If you are planning on bringing a new cat into your home, and you have another cat within the household already, you may be worried about how they will get along. There are several steps you can take to make the transition in having a newcomer in the home go a bit smoother than you anticipate. Here are some ways you can get your new and old cats to get along.
Starting In One Room
Designate one room in your home to be used for the new cat's temporary living quarters. They will need several days in this room to get used to the sounds and smells in your home before they will feel comfortable enough to go exploring. Place all the items your cat will need in this room so they are cozy. Make sure to spend time with your new cat several times a day so they do not feel isolated as they are getting used to their new home.
Sharing The Scent
To get your old cat prepared for the new friend, let it sniff a blanket the new cat had been sleeping on. Your cat will most likely be very intrigued about this scent and they may spend several minutes sniffing the material. They may also hiss or growl and run away. This is to be expected. While this may feel disturbing, it is your cat's indication that they are not happy about knowing another cat was in the area. The scent however will become familiar to them if you allow them to smell the blanket several days in a row.
When your new cat seems to feel at ease in the room they have been staying in, place your old cat in a cat carrier and bring it into the room. Allow the new cat to get near to the cage so it can see your older cat. There may be a confrontation at this time with some growling or hissing. Bring your old cat back out of the room if this occurs. Allow your old cat out of the cage. Do the same procedure by putting the newer cat in the cage while the old cat comes into the room to investigate. Doing this procedure over and over, allowing each cat to have a turn at being the dominant one not in the cage, will allow them to get used to each other in small spurts.
When it appears the two cats are not going to fight, you can allow the new cat to slink out of the room to investigate other portions of the home. Keep the door open to this room so they can retreat if they come into contact with our older cat. In time, they will be able to tolerate each other's presence and you may even find them to become friends that sleep and eat next to eat other without incident!
To learn more, contact your vet.