Tips for How to Introduce A New Cat to Your Household

new cat
Introducing our newest kitten Gracie to our home, she’s hiding under the rocking chair…

Having a cat is wonderful. Having two cats…well, to me that’s even better!  Because having more than one cat can be amazing. They each have distinct personalities and what’s even better, they are great company for one another.

However, successfully bringing a new cat into your household can be a bit of a process. Like I said, cats have distinct and strong personalities. They can clash pretty quickly and possibly forever. Plus, even more than that, there are some health matters that can play a role as well. So, make sure to check out these tips for introducing a new cat into your home.

Keep the new cat separate at first

When you first bring the new cat or kitten home, set them up in a separate room. Your resident cat(s) will already know a new feline is in the home. But keeping them in a closed off space will help them get “used” to the idea. Also, if your pet is a rescue or a tiny kitten without all their shots, it is best to wait until you get the go head from your vet before they come in contact with other pets. 

Slowly introduce them by starting with their scent

Pam Johnson-Bennett, a renowned cat expert has a great tip for how to get your cats acclimated with one another. It’s called The Sock Exchange.  You can read about it in detail on her site, but basically you put a clean sock on your hand. Then you rub the new kitty’s face. Drop the sock in a non-invasive place (like the living room floor and NOT the near the food dish). Let your resident cat smell it and react accordingly. Then do the same with your cat’s smell and the new kitty. This helps introduce their friendly pheromones.

Feed them at the same time and let them peek at each other

Have your old cat and the new cat eat at the same time. The best is through a baby gate or a screened door, however this can be hard depending on how your home is set up. You can also just let them peek at each other through the door while feeding them special treats. For example, dish out delicious treats to your resident cat and place it in view of the door where the new cat is. Let your cat see you give treats to them as well, while letting them know this new cat isn’t a treat.

Make the face-to-face introduction

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The big meeting…

Finally, after a few days, it’s time to make introductions. And take it from me, do NOT force it. When I was younger I held up my resident cat  to the newest baby we adopted. I was promptly met with a claw to the face and a fat lip, rightly so I might add. You can’t force their interactions. However you do need to supervise their interactions, if it gets messy separate them again and try another time. Above is when our resident cat Neka, finally met Gracie. She was not exactly pleased at first. We never actually let her swat at or hurt Gracie, but as you can see, it got a little  close!

 

However, if you take it slow, soon they will learn to live with each other…and maybe even love one another! After only a month or so Neka really warmed up to her new buddy Gracie. Now they spend the days playing with each other and napping. They truly are my fur-babies!

 

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Neka & Gracie are now BFF’s

Have you ever introduced a new pet to your home? Let us know what tips and tricks or funny stories you have about their interactions in the comments below!

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