How to Introduce a Cat

How to Introduce a Cat.

The Holidays are around the corner. Perhaps your youngster has been begging, “Mom can’t I have a kitten for Christmas?”.

You are wearing thin. If you already have one cat, is it that simple to add another kitten to your already hectic lives? Well yes and no.

How to Introduce a New Cat

Often we get questions regarding how to handle the predicament of

adding another feline (or canine) to the household. You must understand

that the cat who currently reigns feels very threatened by newcomers.

A cat who has her favorite chair, window ledge and scheduled pathway

to roam about the house is not likely to welcome a frisky stranger.

Mistakes are easily made.

What you should not do : Don”t immediately introduce these pets together by rubbing their noses

together or closing them together in a room. By all means do not scold

either pet for not meeting your expectations. This is a stressful event for them.

What you should do: Create a safe place for the new cat or kitten. A good option is a

back bedroom. In this room, arrange all the comforts of home: food,

water, litter pan and toys. For the first two weeks, play with your

new kitten in this room only.

In the meantime, the resident feline will know something is up. The

smell of the new kitten will be on your clothes and sounds of the

new kitten will be heard. The two felines can smell and investigate

each other under the door without scratching or biting. In the next two weeks you may allow the

new kitty out for short stretches

of time. You have to monitor these time periods. It is easy to imagine

how a cat fight could be dangerous and traumatic. This takes time,

but keep in mind you are in control of the adjustment period. In the fourth week you may allow

more extended periods of freedomfor the new kitten, but keep monitoring. Try to show equal

one on one time for each pet. It can be difficult to be impartial. If however,

one pet is more upset than the other it is acceptable to show more


Beginning week four you can start to feed both cats in the same feeding

area. Feed the cats at regular times so that they have a good appetite

and are more concerned about their food than the other cat. You are

trying to create an association in each cats mind: Every time I see

that other cat I get rewarded with food. Nothing bad happens!”

The food bowls should be as far apart as possible. Gradually move

the bowls closer together over a period of several days. Now you are

testing the waters. Go slowly. If any hissing or upset occurs you

will have to retrace your steps and put the bowls further apart again.

Also, find some special toys that both cats like. They will have these

toys only when they are together in the same room. A couple of strings

are great. Drag a string for each cat so they are independently playing

and again you are creating an association: Every time the other cat

is playing I get my special toy and special attention!”

Most cats will be over the hurdles in eight to 10 weeks. If they are

not pals after three months, they never will be. It may be that your

cats only tolerate each other, but you may have rushed the process.

Try backing up a few steps and going slower this time.

Young kittens are usually easier to mix. Their adjustment period may

only be a week. A dog entering into a cat household is somewhat similar.

Dogs and pups tend to be rambunctious. Most resident cats will hide

in the back room and the roles are reversed. This is OK.

A new kitten for the family is a wonderful experience . Make sure the

guidelines are understood by the household before the pet arrives,

and make the introduction a joy for all!

Best Veterinarians in Portland. Husband and Wife Team