It is a scary time for any cat owner, the time you decide to bring in a new feline addition to the family. No one wants to upset the resident cat but we can’t be restricted by that concern, it is very rare that a new addition will not be able to intergrate to some degree.

A tried and tested way of introduction by Cat Planet is the following.

Before Bringing The New Addition home

Make sure you have the right food, litter for the new kitten or cat and a invest in a plug-in diffuser like Feliway or Pet Remedy, I would buy one for upstairs and one for downstairs. If you are buying a pedigree kitten, buy a blanket and ask the breeder if you can leave it with them so it has lots of smells from home. You can bring this home with the kitten in the carrier to help it adjust.

I do not recommend that cats go out at night at all – under any circumstances, however if your cat has access to the outside during the day, I would restrict this until there is some kind of understanding between the resident cat and the newcomer, you don’t want the resident cat to feel pushed out and seek refuge with a neighbour or worse, wander away and not ever come back.

The First Night

Set up your bedroom with litter tray, food and water, I would use the carrier as a bolt hole, leave the blanket in the carrier to help the kitten feel less stressed.

Arriving home with your new addition, allow the cat or kitten the run of your room, spend time in there reading or watching TV and restrict too much coming and going.

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Stroke as much as possible but do not seek the cat out and do not drag it from under any hiding places.

If you see your resident cat during this time, make sure you stroke and mix smells as much as possible.

Go to sleep that night with your door shut.

The kitten/cat will come out and explore at night and as you are asleep, you are non threatening whilst asleep and this will allow your new addition to get used to you and your smells (!).

The Second and Subsequent Days

When you are home and settled, open the bedroom door and let the new kitten/cat to explore the house, do not intervene if the two cats hiss and growl at each other, allow them to get it out of their system and understand that despite any fuss, the situation is not going to change.

Do not allow the cats to be in each others company without you being close by. If you go out or work, keep the cats in separate areas, its always good to swap these around to help mix the cats smells.

Make sure you touch and stroke each cat also to help mix smells.

If Things Go Wrong

Adult cats will rarely attack a small kitten.

If any interaction becomes physical you must separate them. You can do this by making a loud noise, using a water spray or running towards them. If this fails, pick up each cat by the scruff of the neck and separate. It is very unusual for this to happen but it is best to be prepared.

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In Brief

The key point is to ensure you are as relaxed as possible, cats sense stress in humans and if you are stressed and start screaming every time the cats look sideways at each other, they are going to be even more stressed out.

Keep calm, stay firm and your cats should follow your lead.

If there are any subjects you would like covered in the Cat Planet Information Centre, please email infocentre@catplanet.co.uk

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