*This is a collaborative post*
Cats can be extremely territorial, so if you already have one (or five), introducing a new feline to the household can prove somewhat challenging. However, if you take the right approach and do it with a positive mindset, there really isn’t any reason why you won’t be able to make it work. Here is what you need to know in order to ensure that the transition is as smooth and as stress-free as possible.
Visit the vet
Before you do anything else, take both your existing cats and your new cat to the vet separately. He or she will check that all of your furry companions are in good health and won’t be passing on any diseases back and forth. If you are looking for a great vet in your area, you can’t go wrong with heartandpaw.com.
Confrontations between cats in your household are certain to get worse if they are constantly competing for food or a comfortable spot in which to sleep. Keep this to a minimum by giving them their own food and water bowls and investing in a few cosy pet beds. If you currently have just one cat, it can also prove easier to get a new one of the opposite sex, as this will ensure that your existing feline feels less threatened. The same goes for getting a kitten as opposed to an adult cat.
Accept the fact that you only have so much control
Ultimately, you cannot force two cats to get along. It will be down to them to decide whether they are going to be soul mates and cuddle companions or whether they are going to hiss and swipe at each other for the rest of their lives. All that you can do is try your best to initiate a calm and pleasant meeting and try to reduce the potential for conflict as mentioned above.
Time it right
Make sure that you initiate the meeting when the household is in a quiet and relaxed state. As exciting as it would be for the kids to witness the cats’ first meeting, it might not be totally conducive to the kind of atmosphere that sets the tone for success. So, if possible, introduce the felines while the kids are at school.
Let them get to know each other’s scents
Some cat owners opt to keep their existing cats and the new cat in separate rooms for a few days ahead of the big introduction. This allows them to get used to each other’s scents, especially if you pet one and then visit and pet the others without washing your hands. That way, the new cat won’t be completely alien to your existing kitties when they finally come whisker to whisker.
It is unlikely that all of your felines will fall in love with one another right from the get-go. Be patient and take comfort in the fact that all relationships take time to form. Everyone will settle down eventually, no matter how reluctantly!
From there, enjoy your household full of cats and feline cuddles.