So you have decided to adopt a new cat! What an exciting time for everyone in the family, including the resident cat (or cats). While some cats do not mind living with other cats, some do. Below are a few tips on how to help introduce your cats.
When you bring a new feline friend home, respect that your current cat may not take to their new friend right away. Cats are territorial and are not fans of change. Go slow and ease both kitties into this change patiently.
Have a small space for your new cat to adjust, such as a spare bathroom or a small guest room. The current resident cat will smell the new arrival from under the door, familiarizing them with each other’s scent.
Limit initial visits and always make them positive with favorite treats or toys. Watch for hissing, growling, swatting, or raising their back when first introduced. If this occurs, end the introduction for now and try again later. This part of the process may take days or even a week or two.
When your new cat is ready to explore new areas of the house, let them. Make sure to supervise, and if they are going to come in contact with the resident cat, it is positive, with playtime and treats.
Be sure to spend extra time individually with each cat so they feel included.
Eventually, the kitties will begin to tolerate each other, and you will have a happy home. When you notice little to no hissing, acceptance, less aggression, etc., it indicates they are ready to be in the house together without constant supervision.
Note: there are instances where the cats may never fully bond and may not want to interact. Respect this decision and ensure they have ample places to sleep away from each other.