How To Introduce Cats To Each OtherLearn how to introduce a new cat into a household with other cats successfully
Introducing a new cat into a household that already has a cat (or several cats) is always going to be a slightly awkward endeavour. Whether you’re introducing a kitten to an older cat or you’re welcoming a more mature cat into your home, we’ve put together a handy guide to make the process that little bit easier for you and your feline friends.
Before adopting or buying a new cat
Before you make the decision to bring a new cat or kitten into your home, always consider the effect that it may have on your current cat (or cats). Giving a new cat a home is a wonderful thing to do, but if you think it could affect your current cat so negatively that one of the cats has to be rehomed, you may want to reconsider. Remember – some cats are naturally aloof and prefer to be the only cat in a household.
Introducing cats to each other
When introducing cats to one another:
- It’s always best to try and do so in a large, open space with escape routes available.
- Don’t leave them alone with one another – make sure that both cats are being supervised.
- Don’t force them to interact with one another if they don’t want to.
- If there are signs of aggression, such as one of the cats hissing or growling at the other, remove both cats from the situation. Other signs of conflict can include fighting, staring at one another, spitting, and blocking each other, as well as less visible signs such as fleeing, avoiding, and hiding from one another.
Consider using a Feliway Friends diffuser, specifically made to help “reduce tension and conflict between cats in the home”. It releases a synthetic copy of the cat appeasing pheromone (CAP), which is naturally produced by the mother after giving birth. This pheromone helps to create a bond between her and her kittens and creates a harmonious environment where her kittens feel safe. Feliway Friends has the same effect when used in the home and has been shown to help housemate cats live together peacefully.
Top tips for living with more than one cat
- Make sure that you have enough food bowls for all of the cats in your household. Place the bowls at different heights to avoid all of the cats eating in the same place – utilise tops of shelves or chairs, for example
- Make sure you have a litter tray for each cat in the household in different places around your home, plus 1 extra. It is important to check your cat's preferences as older cats may not be able to access the same litter trays as easily as younger, more agile cats.
- Provide escape routes that are available all the time for your cats, as well as hiding places for them to bolt to, should they need them. Remember, when a cat is stressed, scared, or wants some privacy, they prefer areas that are warm, quiet, safe and – most importantly – where they can be alone.
- To avoid any unwanted cat visitors entering your home, fit a microchip cat flap that will only allow your cats in and out of the household.