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Tips for Introducing Cats

Category Cats
Two cats being introduced to one another.
Introducing a new cat into your home with a resident cat(s) should be taken slowly. This is a guide about tips for introducing cats.
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By 2 found this helpful
May 15, 2013

Buy the loose catnip in a bag at the store and scatter it around when you have them out together. I never force cats together. The scared newcomer will stay in the bathroom until it develops skills and confidence to approach not only humans but other cats.

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I have found the bathroom an excellent hideaway for kittens/cats who need to develop socialization skills. You go in there many times a day and go out. It is great for the cats.

I was watching my newer cat laying near one of my dogs when I gave her a catnip toy I just had received from a friend in the mail. She relaxed. It was so funny. Don't leave them together, until you are sure they are getting along.

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
October 30, 2009

I have a very dominant 6 year old female cat. She has an aggressive nature, but not to us, her owners, just other people. My daughter just moved in with her 3 year old female cat. Both are fixed.

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They have been in the same apartment for 4 weeks now. I kept the newer cat in my daughter's room. I let her out, and lock up my cat. Switch around as much as I can.

My cat still wants to attack her. Twice they have had really bad cat fight lots of meowing, screaming, and my cat goes crazy trying to catch her. I don't know what else to do. We've done everything to introduce them slowly. They fight all the time under the door. Pawing at each other, but not in a playful manner, its growling involved.

I've tried putting the newer cat in her carrier and then let my cat sniff her, but it ends up a screaming match for both of them and I feel so sorry for the one in the carrier, like being in shark infested waters.

I told my daughter that she will have to find another place soon. It's been 4 weeks and my cat wants to kill the other one.Please help.

By Mary from Toronto, Ontario

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Answers

November 1, 20090 found this helpful

Cats are very territorial. It is quite rare that they accept a newcomer as a buddy off the bat. I take it you've given them separate food and litter box spaces. Also that the newcomer's safe room is not one of your cat's favorite spots. Displacing a resident for a newcomer in their happy room will never work well.

Boxing one for an introduction is ok as long as the box is large enough for the cat to move about a little comfortably. If the boxed cat isn't comfortable in the box, it's not a good idea to use it for introductions as the cat will already be stressed.

As long as there haven't been actual fights, I'd say let them get over the initial introductions. They are sizing each other up and it may take months for them to settle down together, especially if your home isn't that large. Make sure you put away the breakables no matter how high they are usually placed.

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It's important that you stay as calm as possible. The more stressed the people are, the more likely the cats are to fight. Good luck.

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November 3, 20090 found this helpful

Pet store. Buy the plug in pheramone thingey. Unbelievable but it works in most cases. I thought Yeah, right when it was recommended to me. Surprise, it worked.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

The pheramone thingy is called Feliway, it calms them. Sounds like you've done everything right in introducing a new cat. After you've had the Feliway for a while, maybe you should just let them settle it between themselves. They will.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Cats are very territorial. I have never introduced a new cat but I have 2 litter mates that are 3 1/2 years old (both male) and all of a sudden they started hissing, growling, and one of them started screaming at the other one. I tried homeopathic calming drops, the feliway spray, separation, and anything else I could think of. They never made contact but it was certainly nerve racking. I took them to the vet to make sure there weren't any illnesses and he said they were just stressed. He gave me some anti anxiety pills and I just give them 1/4 of one in their food every day and what a difference it has made. I don't feel like I am walking on egg shells all of the time and I am less stressed and they are too.

The vet told me that sometimes even litter mates develop behavior problems. I think it is a hormone thing as even though they have both been neutered one of them kept wanting to hump the other one and the other one didn't want that kind of play. I would ask the vet for a mild anti anxiety pill for the older cat till they adjust. I was totally against this at first but life is short and we couldn't go on living the way we were. I was tired of both cats being traumatized. Wish I would have done it sooner than waste the money on calming drops and the feliway stuff.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

This is worth a try; get a wash cloth and slightly wet it, rub one cat with it, then the other, do this several times. It is supposed to confuse the cats by making each smell like the other and hopefully end the fighting.

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Anonymous
November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Have you tried keeping your cat in the carrier for a few hours and letting your daughters cat roam free so that your cat can see that she is not in charge?

I felt really mean one time when I was introducing a new cat because the exisiting baby was doing the same thing but it worked and what I did was when a spat would start I would gently but firmly push the existing baby a few feet away while firmly saying no (no yelling - just firmly) and picked up the new baby and ignored the existing baby for quite a few minutes. It does sound mean but I could see by the look on the exisiting baby's face looking surprised (and hurt feelings) but after only two tries the behavior stopped (I would like to think it's because the existing baby learned who the Alpha was which was me - LOL) and in almost no time at all they became best buddies :-)

It may not work in your situation because all cats, like people, are different but it's worth a try.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I recommend putting a towel or clean blanket for each cat to lay on. Then after a day or two swap them. Or rub one with a towel then rub the other with the same one.

Basically, its like people. You may not like everyone you come in contact with. Same with cats. They will eventually learn to live with each other, although they may not like each other. I have two cats in my home that don't like each other and will avoid each other, when face-to-face, they hiss and swat. I have four all together.

I would just recommend that you make enough places for each cat to have their own spot to be safe. I have one cat who lies on my dryer, another on the couch, another on the office chair and another on a kitchen chair. They all sleep with me.

When I brought home two of mine (together) the stress level in the house was high for six months. Now there are occasional hisses/swats but mostly a quiet house. =)

Remember to give your kitty the most of your attention.

Good Luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 28, 2015

I'm a new cat lover, and am in need of help. I've had one cat for about 3 months now (Salem), and I just brought one of her 12 week old siblings home 7 days ago. Well here's the thing my oldest, Salem, does these belly rolls and sneaks closer and closer to the kitten a lot, but she also growls while doing this. I would like to know how to make her feel more comfortable. Anyone have any suggestions.

By Paige from Decatur, GA

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January 30, 20150 found this helpful

I think this is most likely kitten play and they will work it out themselves. Watch the for awhile to see play doesn't get too rough. Most sibs know one another for life and should get along pretty well.

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January 30, 20150 found this helpful

They weren't born in the same litter but, they have the same parents.

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May 10, 20130 found this helpful

I have a 13 year old male cat (Oliver) and he has brought so much joy in my life, however I feel like I have some much love to give that I want another cat. Also, I work long hours and I always feel bad for leaving him alone. I always feel like he may be a tad bit lonely. Oliver had a brother, who passed away when he was 8 years old, so it has been a while since he's had an extra family member. Oliver is extremely affectionate, he's always cuddling and purring. Do you think it would be a good idea for me to get another cat at this point? I don't want Oliver to think that I am replacing him and I want him to be accepting of a new cat.

By Megan C

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May 13, 20130 found this helpful

How active is your Oliver? If he still plays he should be able to adjust well to a new housemate because if he is strong enough to play he should also be strong enough to keep the youngster in line.

Is he neutered? If yes, he should adjust well to any gender kitten but if no, a young female might be the best choice to avoid 'territory wars'.

A slow introduction would be best no matter what gender and age kitten you bring home-when I've introduced a newbie to a resident cat I've put the newbie into the travel carrier and set it where the established cat can visit all sides of the carrier. There's always been a bit of hissing at first but after a bit the cats make it clear they're ready for a meet and greet outside of the carrier.

A good website to check for more introduction tips is:

http://cats.abo  ntroducecats.htm

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