Did you know that the average house cat spends its whole life without meeting another cat?
It’s no wonder that meeting a new cat can be incredibly stressful, even scary, for your current cat. And it will be no easier for the new guest. Not only are they up against a new environment, but also a cat who knows all the best hiding places.
A gradual and methodical introduction of these cats can be essential to ensuring a lasting friendship.
Here’s what to do:
The first exposure your cats should have to each other is through their scent, paired with food, to create a positive association.
Once both cats are eating directly on either side of the door without showing signs of fear, it is time to let them start seeing each other during mealtimes.
Once both cats are eating directly on either side of the door with visual contact, without showing signs of fear, it is time to allow supervised interactions. This will be easiest with two people.
Eventually as the length of these sessions increase and you start to trust your cats around each other, you can allow your cats to roam freely around the home. It is wise to continue to monitor their interactions periodically, but hopefully, as a result of your careful, methodical introduction, your cats will coexist peacefully and hopefully become the best of friends!
Toronto Humane Society offers Feline Behaviour Consultations for a wide range of challenges, including inter-cat aggression. To learn more about what we offer, visit us here.
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