- Make Room For The New: Warning Signs When Introducing Cats
- How To Introduce Two Cats
- Introducing Cats To Each Other Quickly
- Introducing New Cat To A Multi Cat Household
- How To Introduce Kitten To An Older Cat
- How To Introduce A New Puppy To A Cat
- How To Introduce A Cat To A New Home
- Frequently Asked Questions About Cats Introduction
Make Room For The New: Warning Signs When Introducing Cats
Are you scared because you don’t know how to introduce two cats? Well, no need to fret. Cats are territorial animals, but they aren’t impossibly complex.
A big part of the introduction is time. After all, what better way to get to know someone than with time?
A new cat is generally seen as an intruder, so when you’re introducing your cats, take your time and do it right. If done properly, you’ll have two best friends living in your home. Curious about how to do it right?
Read on to find out!
How To Introduce Two Cats
So, you’ve decided to get a second cat. The only way to have harmony and peace in your home is to get the introductions right. While there’s a lot that can go wrong, avoiding a few of these mistakes will keep you mostly intact.
- Don’t let your cats hash it out by trapping them in a room together
- Plopping your new cat down in the middle of the room in a carrier is a bad idea
- Forcing them to interact in any way
Cats are territorial creatures and easily spooked. Pushing your cats together without getting them properly acquainted can lead to a bad first impression and lots of scratches – for you and your cats.
The correct way to get your new cat acquainted with the resident cat is to get them comfortable with each other over a span of time. It could take a few days, or it could take months. Remember to be patient, whatever the outcome.
But, before you can think of how they’re going to react, you’ll need to prepare for arrival.
Before you bring your new cat home, ensure they have a separate room away from your resident cat’s favorite spot. It can’t be an open area; it absolutely has to be a room.
Ensure that the room has a comfortable sleeping spot, a place to hide (their carrier is good), separate food and water bowls, and a litter box.
Once you have the room ready, make sure you don’t let your resident cat in. When you bring your new cat into your home, go straight to this new room you’ve set up for your new cat. Leave them in the room alone to adjust.
After you’ve done it is when it all starts.
Step 1: Swap Scents
Once you’ve got your cats in different rooms, it’s time to introduce them to each other. Not by bringing them in physical contact but in the most powerful way for cats – scents!
Scenting is one of the most important aspects of cat life.
You might have seen that cats tend to run themselves up against you, walls, and everything they consider theirs. It is a natural behavior called scenting. Scents are the way that cats communicate with each other.
So, to get the scenting process started, take something with the new cat’s scent and place it near your resident cat’s favorite place. Take your resident cat’s bed and put it in the room you have set up for the new cat.
Keep exchanging items through the day until both cats stop hissing, spitting, and being aggressive over the thing.
Step 2: The First Look
Once you’re sure that there’s no animosity toward any scents, it’s time to let them look at each other. Put down a transparent sheet, baby gate, or some form of see-through barrier between the two and let them see each other.
You can stimulate positive contact by using treats to encourage positive interactions, using a feather to play, and calm tones also help.
Whatever you do, don’t let the boundary come down if your cats are still hissing and spitting. Also, don’t try to force interaction. Allow for play, but don’t push too hard.
Step 3: Let The Walls Down
Once you see your cats spending time playing through the boundary, rubbing up against it, and generally interacting positively, you’ll know it is time to take it down.
Make sure you’re still supervising for a while to make sure that there’s no in-fighting!
When you’re introducing cats, there are several warning signs to look out for. These warning signs indicate aggression, anxiety, and negative feelings.
- Any cat hissing, growling, and spitting is a bad sign. It’s a clear sign of aggression. If your cats are still yowling and hissing at each other, keep them apart longer.
- Flattened ears are another common sign of aggression, anxiety, and fear. Keep track of your cats’ body language and not just their cat sounds.
- Large dilated eyes aren’t just cute; they’re often a sign of fear. If your cat has the widest, most dilated eyes, something’s wrong.
- Thrashing or thumping their tails is a clear sign that they’re unhappy and uncomfortable. Remove them from the situation.
- Swiping with the claws out isn’t just injury-inducing for another cat but for you! Your cat may decide to be aggressive with you!
- If your cats’ hair is up on edge, they’re downright terrified.
Other common signs that your cat(s) haven’t adjusted to each other are:
- Hiding for extended periods, often days
- Not using the litter box
- Overgrooming and excessive hair loss
- Aggression that’s redirected to you
Introducing Cats To Each Other Quickly
No matter what article you come across or what trick a friend tells you, there’s no way to get two cats introduced quickly. Throwing them into a room together or forcing them to interact with each other only leads to anxiety and bad impressions.
Some cat pairs overcome aggression and tolerate each other. However, these are exceptions, not the rule. More often than not, your cats will flee at the sight of each other, start hiding, acting out in weird ways, and even attack you!
If you want to get your new cat accustomed to your home quickly, the best way is not to make the mistake of rushing the process. The more you push your cats to get along, the less they’ll actually want to!
Introducing New Cat To A Multi Cat Household
When you’ve already got pride of cats back home and are planning to add one more, the process can be more than a little daunting. The new cat can be in serious trouble if not initiated into the ‘pride’ correctly.
However, the right initiation falls on you!
The process of introducing a cat to your multi-cat household is the same as introducing your new cat to a resident cat. It takes time, patience, and a little more supervision. Always look for signs of worry.
Warning signs such as overgrooming, vomiting, not using litter boxes, not eating, etc., should go away in 48 hours. If they persist, consult a veterinarian on how to proceed.
Do not take these warning signs lightly!
How To Introduce Kitten To An Older Cat
The process of introducing cats isn’t too different when you’re introducing a kitten to an old cat. You’ll have to start slow; it’ll be a lengthy process, but ultimately for the sake of your pets.
With kittens, there are always several vet appointments that you’ll have to take care of in the first couple of days. Try your best to get the initial vet appointment done the same day you’re bringing the kitten back home.
Interrupting the introduction will only lead to a longer wait time!
With older cats, an introduction might take longer. Not only have they been around longer, but they might also need some time to adjust to the kitten’s energy.
Even when they’re free to play around with each other, it would be best to supervise. Learn what behavior is playful and what’s aggressive.
If you find your cat hissing, arching, and yowling, shut it down. Make a loud sound yourself or distract them using a toy.
Do not try to get in the middle; you might get hurt!
How To Introduce A New Puppy To A Cat
While similar to the process of introducing two cats, bringing a new puppy into your home with a cat can be a little more complex. Here’s what you’ll have to keep in mind.
- Make sure to ‘cat proof’ your home before bringing in the puppy. Get some cat trees and high spots for your cat to escape to.
- When introducing them in the same room, choose one that your cat can easily escape from.
- Before every physical interaction between your puppy and cat, take your pup for a long walk to calm them down.
- If your cat is getting too aggressive or your dog gets too excited, remove them from the room.
How To Introduce A Cat To A New Home
Introducing a new cat to their new home is just as important as introducing them to their sibling. Don’t be offended if your new cat doesn’t immediately warm up to the space or decides to hide away on a tall bookshelf. Let them take their time!
- Provide several high spaces for your cat to hide or jump to.
- Keep their litter box handy and accessible.
- Don’t try to make too many demands or force the cat to eat or drink anything. Let them adjust.
- Spend some time with your cat in their new space, but don’t try to push any interaction. Let them see you there.
Cats are territorial creatures, especially when they’ve been lords and masters of a space for years.
So, when you’re introducing a new cat into a household, make sure you take it slow and keep your eyes open for any warning signs you see.
Once you’ve got your cats acclimated to each other and properly introduced, you might be treated to some cute moments and unlimited funny moments.
Taking the time to learn how to introduce your cats correctly will benefit you in the long run!
Frequently Asked Questions About Cats Introduction
How much hissing is normal when introducing cats?
You can expect a lot of hissing when introducing your cats. It’s a sign of aggression, intimidation, and fear all rolled into one. However, if your cats are still hissing at each other a week later, you might consider restarting the introduction process.
Can I use catnip while introducing my cats?
Not all cats react to catnip equally. While some cats are heavily affected and love the stuff, other cats could get aggressive. While the motivation is pure, it isn’t advisable to use catnip during an introduction purely because you don’t know how either cat will react!