People who own cats very rarely have only one cat. Usually, there is another cat in the home, or a dog or both. If you love pets you would like to have all of them in your home. But, what if the pets don’t get along? There would be lots of problems.
For that reason, the first meeting between the two pets is crucial. You need to be very careful when you bring a new pet in your home, when you already have another one. There are few situations – you have a cat and you want to get another one, you have a dog and you want to bring a cat, or you would like to have two pets at different age. Maybe the following advice would help you in introducing the new member of your family.
Introducing cats which are at different age
When you own a kitten and wish to bring another kitten in your home, it is most likely that both of them will get along. If they are both very young, they will adapt very quickly to each other, they will play together and grow together. If the resident cat is an adult and you bring a new kitten, on the other hand, can be very difficult. In this case the adult cat usually like a quiet life and the kittens are playful and restless, so this can be irritating for the resident cat. Maybe it would be better to bring an adult cat when you already have a resident adult.
Another thing you need to consider is your cat’s personality. Cats who lived longer with other cats will accept the new cat easily. Those who have lived alone, would find it more difficult to adapt to the new cat. What’s most importantly is to make sure that you have enough space and resources to have more cats in your house, where they would all have their own place of privacy, and share the rest peacefully.
Prepare your home for the new cat
Make sure that you have a spare room for the new cat or kitten while it adapts and have a place where he or she can hide from the rest. Try to find a place that your other cats don’t use it a lot. The new cat should have a bed, food, water, scratching post and a litter-box in that area. If you are bringing a new kitten you wouldn’t need a whole room, a large dog crate would help facilitate the initial introductions. You can put all the necessities in the crate and make sure your cat gets used to it.
How is the scent of the cat important?
Cats communicate with each other through the scent as one of the most important of their senses. The new cat will need few days to adapt to the new scents in the home, so don’t let it explore the home at first. They will need time to swap the scent, so in order to do this you need to stroke each cat without washing your hands so you can mix their scents. What you can also do is gather scent from the new cat’s head by stroking with a soft cloth and move it around the house so you can mix it with the existing scent of the resident cat. Keep them in separate rooms during this period, but allow them to explore both places.
Give them time for initial introduction
Never rush your cats into introducing themselves. If you let them fight, it can cause a lot of problems. Put a tall stair gate, for example, to use it as a barrier so they will be able to see and smell each other but cannot directly meet. Choose a neutral area for them where they can quickly getaway from and go into their safe place. If you want to distract them of the meeting you can give them something tasty to eat. At the beginning it is very likely that they will hiss or moan at each other and this is normal, because they sniffed each other.
Remember that every cat has a different personality, and what is most important in introducing them with each other is not to rush them into anything. Take the time and leave them to adapt to the new environment. In any case, it is always better to have more cats.