How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Cat
If you already have a cat and have decided to increase the family by introducing a new cat into your home, you should know the best way for both pets get along and to get to know each other. Take note that cats, unlike dogs, are animals that do not go around in packs, they are very independent so the introduction of the new family member must be done with great care and attention if you want your cats get along. Therefore, at OneHowTo.com, we give you some tips as to how to introduce a new cat to your cat, you should know that depending on the age and character of your cat the process will vary in length. So do not despair if your cats seem wilder than usual.
Before you bring your new cat home, you should make an appointment with the veterinarian to make sure that the new family member is in perfect condition. Otherwise, it could be contagious for the cat you already have, as well as other family members. With a simple visit to the vet you avoid infectious diseases.
Forget leaving the new cat at home alone, as this will only bring problems, especially if one is an adult. This is not a correct or adequate way for two cats to get to know each other, since the former will be surprised and might think they are invading their territory.
Your current cat should know its territory. Therefore, introducing a new animal which alters the scent can lead to a territorial dispute. Thinking that your car will not notice new smells and so it will not find them offensive is wrong, it's actually quite the contrary, and can be dangerous.
So that your cat does not attack the new one, we recommend first temporarily enclosing the new cat in a conditioned room. Do it without your cat becoming aware of the arrival of the new cat. If you do not have a spare room for the newcomer, leave it in the bathroom. In this case be prepared with a litter box, a dish of food, a dish of water and a place to sleep.
If your cat has a big character, it is advisable to wash your hands and even change your clothes before going to see it. Remember that your scent will be impregnated with that of the new cat from touching it, which your pet will recognise.
For a few days, your cat will be sniffing at the door of the room where the newcomer is located. Therefore, you must ensure that both enjoy and appreciate the other's presence. It is therefore desirable that you play with or feed your cat in front of that door. Why? Because by doing this the cat will associate the door and smell with positive and happy things.
Another method to get your cat to recognize that smell is to rub a toy, a ball of wool or a sock in the newcomer's fur and leave these things with your first cat. Thus, your first cat will also relate the smell with objects that it likes and will not be so aggressive when you introduce the new cat.
After about two or three days of this process you must let your cat inspect the area where the new cat has been. Take the cat out of the room beforehand so that it won't be scared and attack. Remember to leave it on its own, without meddling in its movements. As it relaxes, you can play around with it or feed it its favourite food. If you already have more than one cat at home, let them inspect the room one by one.
You should know that in various stressful situations, cats can demonstrate a type of redirected aggression, so you should let them act with total freedom so as not to be attacked. However, it is important to remember that introducing a new cat into your cat's life is a tense situation, so try not to create any rivalry between cats.
After a few days, when the cats are completely used to the smells and have calmed, make the first eye contact. At the smallest sign of aggression from any party, you should separate the cats. Meows or grunts are some of the signs that show that aggressiveness, snorts, however, are normal during introduction.
Put the cats together for short periods of time so that they can get to know each other better, share and play. If there are no fights, do this several times a day. Remember that the longer you devote to this introduction the better the animals will get along. Although adult cats may never become good friends with the new cats, following these steps will help you to create a friendly atmosphere between them.
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