How to introduce new cat(s) into current cat's home

phish_gwJune 21, 2011

I have an older cat and we lost his brother a few months ago. I and am considering getting either one or two new cats.

If I do this, what is the best method to introduce new cat(s) into the house? We have had a number of guest dogs and guest cats visit for weekends during my cat's life and we have usually just brought them into the house and let them meet my kitty right away and soon afterwards they have coexisted peacefully.

I don't know if I should try a new method for bringing in any new kitties? I have heard things like put the new cat(s) in a seperate room and let them smell each other. I have heard things like exchange smelly blankets during this process that smell like each other so they can get used to each other's smells. I'd appreciate any tricks of the trade you recommend!

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I've read the advice from cat behaviorists and it's ALWAYS been to keep them separated in their own room for a bit of time. I wouldn't deviate from that. It's just a week or two of required patience on your part. And it does require patience because we can't wait to see them interacting with each other. It sounds like you have a very accepting cat on your hands but you won't know the personality of the new cat(s). No matter what, all parties are going to feel a sense of stress, particularly the new guy coming into a new environment. You will reduce any chance of illness if you take it slow. Take your time to ensure they all have a happy coexistence with each other. Put the new cat(s) in a room that has a tv or computer so its easy for you to hang out in. It will give them a chance to bond with you really well.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:18AM
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The cat behaviorist might be right. But I did it the other way in our small house. I let the cats meet & then I opened the cat carrier door. I closed the bedroom doors & basement off for a few weeks. I brought up a litter pan that I cleaned to the bathroom. After two weeks, I opened back up the basement & put the pan back in the basement. Someone was not getting his butt into the pan when he peed. We opened the other doors a week later. I put out extra water & food bowls. The cat that was scare & hissed was the new 2 year old girl. It took her 6 weeks to give up & let my 11 years old boy love her. Love her he did. He now licks her on top of her head. She loves that & can't get enough! For us, a cat was better than a kitten.

One tip! I made extra time to play with my boy everynight. I sat on the floor & played with him, combed him & gave him treats, vitamins or catnip. New kitty watched us & by the third night she wanted to join us. I sat on the floor for a month.

PS, new kitty did not like our carpeted scratching post. She liked one of the laminated cardboard ones to scratch on. That was an easy addition to save the furniture. Her favorite toy is a thin bamboo stick. She chases the tip on the carpeted floor. They did not like playing in a box that I cut a small hole for a paw to come through. I thought for sure the box would be a great play time for both of them.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 3:05AM
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I read additional information on your other post where you indicated you were considering a shelter pet. I *think* most shelters now do FIV/FeLV testing when the cats come in but there is a host of other ailments you really need to concern yourself with. A co-worked adopted a kitten from a supposedly reputable shelter and the kitten had worms. However, they told her the cat had been de-wormed. I'm not trying to down shelter pets in any way, they so desperately need homes, I think they do the best they can with the volume of intake. (A cat from any source could have these). The cat you bring home could very easily have one of these viruses (they are extremely common) and not show any signs of illness on adoption day. The cat may even appear healthy at it's trip to the vet. The trouble is, the stress of the transition could cause the virus to break dormancy and it can take a few days for that to occur. Some of these things just need to run their course but it's harder to contend with when you have 2 (or 3!) dealing with it at the same time.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Cat Health Concerns

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Along the illness lines- the Vetri Lysine Plus soft chews make giving lysine so easy. You can just grind up human lysine vitamins on food, but the treats seem more precise to me. Every one of our cats, even the picky one, loves them.

I've tried the other one (not a soft chew), but only one would eat those.

My feelings about Entirely Pets are mixed, but they usually have the best price for them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lysine treats

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 1:51PM
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When I brought two new kittens into my home with one older cat, i kept them in a separate room for a while just on be on the safe side. When I could watch them , I would open the door, but had a pet gate in place so they could see and smell each other. Tommy, the older cat, hissed at them a few times at first, but now he loves them.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 3:03PM
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When I go to people's home who have cats, I always enter through the window until they get to know me. I take a lot of lysine to build up my immune system so I won't give the cats a cold. I crush up the pills and snort it. I had some in my pocket when I was arrested for burglary and the cops added additional charges. Oh, wait...that wasn't lysine. oh. never mind.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 4:23PM
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