Introducing a new cat into the home can be a scary thing not just for your new cat but for the other cats that already live there. Throwing them all in together and expecting them to be friends will not work. Neither will keeping them apart for ever in the house. The key is time and patience and almost always the cats will eventually get along.

When you bring a new cat home it is best to set up a room for them where they can be shut away to start with. The room should have plenty of space for them to walk around in and have a litter tray, water, food, bed and a few toys in. Allow your other cats the rest of the house like normal so not to upset what they already know. Then each day make several trips into the room where your new cat is and cuddle them and play with them. The idea of the first week is to just settle your new cat into their new home. Make sure you still pay attention to your other cats though by playing with them and hugging them.

After a week or so allow your new cat out for a few hours during the day or evening with your supervision with the others. Never keep them all in a confined space as if a fight breaks out more damage can be done as there is less space for them to get away from each other. One way of getting them to interact without realising they are playing together is by playing with them all with toys. This takes their mind off who they are with. If things get a bit heated just take your new cat back to his room, give him a cuddle and try again the next day. Same goes for the cats already in the house… make sure you cuddle them.

Slowly you should find over the next few weeks they start to put up with each other longer and longer. During this stage though you should still never leave them alone by leaving the house. Not only could one of your kitty’s get hurt but you could find a yourself with a bill from the vets for treatment which is unnecessary as it does not need to happen!

After a few weeks you should find your cats have bonded enough to be allowed together all the time. It might take a bit longer, you might find they bond a bit quicker but whichever way round it is just be patient, do not shout at your cats and allow time for them to get along.

You will soon find you have some very happy cats as they realise they have new friends.

Robyn Lang

Cat Activity Centre