How do I introduce a new adult cat into the family when we already have an adult cat, any ideas?
The in-laws are moving in later this week and I am moving their cat in with us on Monday to get him used to his new home, first! He's an adult neutered Tom. We also have a neutered Tom and both are house cats, although our cat is much older. Any ideas on making the transition for both cats smooth and harmonious? How do I introduce them to each other without a fight breaking out? Er....How do I save my leather furniture from their clawing?
You could try keeping them in separate rooms for a few days and each day rub their whiskery areas with an old clean flannel. Use the same flannel for both of them.
The whisker area contains scent glands - that's why cats rub these areas against things ... it's to mark them as theirs.
Rubbing their faces with the same flannel mixes up their scents making them seem familiar and possibly less of a threat. It would have been easier to do this before the 'foster' cat came into the home but obviously that is not always possible.
I have read of this trick somewhere but have not tried it personally. Good luck!
We have done this at least 4 times in the past 3 years and have had good results.
Step one, is to be patient. Don't get too involved in the process as you will only let your own anxieties influence the cats.
Step two, introduce them slowly, try and have an area that's neutral and provide them with their own food and water areas in different places.
Step three, most vets sell sprays that have calming effects on cats that do not harm them. I have only used it once, and it seemed to help a little, but my guess is that the same result, (them doing fine) would have happened on it's own.
Cats are territorial and have their own comfort zones, when a new pet is introduced there is a "re-zoning" that takes place over several days. We have experienced a lot of hissing, a few swats, and one or two short bursts of aggression. (at this point we use spray bottles with water and separate them for a time out). But eventually as they get used to each other and their smells they adjust. They may never become "best friends" but we have been surprised more than once when several weeks later on a cool day to see them sleeping next to each other.
Just make sure they have their "own" space and an exit to retreat to when they want.
Start out with the cats in separate rooms. That also means separate litter boxes and food and water. Odds are one of the cats will probably want to hide under the bed anyway. As you move from one cat to the other, they will naturally smell the scent of the other cat on you. Eventually, the bedroom cat will want out to explore or the rest-of-the-house cat will want in the bedroom. Supervise the first few visits as the cats get used to each other. The process should take about three days. I live in an apartment, so we didn't have room for a "neutral" area, but as long as each cat has a safe place to retreat, it shouldn't matter.
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