So, you’ve decided or may be thinking about adding another cat to your family. Who could blame you? Cat’s bring so much joy and companionship into the lives of people all over the world. However, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to go about introducing a new cat to another cat. Well, in the hopes of helping you make this kind of transition as smooth as possible, below are a few tips to consider, as you move forward with your new family addition.
Selecting Another Cat
To start, it would be ideal to try and select a cat that has a temperament that compliments the cat that’s already living with you. Consider the things your cat likes to do. If she’s energetic/frisky and likes to play around a lot, then finding a companion that has a similar temperament would help them to get along better. If you have a cat that is a little more laid back, then it’s possible that another cat that likes to romp around, might be irritating to her. 

Another factor to consider is whether or not your cat is used to being around other pets. If she is, then acclimating her to another cat will be a little easier, than if she were the type of cat that rarely comes in contact with other animals.

Solve Problems Before They Start
When you’re introducing cats to each other, it’s important to anticipate problems that may arise. Taking the time to prepare prior to the first meeting, will help to make things go smoothly. Here are some tips to consider for your preparations.
Neutral Corners
It would help if you set up separate spaces for both cats. Each should have water, food, a scratching post and a litter box. Make sure each cat’s territory has cozy places to relax and plenty of natural light.

Hiding Places
Try to establish hiding places for both cats, within their separate areas. The hiding places will give your kitties a place to duck for cover, if they feel threatened. Consider using cardboard boxes, cutting holes out of either side to provide an entrance and an exit. Once your cats begin playing together, these hiding places will come in handy.

Check For Signs of Anxiety
When you bring your new cat home, place her in her designated territory and do the same with your first cat. As they get used to the new living arrangements, try to play with each cat at least 60 minutes daily—separately. Check for signs of anxiety. If they are showing mild signs of anxiety, then give them time to get used to the new situation. If while playing, they become aggressive, hides away, doesn’t eat or displays any other signs of severe stress over a period of a few days, talk with a veterinarian about the issue.

Trading Spaces
If your cats are becoming well acclimated to the new situation, then take the new cat and put it in a different room, with a similar set-up. After a few days, allow your first cat to enter the room, where your new cat used to stay and vice versa. This technique allows your cats to get used to each others smells.

Cats have glands that release a chemical called pheromones. Felines use pheromones as a form of communication. Once a cat brushes her cheek against a furniture or a wall, she leaves behind information about herself. 

Pheromones can also be calming and can help to reduce anxiety. Furthermore, scientist have found a way to synthetically reproduce pheromones that can calm your cat and help her be more susceptible to meeting other pets. Synthetic Calming Pheromones are available as a spray or a plug-in diffuser.

An ideal way to use pheromones, is by rubbing each cat’s cheek with a separate cloth or a blanket. Then give each cat the others cloth/blanket to rest on or use for play. This is yet another way to introduce the cats through smell.

You can also try to diffuse a common area with synthetic pheromones, to help your cats be more amicable upon meeting.

Behind Closed Doors
Now you can begin to bring your cats closer together, by putting them on either side of a closed door. This way, they can get a better sense of each other, without actually having to see each other.

After that they are acclimated to each other’s scents from behind a closed door, try opening the door about two inches—you can also try a baby gate. This will allow them the opportunity to see each other for the first time. If their initial reactions are positive and they seem to be curious about one another, then it’s okay to let them meet. Push the door open and pay close attention to them.

Not Love At First Sight?
If it’s not love at first sight and they don’t instantly take to each other, take them away from each other. Start again, performing the same process, but slower. When they get to a point, where they’re used to smelling each other through the door, try to once again introduce each other in a big common room.

When you use the common room, try to keep each cat on opposite sides. You can do this with another person. Both of you should play with and give your cats treats. If you do not have a helper, try using a cat carrier, placing the calmer cat in the carrier with cat food. While one cat is in the carrier eating, play with the other cat. Slowly, over time and many sessions, begin to bring them together—giving them treats for good behavior. After a while, they’ll realize that there’s nothing to fear from each other and they will ideally become acclimated with one another. 

In conclusion, patience is important when “Introducing A New Cat To Another Cat.” Try not to rush your cats into being best buds, this can only contribute to anxiety. A relaxed and calm cat doesn’t feel rushed or forced, but takes things at his own pace. If you allow them to gradually become familiar with one another, they’ll have a better chance at coexisting. Thanks for reading.

Note: The above techniques are ideas/tips for you to consider. Consult a qualified veterinarian for the best strategy to “Introducing A New Cat To Another Cat”.