1 cat + 1 cat = chaos?
Introducing a new cat to your current cat(s) can be a tricky situation. Cats by nature are territorial and don’t like to share. Therefore, introducing a new cat into your home could lead to aggression, the marking of territory (maybe by constantly peeing all over your favorite beanbag chair…) and worse, harming you or your new cat. Below are 8 ways to introduce a new cat to your household without causing massive chaos.
- Take it slow. No matter which of the tips below you follow, start with this one. Don’t expect to just walk into the house with a new cat and have your current cat walk over and shake its hand. That’s just not going to happen. These cats need to get to know one another over a few weeks’ period of time.
- If you can, try to choose a new cat that has the same personality as your current at or about the same activity level. If your current cat enjoys sleeping more than anything else, it probably won’t take kindly to a small kitten that wants to play. However, if you have a young cat and you bring in a new frisky cat for it to play with, the two might get along quite well.
- Anytime you bring a cat home, even if it’s your first cat, you need to allow it to slowly learn about its new surroundings. Cats adjust best when, at first, they are given one small room to explore. They will feel safe in this room with their own litter box, food and toys.
- When introducing the pets, start by feeding them on either side of the new cat’s door. So, place your new cat’s food and water somewhat close to the door and close it. Place your current cat’s food and water on the other side of the door. The cats will sense that the other is there, but they’re enjoying their food, so these cats begin to associate each other with something positive. Once the cats seem ok with this situation, you might try using a baby gate instead so that they can see each other, but still don’t have to interact.
- Once the cats are again ok with this scenario, you can try introducing a toy that they can play with together – one on one side of the gate and one on the other.
- Try letting the new cat out to roam around the house while confining your current cat to the new cat’s room. This continues to reinforce their scents to one another without forcing them to share space.
- Eventually, let your new cat roam the house, supervised, for a bit while your current cat is there too. Watch for signs of aggression like growling or hair standing on end.
- Keep the peace by having one litter box per cat and by making sure there are various places to which each cat can escape when he or she needs some space. For cat furniture ideas, stop by J&M Aquatics and Pet Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.