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Introducing a new cat to your old cat  

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
We get quite a few people who write in asking for the best way to bring a new cat into the household. My advice is to read the excellent article written by our very own Hissy.
Introducing Cats

The way I have introduced new cats to my household was to follow the steps below. The most important thing is to go slow. The slower you take it, the more likely you will be to be successful.

First, put the new kitty in her own room. She will need to stay there for a couple of weeks, so make sure it is comfortable for her with litter box, water, and food. This will allow your old cats to get used to the sounds and smells of a new cat without having their territory invaded.

After a couple of days, start trading scents between the cats. Rub the new cat (especially around the cheeks) with a slightly damp towel and then go rub the old cats with the same towel (and vice versa). This way they will associate the scent of the new cat with good things (being rubbed and getting attention). Do this several times daily.

After one week, lock up your old cats and let the new cat out for the night or for a few hours. Do not yet allow the new and old cats to be together. Do this for one week.

By the end of week two, your old cats are going to be really curious about what is going on with the cat behind the door. You can try bringing the new cat out with the old cats for brief visits. As soon as the new cat comes out, give them all some tuna or some other really yummy treat. This way they associate great things with the other cat. Put the new cat back in her room after a brief period of time. Make sure you keep any aggression from occurring (GENTLY toss a pillow at the aggressor).

Gradually increase the amount of time the cats are together. I recommend keeping new kitty in her room over night for at least a third week. When the cats are out together, make sure you give lots of attention to the old cats so they know that they are the top kitties.

Expect lots of hissing and perhaps a swat here and there. But...this should keep any real aggression from occurring. The hissing will stop once they establish their hierarchy and get used to each other.

Most importantly....have lots of patience and take things sloooooowly!
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
If you have a technique that has proven successful, please add it to this thread!
post #3 of 27
I did the perfume trick and it worked PURRFECT.

I just misted my hands lightly with my perfume and let them air dry. Then I petted the new kitties and the old kitties. They sniffed each other and hissed alittle but they were friends with in minutes@!
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
For those of us who don't wear perfume, Hissy suggests putting a dab of vanilla extract under each cat's chin and at the base of each cat's tail (on top, not on their bottom). This way both cats smell the same....since cats are so scent driven, they are less threatened when the other cat smells the same way they do!
post #5 of 27
I used the excellent ideas in the article to introduce my cats (one is VERY territorial) to my husband's cat when I moved into his house. I kept my cats in a separate room for an entire month, being very careful not to rush the process because of my territorial boy, and the fact that my cats and my husband's cat are all older.

I also used the Feliway plug-in in the room where I kept my cats, and sprayed Feliway spray around the house. For the scent, I used some perfume that is safe for cats that I bought on Ebay called "Oh My Cat?" (did this before I heard about the vanilla extract). I also still keep a bag of soft cat treats out, and whenever my territorial cat & hubby's cat come near one another I give them treats & catnip.

Whew! Not a single fight! They just walk by one another & sniff a little, then go on their way.

You guys are for being so helpful. MA's article was a great help!
post #6 of 27
I'm going to be doing this in exactly one week so here are some questions.

What is Feliway spray / plug-in?
If my cat is used to being outside do I still keep him in 4 a month
What if he goes mad to get out to the garden?
post #7 of 27
Here's a link that explains Feliway - it's a pheromone spray that is supposed to help calm cats & reduce marking.
www.feliway.com

Is it your existing cat that is an outdoor cat, or your new one coming to the house that is used to being outside?
post #8 of 27
Thanks for the feliway link I have just ordered some.

In answer to your question, both cats are used to being outside. The new cat to the house is out for most of the day he goes stir crazy if I try to keep him in. It may be very hard work. I'm worried it will make him more stressed out not being allowed out.

Help
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
The main idea is to keep them separate. So, as long as new cat is outside and old cat is inside that is fine. When it is time for new cat to come inside, simply carry him to "his" room so he can remain separate. You can try leaving the door to "his" room open while he is out so that old cat can explore his room and the smells he has left in the room and so old cat can leave a little of her own scent in the room. This might even speed things up a little!
post #10 of 27
excellent idea. Thanks for that. I'll give it a go.
post #11 of 27
I did this to introduce 2 new kittens to our older cat and it works What everone has to understand is, you have to have PATIENCE. DO not rush the intro of the cats and it will work. Our intro for our cat, BK to the 2 new kittens took a month and now he is MOTHERING the kittens. BK is a male, who has been neutered and he cleans the kittens (their bottoms) and sits and watches them. It is so cute to see this.
Clara
post #12 of 27
aaaahhhhh!! How cute. I hope I have as good an outcome.
post #13 of 27
BUMP for the people asking about introducing new cats....
post #14 of 27
Hmm...mods, can we maybe make this a "sticky" thread?
post #15 of 27
Having as many cats as I have, and having done a lot of introductions over the years, I know my older cats' behavior well enough to know how each will react to a kitten. I will bring the kitten into the back porch with the door shut to the house.

Bogart (almost 13) is my prince. I usually let him in within the first 24 hours. He will walk up to the kitten and start grooming them immediately. They get supervised time together for the first few days.

Stumpy (age 8) is next. He is the alpha male, but generally loves kittens. He will first swat the kitten (gently) to let them know who is boss, then start grooming them. Stumpy is territorial, but his territory is the entire house. Bogart, Stumpy and the new kitten get supervised time together for a few days.

Once Stumpy accepts the kitten, it is typically OK to let them into the big house. He will correct any bad behavior in other cats.

I would not use this technique if I didn't trust Bogart and Stumpy so completely. They have never failed me.

I will be introducing a new kitten next weekend. I will add to this technique introductions to my 16 week old kittens Muddy and Koko. The new kitten appears to have the same personality as Koko, and I am making the leap of faith that they will become best friends.
post #16 of 27
I clicked on the link and was advised the URL is no longer available. How can I get Hissy's article?
post #17 of 27
Here you go, when we went to the new design the url was changed

http://www.thecatsite.com/cat_behavi...=introductions
post #18 of 27
*Bumping the thread up for those facing this situation.

I'd also like to update my post about the 2 males just walking by & sniffing each other, and not fighting at all...

I'ts been almost a year now & still no fights, and the boys are actually buddies now - they play & wrestle together. It's been well worth the effort to take the introductions slowly, & do things right! Thanks for everyone's wonderful ideas, and Hissy's article.
post #19 of 27
Very cool advice. I'm brand new and just posted in the behavioral category regarding cat trauma or amnesia. Please check it out. I am having to re-introduce a cat that was lost and am having problems. I will slow way down. Your tips sound logical and I am hopeful. Please let me know if you have any ideas on my cat amnesia question. ALSO, I'd like to hear MORE feedback on prozac or valium for my traumatized cat.
post #20 of 27
I've just 'bonded' my new kitten with my cat, and they love each other now

Without a doubt patience, and always put your resident cat first so she/he doesn't feel left out.
post #21 of 27
I have a 2.5 year old male cat (neutered). I just adopted another 1 year old male cat, recently neutered. I followed the guidelines in Hissy's article about introducing new cats to resident cats, and am not having much success. I have had the new cat for 3 weeks, and every meeting with the old cat is a slug fest. The new cat chases the old cat, and the old cat runs - so the new cat chases more, and eventually they fight. So far we have gotten away with just a scratch on the nose, but I'm afraid it will get worse. Is there something I'm not doing? I'm in need of advice. I desperately don't want to return the new cat to the shelter, but I don't want my old cat to have to constantly defend himself. Is it hopeless or should I keep trying?
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedokitties
I used the excellent ideas in the article to introduce my cats (one is VERY territorial) to my husband's cat when I moved into his house. I kept my cats in a separate room for an entire month, being very careful not to rush the process because of my territorial boy, and the fact that my cats and my husband's cat are all older.

I also used the Feliway plug-in in the room where I kept my cats, and sprayed Feliway spray around the house. For the scent, I used some perfume that is safe for cats that I bought on Ebay called "Oh My Cat?" (did this before I heard about the vanilla extract). I also still keep a bag of soft cat treats out, and whenever my territorial cat & hubby's cat come near one another I give them treats & catnip.

Whew! Not a single fight! They just walk by one another & sniff a little, then go on their way.

You guys are for being so helpful. MA's article was a great help!
Do you have to use the diffuser and the spray? Or will just the diffuser work?
post #23 of 27
Our Tobis 2.5 year old neutralised male was the center of our attention for 2 years. He does not like other cats, as when he was young, he was attacked by a neighbours female cat. We got outside in time for him being hurt not physically, but emotionally. When he grew up we thought he is getting on well with dogs, sometimes even chasing and teasing them, but he had always had a safe place to go to - home.
Recently we have adopted a stray female cat. She is fully grown up, around 1 y.o. but a size of 4 month old kitten. She displays some agressive behavior of growling ( like a lion)- never seen cats doing that before. Since we adopted her on our way home from a family holiday and Tobis at that time was looked after by our family member in there house, we had to leave him there for 5 weeks , while our new kitty recovering from desexing surgery and getting to know a new place.
We thought that Tobis will give her a hard time, but it happened opposite.
He is twice as big as her and twice as old, but he is allowing her to growle at him , and he would not eat in her presence.
A week later after adopting a new kitty, Nimmitabel we called her, we adopted a stray dog. She walked into our yard and stayed there. Yana is a cross with greyhound. We had our concerns about cats and dogs but dog trainers told us that it is possible.

So while Tobis was away a new dog Yana and cat Nimmitabel made friends. Yana does not attempt to chase house cats but shows a friendly interest in them.
Now, when we have Tobis back, he is scared to come home. We all feel bad,
as we love Tobis, and he is a very affectionate cat, but we have to feed him outside. And he sleeps in our neighbours yard.
I would appreciate any suggestions on how to make our Tobis feel comfortable with his new sisters.
He likes to sleep indoors, but at night he runs outside.
post #24 of 27
So... I have a question. What do I do if my new cat & old cat have already met, and I didnt do the above suggestions?

I will appologize now for not doing this before.
post #25 of 27
I am going through this now and reading your tips are helping. I know that my friend used tuna jiuce right on a little kitten and the older cat licked it off which was great, they got along fine. In my case though these cats are both spayed females about 5 years old. Will 2 females ever get along?
post #26 of 27
Because of the hurricane situation, it has been necessary to introduce two new female cats to a household of three (2 female/1male) cat, far too rapidly. The agression however, has been between the two female residents--one of whom has decided to actually attack the other resident, while only growling at the newcomers (who pay her little mind). I've never heard of this turning on one's own--what can be done to stop it?
post #27 of 27
I need help! Have two furry boys already (Ivan and Frisby) both a year old. Just got a new kitten today(female 6 weeks old) Did not know about separating them at first. Boys are not too thrilled with the new baby. No violence yet just a lot of hissing, growling and running on the boys part. Tried the perfume thing but the boys won't go near her. She doesn't seem to care much what they do. Any suggestions? I wasn't home when my husband brought Frisby home and he's out of town now. How long until they get along?
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