How to Introduce your Cat to a New Cat

Sam Allemann - Cat Lover and Foster Carer profile picture

Sam Allemann - Cat Lover and Foster Carer

Cat Lover and Foster Carer

Sam has two rescue cats, Edgar Allan and Fela Cutie, and is also a foster carer for kittens - a rewarding and very cute hobby! Being a writer for almost 20 years, her favourite subject is cats.

How to Introduce your Cat to a New Cat

It’s well-known that cats are territorial, but it’s a myth that they don’t like other felines. As the owner of two cats, it’s a joy to watch them play and snooze together.

Because what’s better than a cat? Two cats!

Their bond wasn’t instantaneous, but, thanks to great advice from the shelter we rescued our second cat from, we learned how to introduce them properly. Introducing cats to each other is a bit of a process, but you won’t regret taking it slow.

Introducing a New Cat

You’ll have to be patient when it comes to introducing cats – throw them together straight away and you’re likely to end up with stressed cats (and stressed owners!).

A rushed introduction can also negatively impact their relationship in the long-term.

When you bring your new cat home, whether it’s a kitten or older cat, take them straight into their own space – this might be a spare room, the laundry or bathroom. You’ll want to kit this room out with everything they will need (such as food and water bowls, a litter tray, a bed, toys) as well as an item that has your cat’s scent on it.

The Sock Exchange

Take a pair of socks and gently rub one sock over your cat’s face to capture their scent, and do the same with the new kitty. Exchange these socks so they can both smell out the other cat while in their safe surroundings.

Rewarding Interactions

While your new cat is in their space, your other cat is likely to have their curiosity piqued – you may notice them sniffing around the door. Keep the door of the room ajar while you feed both cats treats. You want the door open enough so that they can see each other, but not too open so they can swipe at each other.

Staying Calm

Once your cats have sensed each other, the time will come to introduce them. If you have a kitten, hold them at first and let your older cat have a sniff. Don’t fret if your cats start hissing or growling – as intimidating as this can seem, it’s normal behaviour. Keep interactions short and sweet (again treats can help) and shower both cats with positive attention. Diffusers such as Feliway can help keep cats calm and encourage a more relaxed atmosphere.

Whether your cats end up inseparable or not the best of friends, by introducing them correctly you’ll have reduced stress and done your part in setting up their (hopefully positive) relationship.

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