Cat <--> Cat Introductions

Cats are creatures of habit and territorial by nature. Your resident cat is not likely to welcome a new feline into his home and initially may seem very displeased. Don’t let this discourage you. Providing your cat with a companion will greatly enrich your cat’s life.

Just remember slow introductions are the key to success and while we can’t guarantee your cats will become best friends, most cats will learn to coexist peacefully when properly introduced. Be sure to complete each step on the introduction fully and repeat it several times Only proceed to the next step when both animals seem comfortable, but are not displaying any signs of stress, fear, or aggression.

FIV+ Cats
  1. Immediately set your new cat up in his own roomIf possible, avoid your resident cat seeing the newcomer on your way in. Keep your new cat confined for several days (a week is ideal) to allow him to adjust. Keep your resident cat’s schedule as close to normal as possible and be sure to show both cats lots of affection.
  2. Exchange bedding and toys between the two cats. If the cats are playful, tie two bell toys together using a thick piece of string and allow the cats to play under the door. Also, brushing the two cats with the same brush or feeding them a treat on either side of the door will help the cats associate each other with something positive.
  3. Allow the cats to see each other under supervision through a screen door or a baby gate. Do not force the cats together. It is normal to have some mild confrontation in the form of hissing or posturing at some point during the introduction. Supervision ensures that these behaviors do not escalate. Alternatively, you can put the new cat in a carrier and allow your resident cat to approach the carrier.
  4. Remove the barrier and let the cats interact freely, but do not force the cats together. Should any fighting occur, break the cats up with a loud noise, pillows or water. Return the new cat to his room when the cats are not being supervised. Be on the look out for litter box guarding as this behavior may lead to inappropriate elimination issues. Keeping extra litter boxes throughout the house will help prevent this.
  5. Once you are certain the cats are getting along begin short unsupervised interactions. Slowly extend the time the cats are together until you feel comfortable that separation is no longer necessary. If the interactions between the cats turn severely aggressive at any point, you will need to separate the cats and begin the introduction process again.