Introducing A New Cat To The Reigning King Or Queen

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To you, home is where the heart is. To your cat, home is a territory. Some cats are happy to welcome a new friend into their territory, while others think that it must be defended at all costs. The later case can make bringing home a new friend a little tricky. 

My Personal Experience

I have had a male cat for 15 years. During that time, he successfully shared his home with another adult male cat two separate times. When his recent buddy Convict passed of cancer, I had no plans to add another cat to our family. 

Until my buddy started acting pretty needy, and meowing all the time. I decided he didn’t know how to be alone, and he needed another kitty friend. I thought really hard about his perfect companion. He still liked to play, so a young cat seemed good. He was getting old though, so a smaller cat that wouldn’t try to dominate seemed right. I decided, a young female would be perfect!

Long story short, he didn’t think she was so perfect. He stalked her like prey for the first two months that I had her. He just could not relax with her in the home. Even when he wasn’t attacking her, he was watching and planning to as soon as I left the room. He completely quit playing, and became absolutely obsessed. It was pretty shocking to see that side of him!

I can’t tell you how many times I thought things like “This just isn’t going to work.” or “I need to take her back to the shelter for her own sake.” 

Then one day, his pupils undilated. He crawled onto my lap for the first time since she showed up, and he purred. Seven months later, these two are not cuddle buddies. They do not groom each other, and I still have to step in when he plays a little too rough. But things are getting better.

Moral of the story – your cat may have shared their home before, but that doesn’t mean they will welcome your new kitty with cuddles and purrs. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do, to help make the introduction a little smoother. 

What You Can Do To Ease The Introduction

After I started having trouble with them, I immediately went online, and realized there are a few things you can do to help ease the intro.

  • Introduce a new and additional litter pan that prevents your cat from being territorial at the litter box. Believe it or not, some cats feel the need to “guard” their litter box. This isn’t good for anyone and can cause major stress on a new kitty. Save everyone and your floors the trouble by putting in a new box somewhere away from the first. 
  • Establishing a new kitty zone if possible. Coming into a new home can be stressful for a cat. They may not realize your new home is safe right away, and are likely to be edgy. Timid behavior can cause your cat to look at the newcomer as prey. 
  • You can avoid that by letting your new cat feel safe in a room of its own for the first couple of days. The kitty can start to feel safe and confident in your home, while their scent makes its way out to your cat. This gets the two cats used to each other with no stress. You’ll know the right time to let the new cat out. It will likely let you know by following you out the door.
  • Play is important to keeping the peace. A tired cat is less likely to fight. Twice a day will work, just make sure the cat gets a workout. If one cat is aggressive, play separately. Try one of our cat wand toys to really get them moving. https://purrfectpawscatrescuesbcf.com/product/cat-play-wands/?v=757e5b5109ed
  • Separate food bowls where kitties are fed at the same time. Especially at introduction, you shouldn’t allow grazing or free feeding. Instead, make mealtime two or three times a day.
  • Make sure they can hide if stressed. Give your cats a comfy spot away from each other to hide. This can be as simple as leaving your carrier up with a blankie inside.

How To Know If There Are Problems Adjusting

It can take quite some time for a new cat to feel like home is home. Please be patient and give them some time to adjust. Cats are cautious creatures, but earning their trust is so rewarding. If you’re having a problem with your new Purrfect Addion, send us a message on Facebook. One of our experts will reach out and try to help.

Read more tips about introducing two cats:

https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/introducing-new-cat

https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-introducing-cats/

Alexis Toledo
Alexis Toledo

Cat mom, dedicated wife and one of our social media goddesses at Purrfect Paws Cat Rescue.

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