Bringing Home a New Cat
Excerpt from Happy Cat Happy You by Arden Moore
Here are some ways to insure a proper introduction without a lot of hissing or flying fur:
1. Before you pick up the new member of the family, set up temporary housing for him in a small room, ideally a bathroom, with food, water, a litter box, and a place to sleep.
2. When you come home, take the new pet directly to the prepared bathroom. The goal here is not to let the resident cat(s) know that it was you who brought in the interloper.
3. At first, just allow the cats to sniff each other under the doorframe. Don’t react to hissing or growling.
4. Spend one-on-one time with each pet, making sure that they each feel special.
5. After a day or two, put your first cat into the enclosed bathroom for a couple of hours while letting the new pet explore each room of the house under your supervision. This helps to neutralize any turf battles.
6. Take a slightly damp towel and rub it down your new pet’s body. Then rub this towel on your first cat’s body to mingle their scents.
7. After a few days, let your first cat roam free in a larger room while you bring in the new pet in a carrier or on a leash and allow the first cat to approach and sniff.
8. Use positive reinforcement by offering bits of food each time you increase the exposure of the animals to each other. Always give a treat to your first cat before the newcomer receives one.
9. Allow the pets to be together in the same room only when you can supervise until you are sure that they get along. This can take a few days or a few weeks or even months, depending on the dynamics.
For more information on your cat’s behavior and ways to ensure a happy household, purchase Happy Cat Happy You from Catnip.