7 Tips to Introducing a New Cat to Your Home
29 October, 2013
When you bring your newly ADOPTED kitty or cat home, it will be an adjustment for both you and the new cat. Every sight and smell is new to your kitty and it takes time for your cat to really feel at home. AND if you already have another cat, the transition can be a little harder.
Below are 7 tips to help you make the meet and greet that much easier.
1. Have a special room set up for your new cat
When you bring your new cat home, have a special place set up for your kitty. A guest room or the bathroom is a great spot. Put food, water and a litter box in the room along with toys and a scratching post. Keep your new cat in this room, away from your other cat(s) for about a week. It is tempting to let them interact right away, but you will have much better luck if you wait.
2. Introduce the new cat’s smell to your existing cat.
To help get your existing cat use to the smell of your new cat, rub a towel or washcloth gently over the new cat. Let your cat(s) smell the towel, but don’t be surprise if your cats start to hiss. Hissing and growling are normal reactions so make sure not to reprimand them when they hiss or growl. Do the same with our existing cat so the new cat can smell them too. Also, you can leave the carrier you brought the new cat home outside with the existing cat to help him or her get accustomed to the smell.
3. Encourage interaction through the door
Place your new cat’s food near the door of the room so he/she will stay near the door. Your cat will smell and hear the new cat through the door. Give your cat treats and/or catnip near the door of the new cat’s room so that he associates it with good things.
4. Let your cats roam alone
Lock up your cat in the bedroom as you let the new cat roam around the house. This lets them explore and exercise and it also helps your new cat find a good hiding place for later. Then put your new cat back in its room and let your old cat walk around and smell them without having to see the new cat.
5. Let both cats out
Bringing a new cat into the house can produce jealousy and pouting; so don’t fear if your existing cat acts this way. Even though you are excited about your new kitty, do not forget the cat that has been your faithful companion until now. Do not yell, scold or punish your existing cat for hissing at the newcomer. They may not react like they way you want them to right away, but your cats will come around.
6. Positive reinforcement is important
Reassure your cat verbally and pet your kitty if you can (he may not let you because he’s upset so don’t take it personally). When your existing cat is nice or at least non-threatening to the new cat, praise your cat lavishly and give them treats. Encourage this behavior by letting your kitty know he’s doing the right thing.
7. The cats don’t have to be best buddies to co-exist
It’s certainly ideal when the cats become best friends right away, curl up together, lick each other, but unfortunately this does not always happen. However, your cat and the new cat can at least tolerate each other and hang out in the same room. Don’t worry if your cats never become best friends because they will still keep each other company and they will both love you. And, of course, you will love them!