New pet adopters often come to us for help answering questions before adopting a new cat. One of the most common concerns new cat owners have is socializing the newly adopted cat with the current feline and canine members of the household. It might seem like a difficult task, our friends over at PetParents have put together a few helpful tips to get you started. Adult cats typicaly don’t like change in their routine. So if your current adult cat suddenly sees an “uninvited” new feline roommate appear in “his” house, use his litter box and sit on his human’s lap, he very likely – and understandably – will be upset! The good news is with a slow introduction to give your new cat time to get used to the idea of sharing his territory and family with another feline, you can introduce a new cat or kitten amicably to your current cat or cats.
Below are three tips from our friends at PetParents — of course these tips are for after you’ve isolated the new pet per your vet’s advice to avoid spreading any incubating illness or parasites, and while the new cat is still be kept totally separated in his or her own room.
1. New scent introduction — Introduce the smell of the new cat to your current cat so he won’t be so agitated upon their first meeting. Give your current cat a blanket or toy the new cat has slept on or played with, and vice versa.
2. Separate playing at first — Play with one cat on your lap, then go into the other room to play with the other cat. They will smell the other one on you, and associate the new smell with you, someone they love and trust.
3. Separate but close feeding — Feed each cat from a separate bowl, but put the bowls on opposite sides of the closed door. The cats will associate each other’s presence with good food and happy times, and they will be less likely to be upset when satiated and content. Continue this practice after you’ve introduced them so when they finish eating and grooming themselves, they might begin to groom each other and bond. (Click here for how to introduce cats or how to introduce cat to dog.)
Socializing your new cat with a kitten or dog may be different than introducing him or her to an adult cat. For more tips, including those regarding kitten and dog introductions, read PetParent’s full article here.