- Are you looking for a kitten? Give us a call, often we know of people
fostering kittens that are urgently looking for a good new home!!!!
Guidelines for bringing home an additional cat:
Although sometimes cats will get
along well in just a couple of hours you should not be surprised to have a
battle on your hands if you try to introduce your new cat too quickly. The time
you spend on this all-important process will be saved in the long run by not
having to break up conflicts every day.
- Set up a comfortable safe room for the new cat. Put
food, water, litter tray, scratching post, toys and bed/sleeping mat.
- Expect a great deal of hissy-spitty behavior from both
cats. This is natural and normal; they are just starting to explore their
- Scent is very important to cats. Let each of them smell
the other indirectly, by rubbing a towel on one and letting the other smell
it. They will soon accept the scent as a normal part of the house.
- Once or twice, switch the cats over, so the new cat can
explore your home, whilst your resident cat sniffs out the new catís room.
- After a day or so, let the cats sniff each other through
a baby gate, or through a barely opened door. You can then gauge the rate at
which they are accepting each other.
- When you think they are ready, le them mingle under your
supervision. Ignore hissing and growling but be ready to intervene if a
physical battle breaks out. Take this step slowly, depending on how well the
cats get on. If they do tolerate each other, remember to praise them both.
- Make the first activities together fun so they learn to
associate pleasure with the presence of the other cat - feeding (in their
separate dishes), playing and petting - and keep up the praise!
- If things start to go really badly, separate them again
and start where you left off. If one cat seems to be the aggressor, give
them some time out and try again later.
The introduction can take from 2
hours to 6 months, so donít be discouraged if your cats donít seem to get along
well at first. Often the case is they will become best buddies.
Factors to consider:
- If you are thinking of getting a kitten to keep an older
cat company, you might want to consider two kittens. They will be able to
keep each other company while the older cat learns to love them.
- If you already have more than one cat, use the Ďalpha
catí for preliminary introductions. Once he/she accepts the newcomer, the
other resident cats will quickly fall into line.
- Give lots of snuggle-time and attention to all cats
concerned during this period. Remember, the prime goal is to get them to
associate pleasure with the presence of each other.
- If possible, ask a friend to deliver the new cat to you
home in their cage. You can act nonchalant, as if itís no big deal, then
later let your resident cat(s) think itís their idea to welcome the newcomer.
The Vetís Perspective:
introducing the new cat;
- Have your new cat checked for ringworm and ear mites
before first contact.
- De-worm all cats.
- Vaccinate your new cat. If your resident cat(s) are
vaccinated it is safe to introduce a newly vaccinated cat. If your resident
cat(s) are not vaccinated keep them separate for 2 weeks.
- Consider FIV/FELV testing the new cat, depending on
his/her origin Ė speak to the vet if you are unsure.
on giving another cat in need a permanent home.