When you take your new cat home, our best advice is “take it slowly and be patient” but we know this is not always easy!
Introducing cats to other animals
- Introducing your cat to another cat:
When you get your new cat home settle it into a room of its own. Allow it to settle for several days. 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 cheek, 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 both the cats one after the other can create a communal, familiar smell.
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.
When they are more comfortable with each other they should have supervised time together only until you are confident they will be ok left alone together.
- Introducing your dog to a cat:
Make sure your dog has had a long walk before introducing to your new cat.
Introducing your dog and cat should be in an area away from the cats’ area. This area needs to continue to be an area the cat feels safe in.
Put the cat in the room you’re introducing them in first and then bring the dog in.
Introduce them in a big room with the door closed. Having high places for the cat to get to will make it feel safer.
Keep the dog on its’ lead, at a safe distance, so that it can’t chase the cat and reward the dog for quiet behaviour.
If the dog is lunging or barking at the cat, or the cat is distressed or panicking, take the dog out of the room and only when it is calm and when the cat is calm return but make the distance between the two bigger.
Don’t touch the cat when introducing them as it may bite or scratch you.
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