Is your cat lonely? Do you want to expand your feline family? Now may be the time to introduce a new cat. If you want your current cat to welcome the new kid on the block, try a slow introduction based on these tips:
- Get your new cat her own food bowl, litter box, etc. to prevent territorial disputes.
- Prepare a safe, separate room for your new cat and keep her separate from your current cat with the door closed. There may be some hissing and spitting through the door as your cats become aware of each other and set their boundaries.
- Rub a towel on each cat and let the other smell it. This will introduce each cat to the other’s scent and will help them get acquainted.
- After a day, open the door a couple of inches and let them meet face-to-face. Observe their behavior to gauge how things are going.
- Let them explore each other’s spaces by having them switch rooms as well.
- If it seems to be going well after a few days, let them out together under your supervision and see how they react to each other. There may be some growling and hissing, but if they tolerate each other, praise them both lavishly.
- Try a little “parallel play.” Use two toys (one for each cat) and play with them separately, but next to each other. This may help each cat associate fun playtime with the other one.
- If it doesn’t go well, start again and be patient. Cats can become fast friends, depending on their personalities, but it may take weeks or months for them to truly accept one another.
Focus on making the introduction process as smooth as possible and you may end up with felines who are friends for life.
Have you considered adoption? Shelters and rescue groups have many lovable cats looking for homes. Visit the Adopt a Cat page on our website for a list of organizations.