Introducing a New Cat to Another

August 22, 2018 4:14 pm Published by

Are you considering bringing home a second cat? Perhaps you’ve already introduced a second (or third) cat to your household, and your pets aren’t handling it very well. This time of transition can be stressful for everyone involved. Fortunately, your cat vet in Alexandria, VA has several tips to help you through this process.

If you are introducing cats to each other, use the following tricks to keep the peace and help your pets become lifelong friends.

Choose the Right Cat

You can’t guarantee that your cats’ personalities will be in “purrfect” sync, but you can make choices that will almost guarantee they won’t. Is your first cat playful and energetic? Do you already have two cats who spend their days sunbathing? Do you have an older, grumpy cat? Keep in mind the habits and preferences of your current cats as you decide whom to bring home to meet them. A furry ball of energy probably won’t get along well with your laid-back-and-lazy companion.

Create Safe Zones

Before you bring the new cat home, create a territory that will be solely his for the first two days. Keep your current cat(s) in another area. Each territory should have its own food, water, litter box, sunlight and comfortable places to rest.

After two days, if the cats seem acclimated to their surroundings, place the new cat in a different territory that is also equipped with the same amenities. Then, let the other cat(s) enter the new cat’s original safe zone. This allows the cats to get used to the new one’s scent. This process works the same if you are bringing multiple new cats into the home at once (who don’t already know each other). Let the cats adjust to the new scent for one day before taking the next step to introduce them.

Let Them Sniff

Your cats produce pheromones that are released when they rub their cheek against you or an object. These chemicals help identify the cat and relieve anxiety. If you are unable to provide separate territories to allow the cats to adjust to each other’s smells, you can find other ways to introduce these pheromones. Gently rub a towel on the new cat’s cheeks, then expose your other cats to the towel.

Additionally, your cat vet in Alexandria, VA has products that can simulate cat pheromones to help during this time of transition. Feliway, for example, imitates cat pheromones to create a familiar and secure environment.

Close the Gap

Once your cats are used to each other’s scent, you can bring them closer together. Place them on either side of a closed door. This allows them to catch the scent directly.

Next, let the cats see each other through a propped door or baby gate. If this goes well, bring them into the same room, on separate sides. Ask someone to help you keep them separated and play with each, giving them treats. This tells the cats that good things happen when they are together, and gives them additional time to adjust.

If your cats experience anxiety during this process, your cat vet in Alexandria, VA can provide products such as Solliquin, which helps produce feelings of calm during stressful times.

Meet the Felines

If you’d like additional tips and tricks about introducing new cats, contact your cat vet in Alexandria, VA. The professionals at Kingstowne Cat Clinic can help you make the transition as smooth and feline-friendly as possible.

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