So, you’re the proud furparent of a purrrfect kitty cat - aren’t you a lucky one! Cats are pawsome pets to have and they really do know how to fill the home with love. With this in mind, it’s completely understandable why you’d want to grow your fur-mily and bring in a fursibling. Who wouldn’t?
Before getting too excited about bringing home a new cat, you should read up on introducing cats to kitten. Introducing a new cat can be an exciting time for your family, but it’s your current kitty you need to worry about. Cats are habitual creatures, and sometimes, disrupting the peace can cause a little bit of chaos.
Don’t worry! We’re here to help. This article will walk with you, paw in paw, and show you the ropes of introducing cats. If you’d like to extend your knowledge, make sure to read our articles on introducing cats to newborns, and dogs.
OUR BEST TIPS FOR BRINGING HOME A NEW CAT:
Whether your introducing cats to kitten, or an older cat, the rules tend to stay the same. Your focus should be on creating a safe environment where both kitties feel confident and comfortable. If you can get that foundation as solid as possible, then you should be A for away! Until then, here are a few strategies to help you out.
Set Up Their Safe Spaces
First and foremost, your cats’ ability to retreat in times of anxiety should be your number one priority. In our purrrfessional opinion, you should get this one done before you start shopping for new kitty litters and cute accessories. The more time your current cat has to make the space their own, the better.
The best way to set up this space is to include all of your cat’s precious goodies. You can include their litter box, food, toys, and cuddly blankets. The goal is to make the room as homey as possible so that they know it’s their safe place.
Think of this as you would your own room. After a stressful day, is there nothing better than to retreat to bed with a glass of wine and Netflix? (Or is that just us?)
Remember, you have to make sure that your cat has easy access to this room too! If you have doggos at home or a curious toddler, you will have to take extra precautions in ensuring that they can’t get in. Need dog or baby proofing that installs in seconds? Learn more about what Door Buddy can do for you here.
Help Them Feel Situated
Once your new kitty is home, the next step to bringing home a new cat is to show them the lay of the land. You can remove your current cat from the room if you’re worried about scattered nerves, but your new cat should be kept on a lead. This will help you stay in control of the situation.
Take your new cat around your home and show them their new digs. Eventually, you will want to work your way up to your current cat’s room so that they can get a whiff of their new fursibling. You can do the same with your current cat once your new kitty has settled too. This will give them both the chance to get furmiliar with one another without getting in each other’s way.
Introduce Your Cats Slowly
With the safe spaces done, smells smelled, the next step is to meet face-to-face! If there is one tip that we can give when introducing cats, it’s go slow. There’s no need to rush this process. After all, no one expects you to immediately like the new stranger in your home, right?
Both cats may be a bit wary of each other at first. This is entirely normal! Don’t fear; if your cat seems unsure of their new buddy, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be enemies from the get-go. Like we said, cats are habitual creatures, and it will take some time for them to warm up.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to facilitate this fur-endship:
Keep them separated for the first couple of days
Give them their own bowls, beds, and litter boxes
Use a Door Buddy to introduce the cats through protected doors
Try introducing them on leads
Supervise Their Time Together
The next stage is to bring your cats together and see how they do when it’s just the two of them. Of course, they won’t be completely alone as you will need to keep a watchful eye for any cat-astrophes.
The best time to do this is when they’re both relatively calm. You can try this in a neutral space such as the living room or kitchen where tensions will run low. You can start by doing this a couple of minutes a day, and gradually work your way up to unsupervised and free-roaming visits.
The key here is to do this as often as possible. Introducing cats is best done when you’re consistent and allow them the time to adjust properly.
Remember, bringing home a new cat should be an exciting time for you as a furparent! If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or you’re worried about a few behavioral issues, it’s best to consult a professional. They will help you develop a game plan to ensure that everything goes back to its purrrfect self. Until then, happy introductions!