When you bring home a new cat, you might dream of the new cat curling up with the old cat and the two cats playing with toys together. But unless you take steps to make the cat know each other in a comfortable and safe way your vision may not become a reality. Introducing cats the right way take some good effort – a week for most cats and up to a year for older sets – but the long term benefits are always undeniable.
With a little patience and few creative ideas, your cat may feel at ease and also enjoy each other’s company.
Take the following steps to make the introducing of cats to go smoothly as possible.
1. Use Pheromone Products:
Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Theresa DePorter recommends using products that contain pheromones to make the cats more relaxed and happy. “Cats are going to gather information about what is going on in their world by smell, so they may perceive and respond to things that we are not aware of,” explains Dr. DePorter. By using pheromone products you can provide the cat with a sensory aid to help adjust easily.
2. Separate, but Together:
Dr. Randy Aronson, a veterinarian and the host of “Radio Pet Vet,” suggests keeping a new cat in a large crate with her little box and placing the crate in the middle of the room where all the other cats roam around. “Keep the new cat separate from the old cats for a little while,” suggests Dr. Aronson. This can help the new cat to get used to the new environment and family members without isolating from other cats.
3. Switch the Older Cat to the Crate:
Once your new cat has spent enough time in the crate, switch your old cat to the crate, and allow the new cat to roam around the house and get used to her new environment. Dr. Aronson explains that this switch will enable the new cat to get familiarize with her new environment and help the old cat to get used to the new cat’s smell.
4. Trade Scents:
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends rubbing a piece of fabric on to your new cats cheek and neck and then placing the fabric near the old cat. This should be done before they meet so that the old cat can get used to the new cat’s scent.
5. Separate Food, Water and Litter, then Exchange:
The American Humane Association says that pheromones not only exist on cat’s body but also in the cat’s food bowl, water bowl and litter box. A great way to make them get used to each other is to first separate their food bowl, water bowl and litter box and later exchange these items with each other. This will force the cats to get used to each other smell because they need to use these items on a daily basis.