When introducing your cat to a new environment, it’s important to let them explore every inch of the place in order to feel secure in their surroundings. Cats thrive in environments that bring a sense of comfort, so let them take the time they need to become familiar with the space. Whether you’re bringing home your first, second, or sixth cat, it’s essential to be prepared.
Here’s how to introduce a cat into your household:
Prepare a Safe Room or Area
A safe and comfortable room or designated section in your home will help your cat become well adjusted to the new scents and sounds of their new environment. Oftentimes, new cats get nervous, so it’s beneficial to provide places to hide. Draped sheets or boxes make great hiding spots. If you adopt a shy cat, it’s recommended to temporarily remove large furniture from the room. This will allow you to easily interact with your cat who may be hiding. It’s also recommended to place one of your clothing items in their room so that they can become familiar with your scent in their safe place.
Food, Water, Litter, & Toys
Place food and water on one side of the room and their litter box on the other. Place toys around the room for your cat to play with when you are not around. Some cats may not eat much in the first 24-48 hours due to nerves. Remember that this is typical of cats that are nervous and shy. After 48 hours try feeding your cat delicious treats such as canned tuna. If they are still not eating at this point, consult your vet.
Spend Time With Your Cat
It’s important to frequently interact with your cat when you first bring them home. Spending time with your cat can mean petting, playing, or even reading a book in their presence. Your cat will most likely be nervous in the beginning and can growl back at you. In these situations, it’s best to speak in a soft voice and give them alone time.
How To Introduce Cats To Other Cats
Introductions take time and they should not be rushed, especially if you want your resident cat and new cat to have a good relationship. Their first introduction should be of their scents. Let your cats become familiar with each other’s scents by having them on opposite sides of the door. After a few days, start to exchange the bedding between your new and old cat. Once they become familiar with the scents, organize a carrier meeting. Let the cats sniff each other while your new cat is sitting inside their carrier. If all goes well, they can meet face-to-face. Leave the door open to your new cat’s area, so that they can meet at their own pace.