Undertake-a-Pet.com Weblog Introduce Cats: Introducing a New Cat or Kitten to Your Cats


woman introduces kitten to older cat
Tran Mau Tri Tam / Unsplash
In case you’re a cat father or mother who’s considering bringing a new kitten into the house, or when you’ve already adopted one, you’re possible questioning how finest to introduce your resident cat to their new member of the family. Introducing a new kitten to a resident cat may be difficult, and, relying on the cats’ ages and personalities, it might take days or months to take action efficiently. Nonetheless, it’s vital to introduce cats slowly and punctiliously to stop aggression or combating.

Beneath are some pointers and useful tricks to get your new feline relations off to an excellent begin and hopefully on their approach to turning into finest buddies for the remainder of their lives.

Select a New Kitten to Convey House

In case you have but to undertake a brand new kitten, remember that most cat consultants suggest introducing a new cat who matches the resident cat’s vitality degree, measurement, and persona. Bringing home a kitten you probably have a senior or low-key grownup cat may be like asking a grandparent to babysit a toddler 24/7: The kitten shall be unhappy not having a playmate, and the older cat shall be confused by the kitten asking to play continually.

The truth is, kittens are a lot happier in pairs, so when you’re set on adopting a kitten, contemplate adopting two. It might appear overwhelming, however it may truly be the very best answer for everybody, because the kittens will play with one another and go away your grownup cat to do their very own factor. Adopting two kittens may even assist them keep away from Single Kitten Syndrome.

Some cat consultants additionally consider that gender performs a small position in how two cats will get alongside and recommend two males or a male/feminine match work finest. Neutering and spaying all cats, ideally two to 4 weeks earlier than the introduction, can be important so they’re totally recovered.

Irrespective of which new kitten or cat you carry dwelling, although, it’s vital to observe the steps under to efficiently introduce them to your resident cat.

Introduce a New Cat to Your Cat

Step One: Isolation

Confine the brand new cat to at least one room with a litter field, meals, water, and a mattress. Feed your present cat(s) and the newcomer on both aspect of the door to this room. Don’t put the meals so near the door that the cats are too upset by one another to eat. This may assist to begin issues out on the proper foot by associating one thing pleasant (consuming) with every others’ presence. Progressively transfer the dishes nearer to the door till the cats can eat calmly immediately on both aspect.

You can too think about using the crate method, which primarily replaces a separate room with a really giant crate, which is very useful when you dwell in an area that doesn’t have an enough separate room.

In case you have adopted the brand new cat from an setting the place they may have been uncovered to diseases, akin to a shelter or the road, observe your vet’s suggestions in the course of this isolation. Typically your vet will take a look at for FeLV and FIV after which suggest isolation for seven to 10 days. That will appear to be a very long time, however it is not going to solely preserve your resident cat wholesome but in addition give your new cat an opportunity to get adjusted to their setting’s sounds and smells, bettering the possibilities that the primary face-to-face introduction together with your resident cat(s) will go effectively.

Step Two: Scent / Signal Intro

After your new cat’s isolation interval is over, and also you’re positive your new cat is wholesome, you possibly can take the next steps. Advance to the subsequent step solely in any case cats are okay with one another throughout every step.

  1. Swap sleeping blankets between the brand new cat and resident cat(s) to allow them to grow to be accustomed to one another’s scent. Additionally, put the scented blankets beneath the meals dishes.
  2. Use two doorstops to prop open the door simply sufficient to permit the cats to see one another however not get out and repeat the feeding course of.
  3. Put the brand new cat in a safe cat provider, and open the door so the resident cat can are available and sniff across the new cat’s room whereas the cat is within the provider.
  4. Confine resident cats in one other room and let the brand new cat discover the remainder of the home. This change additionally permits the cats to expertise one another’s scent with no face-to-face assembly. It additionally permits the newcomer to grow to be conversant in their new environment with out being frightened by different animals.

Step Three: First Assembly

Open the isolation room door, let your resident cat enter, and calmly observe. Enjoying calming music or speaking in a relaxed, pleasant voice to the cats might enable you really feel much less confused, which is able to assist the cats, too. In case your cats like treats, give them a lot of treats together with verbal reward. Some cats do finest if distracted with their favourite toys, so they aren’t focusing too intently on one another.

When the cats are collectively, preserve a watch out for the next warning indicators:

  • Hissing, puffy tails, and growling: A little bit little bit of this conduct is regular however ought to be minimal you probably have taken the time to observe the steps above. Don’t give your cats the chance to accentuate; you are attempting to keep away from the cats associating one another’s presence with fearful or aggressive conduct. A foul first impression may be tough to alter.
  • Fearful or aggressive reactions: If both cat escalates their conduct to fixed hissing or growling, or if there’s any stalking (like they’re searching prey), cornering, swatting, or massive posturing shows of arched backs and fur puffed out, separate the cats again into their very own areas instantly. If it was only a hissing match, wait just a few hours and check out one other face-to-face assembly for a couple of minutes. If the aggression appeared critical, you’ll have to take a step or two again within the introduction course of.

If the assembly goes effectively, let the cats spend as much as 10 minutes collectively (though much less time is okay, too). Then separate them again into their very own areas. Letting them keep whether it is going effectively may be tempting, however it’s a lot better to not push it and have the primary assembly finish badly.

two cats getting upset and hissing
Laura Stolfi / Stocksy

How can I forestall aggressive conduct throughout introductions?

The above means of slowly introducing your resident cat to a brand new cat will do so much to assist cut back aggression. While you attain the step of a face-to-face introduction, you could need to have a water squirt bottle in a single hand and a blanket within the different in case it’s worthwhile to intervene in a sudden assault. Supervise their interactions carefully always, and be affected person. It might take a while for the 2 cats to grow to be mates, however most cats can be taught to dwell collectively peacefully with time and persistence.

Step 4: Slowly Improve Time Collectively

In case your cats efficiently spend as much as 10 minutes collectively, you possibly can enhance their time collectively. For instance, your periods may enhance to 2 periods of 10 minutes every on day two.

Proceed to look at your cats vigilantly, nevertheless, as a result of typically a gathering will appear to be going effectively, after which there’s a spat. If a small spat happens between the cats, do not try to bodily intervene; cats could make a lot of noise and roll round fairly dramatically with out both cat being injured. As an alternative, use a twig bottle to squirt water on the cats to separate them. If that doesn’t do it, attempt tossing a blanket over considered one of them and shortly corralling the opposite cat out of the room. Give them each an opportunity to settle down for a day or extra earlier than re-introducing them to one another.

When can I contemplate the introduction course of profitable?

You possibly can contemplate the introduction course of profitable once you observe signs showing that the cats are getting alongside, akin to greeting one another by sniffing or touching noses, headbutting or rubbing towards one another, grooming one another, and, after all, snuggling and sleeping collectively.

Extra New Cat Ideas

When you’ve made it via the introduction course of, there are nonetheless some issues you are able to do to make sure your cats proceed to get alongside, together with:

  • Maintain the second litter field within the isolation room even after the cats are out collectively. Ensure that not one of the cats are being “ambushed” by one other whereas attempting to make use of the litter field.
  • If you wish to transfer the second litter field, accomplish that regularly, just a few ft at a time, to the brand new location.
  • Clear all litter packing containers extra steadily.
  • Improve the quantity of playtime and train each cats are getting to assist expend their vitality and preserve them calm.
  • Maintain the resident cat’s schedule as shut as attainable to what it was earlier than the newcomer’s look.
  • Attempt utilizing calming products to assist de-stress cats who exhibit indicators of stress.

FAQ (Folks Additionally Ask)

How lengthy ought to I wait to introduce my cat to a brand new kitten?

Introducing a brand new kitten to a resident cat may be difficult, and, relying on the cats’ ages and personalities, it might take days or months to take action efficiently. Comply with the above steps for a gradual introduction.

What if the cats nonetheless aren’t getting alongside after prolonged efforts?

In case your cats nonetheless aren’t getting alongside after prolonged efforts, it is best to contemplate consulting a veterinarian to find out if underlying medical points are at play, and/or a certified cat behaviorist. If the difficulty really can’t be resolved, you may contemplate rehoming your cat through Rehome by Undertake a Pet.

What are the warning indicators when introducing cats?

Warning indicators when introducing cats embody hissing, puffy tails, and growling. A little bit of this conduct is okay, but when it escalates to fixed hissing or growling, or if there’s any stalking (like they’re searching prey), cornering, swatting, or massive posturing shows of arched backs and fur puffed out, the cats ought to be separated.

References

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