How To Safely Introduce A New Kitten When You Already Have Cats
Bringing home a new kitten to be the newest member of your feline family can be very exciting—at least for you. Cats are territorial animals, and most often than not, they can’t instantly befriend the new cat you just brought home to occupy their personal space.
Some pet owners swear by simply putting the new and old cats together in one room for them to “work it out” on their own. But not only is this a risky way of introducing your cats, but it can also be very stressful for everyone in the household, especially for the cats.
The Do’s of Introducing Cats to Each Other
To make sure none of your cats lose an eyeball or gets scratched in the face, follow these tips on introducing new cats to your existing ones:
- Isolation spaces are mandatory. Provide your new and old cats with a safe space that they can retreat to whenever the transition becomes too overwhelming or stressful for them. This also gives you a chance to observe the initial reactions your cats have towards each other.
- Be prepared to respond to aggression. Always be on the lookout for warning signs and get ready to spring into action if needed. When your cats start to hiss, arch their backs, or manifest any aggressive behavior, distract them with a loud noise or toy to allow them to retreat.
- Stay patient throughout the introduction phase. Most cats learn to live together, but you must give them enough time to get used to the new setup at home. It usually takes about a week for cats to adjust, but others take longer, depending on their temperament.
Whatever you do, don’t force your resident cats to get along with your new cat right away, or vice versa, if it is clear that they are not yet ready for that. Pushing your cats to bond instantly can do more harm than good and even cause the introduction phase to be longer than needed.
With a little work and lots of patience, your cats will enjoy each other’s company in no time and feel safe, comfortable, and confident in your home.
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