Maybe not the most logical subject to be approached first, but I promised you I will write about how to introduce a new cat or kitty to your other cat. So here we are!
When we decided to adopt a second cat, and not even when we took Bhumi from the foster family, we didn’t really think this through. We took it as a very natural thing, one of those you don’t think about them anymore because you take them for granted. So I found myself, with Annelien (Toni & Waldo’s mommy), with two cats and having no idea what to do with them ? Then, of course we quickly googled it to see what are the different ways of introducing two cats to each other. Here’s what we did and what worked for us:
Shock therapy – highly not recommended, but the first on we have tried. ? Well, as you might have guessed, this means that you put the two cats in direct and immediate contact with each other and expect them to be bff from first. That’s what I did at first, and it went rather well: Sharu was curios about the new comer and Bhumi couldn’t wait to get playing already. That was about for a minute ? Then we realised that Sharu can actually blow and scratch. Not too violently though, but enough to scare the small one.
Keep them in separate rooms at night and when home-alone – I’ve read that “cats never forget”, therefore until they get along well, you don’t want to leave them together and alone. In case they fight or anything happens, they will not forget and will be 1000x harder to get them back together. So, in the first 2-3 nights we’ve kept Bhumi with us in the bedroom at night and we continuously supervised them during the day.
Spread the new smell around your house – take a towel, rub it on the new cat, and then put it around the house, especially in places where the other cat sleeps. It will allow the older cat to get used with the kitty by feeling his presence around the house.
Sound therapy – is the one that worked the best for us. Thijs found this youtube link and he played it while keeping Bhumi near by the phone. So it looked like Bhumi (who doesn’t yet know how to meow) ws making all those sad cries. Sharu reacted instantly, she started looking around, meowing back and coming closer and closer to Bhumi. We did this like 4-5 times and then we show them playing together. I don’t know if this is like a miraculous soundtrack or if it will work with all cats, but for us it did and it really made our life easier.
Other strategies I’ve found online and are very popular in the cat-lovers community:
Let them discover through a door over a few days (up to two weeks)
Keep the new cat in one of those big (dog) cages for few days and let the other cat to be curious without direct contact
Now they are doing fine. The small one is a bit too curious and too active for Sharu, and that doesn’t always end up well. But they never fought so far, and they’re still alive ?
How did you do it? Any tips for us? Leave your comments below and let’s share experiences.
Disclaimer: Don’t expect your cats to be best friends and bear in mind that they have different characters and personalities (just like us), so it might not always work out from first. You know your cat the best, you judge what you can try or not!