How To Introduce Cats to Each Other
When we decided to adopt cats, we knew we wanted two. They can play together and comfort each other when we’re away. To accomplish this, we did the easy thing and adopted a pair of sisters who had already been sharing space together at the store. We knew they got along and loved each other! However, if you have had a solitary cat and are adding a new kitty, or are adopting two cats who don’t know each other that well, follow our tips below on how to introduce cats to each other.
Some kitty should always be under control.
When you first bring home Kitty #2, some kitty should be under control. This may mean putting your kitty in a crate while new kitty is allowed to wander, or it may mean giving new kitty a comfortable space, in a separate room, to start learning the smells and sights of your home. In this way, new kitty is safe from original kitty and original kitty can sit outside the door and start to learn what new kitty smells like.
You can even feed them on either side of a closed door so that they start to associate a good feeling (mmmm, food!) with their new housemate.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure one kitty is under control until you have spent some time introducing them and see no signs of aggression.
Use positive and negative reinforcement.
A spray bottle of water will work wonders for stopping a cat from hissing, or interrupting that very long and unsure stare between two cats. When your cats are comfortable enough to wander in the same space, but still not so sure about being close to each other, a spray bottle (or two) can be handy.
Also, favorite or very special treats are a good idea too! If the kitties see that, when they behave well together, they get extra special treats, they will feel more inclined to chill out around one another.
Try calming sprays and diffusers.
Next, part of how to introduce your cats to each other is keeping them calm. We stock Feliway diffusers, which emit a synthetic “pheromone” similar to what cats themselves give off. This can make cats feel calmer. We have two in our home and I really believe they help keep our cats calmer.
Play and have safe spaces!
Show some love to each kitty in turn and play with them in around each other. You’ll notice if any signs of aggression come up, like hissing, growling, or tail puffing. If you aren’t seeing any of that, that’s great! You’re on the right path! PLUS tired kitties are less likely to try to start a fight! We have so many great toys, from catnip toys to wands and more!
Have safe spaces for your cats too. Make sure there are multiple “hiding holes” and towers/trees/ high places for them to climb. Have multiple scratching posts and litter boxes too. One per cat PLUS an extra if there’s room, is always a good rule of thumb.
Finally, when following our how to introduce your cats to each other tips, remember that this can take time. Maybe it will only be a week, maybe it will be an hour, maybe it will be a month (but we hope not!). Know that once your cats are getting along you’ll all be happier and less stressed, but be patient during the process. YOUR energy is what your cats will feed off of. If you are calm and patient, they will be too.
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