Introducing a New Cat

How to go about introducing a new cat into your home

When you already own cats introducing a new cat to another cat in your home can upset the ones already living there and your new one.

Meet Ellie: Introducing a new cat

Me and my fiance adopted her March 2012.  Now meet my other two who already lived here: Introducing a new cat Pixie and Fudge.

When we first brought Ellie back from the rescue centre you could tell straight away they did not like each other. This is usually the case when introducing a new cat. It is understandable because it is a massive change for them all.  The worst thing you can possibly do when introducing a new cat is just stick them all together.  The cats that lived there first may change behaviour and become angry and withdrawn and you aso risk any of them getting hurt through fighting.

What we did was firstly set Ellie up in the spare room, which at the time as empty.  We gave her a litter tray, bed, toys, water and food in there so she had things to do when we were out.  This allowed her to get used to being moved and our other cats still got access to the rest of the house. Do not shut your cats that already lived there away as it is unfair on them.  Then for the first week we made sure whenever we could we went in and played with her and hugged her and made sure she was happy.  We also made sure when we were out of the room we played with the other two as well so they did not feel left out.

Then after a week, in the evening, we would let Ellie out of the room and give her access to the whole house with the other two. Remember intoducing cats can be a slow process. When introducing a new cat never leave them all in a small space together because once again a fight can get out of hand and you could end up with some very unhappy injured cats….and an uneccesary high vets bill.  Giving them the freedom of the whole house allows them space to get away from each other if they get a little annoyed.  We started trying to get them to interact through playing with them with toys. This way their mind is on the toy not who they are playing with.  If they started to argue we would separate them all again.  We carried on doing this until eventually we could leave them out together all evening as they started to get used to being with each other. 

After about three weeks this happened: Introducing a new cat and we were able to let them be together all day.  They were still a bit wary of each other sometimes but there was no more worries of massive fights happening. And now 10 months later they are best friends.  Fudge and Ellie play fight they all lick each other and then lay together. 

Do not just assume they will not get along ever, and do not just stuff them all together.  Introducing a new cat to another cat in your home takes time and patience but the rewards are brilliant.Introducing a new cat