same may be done with your resident cat’s bedding, only this time give it to the new cat to sniff
- And Food dishes should be swapped amongst the cats. As a result, they will begin to link the scent of the other cat with the enjoyable act of feeding. This should not be attempted if one of the cats is unwell or on a special diet, so consult your veterinarian before proceeding. Once they have become entirely tolerant of each other’s scent, they can go on to visual contact.
How long will it take for cats to like each others scent?
This can last anywhere from a few hours (often when one is a kitten or when both cats are gregarious) to several months.
Important tip when introducing cats
Every day, set aside some time for special play and caressing. When your introduction is taking longer than expected, you should spend more time with each cat one-on-one.
Step 4.) Controlled cat meetings
- Distinguish yourself physically with a screen door or a baby gate. If this is not possible, open the new cat’s door slightly so that the cats may see each other but are unable to pass through. Give cats snacks to encourage them to spend more time together, or play with a feather to get them to interact more. If you don’t want to use catnip, just let them sniff noses and play through the door or rub up against the door. As soon as you see this, you will be able to get a thorough introduction. The use of snarling, spitting, or hissing should be avoided at all costs
What if my cats are showing aggression towards each other?
Is the aggression more extreme than a hiss or a whack on the back of the neck? Reduce the size of the aperture and, over the course of a few days, feed the cats closer and closer to the entrance.
Second – No barrier between cats
- Allow them to explore by opening the door. If they begin to fight, break up the battle by clapping your hands or making another noise that does not startle them. Do not pick them up or compel them to engage in conversation. Those who choose to separate themselves from one another should be allowed to do so.
Do they each need their own litter box?
Provide each cat with his or her own litter box, as well as an additional one. It is preferable if they each have their own bowls, beds, and hiding spots, rather than having to share.
When done effectively, introductions might take far longer than anticipated. The introduction of certain cats and the establishment of a bond may take only a few hours or as long as several months. Your cats may interact with one another by playing and grooming each other, or they may simply sit and observe one other. Don’t compel them to behave in the manner in which you believe best friends should behave.
Caution when introducing cats
Keep an eye out for bullying; occasionally one cat may refuse to let the other cat through a door or allow the other cat access to the food bowl. When the other cat attempts to get to the food bowl, you could notice them slapping or hissing at him. Keep an eye out for evidence that one cat is avoiding certain regions. If you believe she is being bullied, make sure she has her own place, as well as items such as a bed, litter box, and food dish. Never chastise one cat if they are aggressive toward the other.
For a few days, switch to a different scent and gradually resume eye contact.
When to contact your vet about introducing cats?
- Fighting over an extended period of time
- Fighting-related injuries One cat has stopped eating
- One cat has stopped using the litter box
- One cat has begun spraying
- And so on. One of your cats is often hiding in a corner
Dr. Rachel Casey of the Anthrozoology Institute in the United Kingdom conducted study on cat behavior.
How to Introduce a New Cat to Another Cat or Dog
Cats, like humans, have their own distinct personalities, and they are often picky about what they enjoy and don’t like in their surroundings. Consequently, when it comes to meeting your family, it’s critical that you allow them to do so at their own speed and provide them with ample room to get comfortable.
Listed below are some suggestions for introducing cats to ensure that these introductions go well as possible. Transcripts are available for download.
How to Introduce Cats: Meeting Your Other Cat
Many cat-loving homes have more than one cat as members of their household. Cats may be companions, playmates, and contributors to one another’s well-being. (Learn more about the advantages of having many cats in your home.) Introducing cats to one another, on the other hand, might require some time and patience. Cats are frequently presented in situations where they are either a resident cat confronted by a newbie cat or a new cat entering the territory of an existing cat. Being in either situation, to be honest, is probably not very enjoyable.
However, with a well planned introduction, cats can gradually grow to tolerate one another and may even end up being lifelong friends.
This will safeguard both her health and the health of the other pets in your home at the same time.
Keep Your Cats Separated At First
If possible, confine your new cat to one secure, quiet, ideally carpet-free room with access to a screened window and opportunities for supervised play for the first week or two. As recommended by Pamela Johnson-Bennett of Cat Behavior Associates, a separate room for your new cat should include all of the comforts of home, including a litter box, food and water dishes, some warm hiding spots, a scratching post, and toys. Your other cat will be able to hear and smell the new cat, and she may get disturbed and fearful as a result of the situation.
Stress-related behaviors like as peeing outside of the litter box, vomiting, and excessive grooming should be observed.
After a few days, Krieger recommended that you pet both cats on their cheeks twice a day while wearing a sock to keep your hand from touching them.
This assists the cats in becoming acclimated to one another and associating one another with pleasurable activities, such as eating.
Slowly Let The Cats See Each Other
Approximately one week after your cats have ceased hissing and snarling at each other beneath the door, it is time to tackle the next stage in their training. Allow the cats to see one other, sniff each other, and even swat at each other without making full body contact with one another. It is preferable to place a tall baby gate, or stack two short ones, in the entryway of the confinement chamber to keep the children out. If this isn’t possible, open the door a couple of inches and insert door jams on either side of the door to provide additional support.
Krieger recommends moving the food bowls away from the door and opening them during lunchtime after your cats appear to be content eating on different sides of the door.
Keep an eye on the cats while they’re eating and close the door once they’re through eating. Increase the length of time the door is left open until you are comfortable leaving the door open all of the time and allowing your cats to interact with one another.
Make the Face-to-Face Introduction
Allow your existing cats to be somewhat calm around each other before allowing your new cat to enter the room. Allow the two cats to come to terms with each other on their own own. It’s okay if the cats entirely ignore each other or hiss a little and then walk away, says Jane Harrell, a cat foster parent with a lengthy history of doing so. For your cats to understand that the other is a friend rather than a threat, it will take some time. Continue to keep an eye on the cats and allow them to go at their own pace as long as no one begins to bully or bother the others.
- Some pursuing and stalking are unavoidable in nature.
- Don’t leave them alone together until they’ve become used to being around each other.
- Provide separate litter boxes, food and water dishes, and enough room for them to spend time apart from one another at different times of the day in order to treat them equally and keep territorial fights to a minimum.
- Be prepared for the procedure to take anything from a few weeks to a month or more.
How to Introduce Cats: Meeting Your Dog
When it comes to introducing your new kitten or cat to your dog, use the same procedure. First, keep them separated physically, and then enable them to meet visually while still remaining physically separated by a gate or screen. You should keep your dog on a leash for the first time you put them together in order to prevent him from running after and scaring your cat. Make sure your cat has access to vertical space so that she may feel secure in the presence of your dog. Do not leave them unattended together unless you are positive that they will get along well together.
How to Introduce Cats: Meeting Your Children
In order to properly introduce your children to your new cat, you should first explain to them that cats are sensitive living animals who have sentiments similar to their own. You should be aware that your cat may be frightened, just as they would be if they were meeting someone new, and you should take care not to scare them. Explain to them that they should be gentle while touching them and that they should never tug on their tail, grab them, chase them, or make loud noises when they are in the vicinity of them.
Ask your children to sit on the floor with a cat toy in their hands, and then let your cat to approach them.
If your cat comes up to your children and plays with them, teach them how to provide calm, soft pets without being too harsh or noisy to the cat.
Keep an eye on them and try again another time if they don’t come out of hiding. The length of this process is determined by the personalities of your dogs. However, if you follow these suggestions and introduce your new cat gently and cautiously, he or she will feel right at home in no time.