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Introducing Cats to New Cats

carolineshannon

Acclimating a new cat to your home can be tricky, especially, if you already have other cats in the home. Cats are extremely territorial, and this can be a tough transition. But that is not to say that it cannot be done.

I have four -- yes, four! -- cats, two of which had lived in our home before the other two became a part of our family. Here are the steps we took to help our babies get used to their new brother and sister:

1.) We kept the new kittens confined to one room with a litterbox and their food. We, of course, visited them as much as possible! Letting the original cat(s) roam around their domain will not make them suffer too much change, while helping them get used to the smell of the new cat (s).

2.)Once the first two boys spent about a week sniffing out the door to where the other kittens were staying, we let them into the kittens room while the kittens roamed around the rest of the house. This helped each set of cats get used to the scent of the opposite set of cats.

3.) Next, we put the kittens in a cage and allowed the elder cats to see and smell them. You may notice some hissing, and this is where you need to use your judgment. You may have to repeat this step several times until hissing/awkward behavior subsides.

4.) Once your cat(s) appear to be comfortable with one another you can allow them to "meet" each other face to face. You MUST watch them closely during this stage of the game. If hissing/scratching/fighting ensues, then you may need to start back at Step 1. Again, watch closely and use your judgment -- only you can know what will work for your animals.

Keep in mind that cats are sensitive, just like humans. Be sure to pay extra attention to your original cat(s), seeing as how he or she is the one who is more likely to feel neglected or uneasy. Reassure him that he is still your baby and that this is his home, too!

Shared by carolineshannon on 9/4/08