Introducing a new cat into your home takes time and patience.
Here are a few tips
- Keep the cats separate to start with. Set up a separate room for your new cat. This gives the newcomer a safe place to become accustomed to her new surroundings and also enables you to control when and how the two cats meet. Make sure the room has a litter box, food and water, a scratching post, toys and some comfy beds or fabric tunnels the new cat can hide in.
- Let the two cats smell each other through the closed door. This can be accomplished by feeding each of them near the door to the room so that they learn to associate the pleasant taste and smell of food with a positive experience.
- Let the cats become accustomed to each other’s scent. This can be done by rubbing a clean sock on one of the cat’s faces to capture the facial pheromones then leave the sock near the existing cat and let him/her investigate it.
- After a few more days, play with each of the cats near the door. This builds up positive associations with the scent of the other cat and help each cat associate the other with a good time,
- After a week, If the cats are not hissing or growling under the door at each other through the door try visually introducing them. A screen door or baby gate that neither cat can jump over is a good way to do this. When you do this having another person with you is helpful so that there can be a person and a cat on either side of the barrier. Feed, play with and give the cats treats within view of each other, but don’t force anything. If one cat won’t eat near the barrier move the dish farther away
- The last step in the introduction process is to allow the cats to be together for supervised interaction. Some might ignore each other. Some might hiss and walk away. It will take some time for the cats to learn that they are friends not foes. Keep a vigilant eye on them and let them take things at their own pace. As long as one is not bullying or harassing the other all is fine. It’s a good idea at this point to have a large blanket or towel nearby in case you need to break up an altercation. Clapping your hands loudly also can work.
- Never leave the cats unsupervised together until you are completely sure they are fine. This means that there have been no issues of aggression or bullying and they are interacting and beginning to play.
- If you are having issues it is always a good idea to consult a behaviorist.