When you take your new cat home, our best advice is “take it slowly” but we know this is not always easy!

Let your new cat settle in peace and quiet

When you get your new cat home settle it into a room of its own, if possible, with a litter tray and water. Allow it to settle for several days before introducing your other pets.

Introducing to your existing cats

  • Introduce it to the smell of your other cats
    Once the cat has settled start by swapping beds with each cat so they get the scent of each other.  Another way to swap their scent is to rub a natural fibre cloth around the cats check, chin and forehead.  This will collect a small amount of pheromones which can then be rubbed against doorways etc so they can explore the scent of each other without direct contact.  Stroking the cats one after the other can create a communal, familiar smell.
  • Introduce it to the sight of your other cats
    The next stage is to introduce the cat visually at a distance first.  This can be done by having the cats a different ends of the hallway and distracting them by feeding them or playing with them.  You must make sure the cats are relaxed.  If they are anxious then they should be separated and tried again later and maybe at a greater distance.  The time they are together should be increased until they are happy in each other’s company.  Throughout this process the scent should still be swapped.
    If space is limited then a frame can be made for the door and can be transferred to other doors so the resident cat can get used to the new cat in different rooms.
  • Supervised introductions
    When they are more comfortable with each other they should have supervised time together only until you are confident they will be OK to be left alone together.

Introducing your new cat to your dog

  • Make sure your dog has had a long walk before introducing to your new cat.
  • Place the cat in a large carrier or crate with somewhere to hide.  This is so the cat cannot run away and cause the dog to chase it.  It should be placed in an area away from the dog’s area.
  • Let the dog sniff the cat through the bars.  The cat may hiss and spit but it is at least safe.  Reward the dog for quiet behaviour.
  • Bring the cage into the living room in the evening when you are watching TV when everything is relaxed to allow them to get used to each other’s presence.
  • The first time the cat meets the dogs outside the cage the dog must be on a lead.  There must also be high places for the cat to get to.  Make sure the cat can get away if needed.
  • Do not leave the cat and dog alone until you know they are happy with each other.

For more information, our friends at Cats Protection have produced an excellent leaflet: Taking your new cat home