Contrary to popular belief, many cats do enjoy the company of other felines. If you are considering adding a second cat to your family, there a few things you can do to make the introduction of your two fur-babies as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Step 1: Keep Separate
Change can be overwhelming for cats, which is why you want to make the transition as stress-free as possible. The best way to do this is by making sure that the new cat has its own isolated area where it can feel safe and become comfortable with the new sounds and smells of their home. This area should include all of the cat necessities, including a litter box, food, water, and toys.
Step 2: Introduce by Sound and Scent First
Cats can be highly territorial, so it’s important that you take the introduction slowly. This will help ensure that neither cat feels threatened by the other. Before they meet in person, both cats should be able to smell and hear each other.
An easy way to do this is by keeping their food on either side of a door separating the new cat’s area from the rest of the house. By doing this, your cats will learn to associate the other cat’s smell and sound with the positive experience of being fed. You can also switch their areas every few days so they are further exposed to the scent of the other cat.
Step 3: Do a Visual Introduction
After a week or so of introducing the cats to the scent and smell of the other, it’s time for their first face-to-face meeting. During this meeting, the cats should be placed on either side of a see-through divider, such as a baby gate or screen door. If all seems to be going well, place a bowl of food or treats on either side of the divider and allow cats the approach on their owner. You may have to start with the dishes quite far away from the divider, but as they become more comfortable, push them closer together.
Step 4: Finish With a Face-to-Face Introduction
If both cats were comfortable with the visible introduction through the divider, it’s time for them to meet face-to-face. These interactions should be supervised so that you’re ready to step in if either cat seems uncomfortable. Don’t be too worried if the cats ignore each other or if there is a bit of hissing; it may take some time for the cat’s to realize that the other is not a threat.
By following these steps and making introductions slowly, your cats will be best buds before you know it. Even if they don’t become fast friends, at the very least they will be able to cohabitate without issues.