Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm
BOOK ONLINE NOW!

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Introducing a new cat or kitten to your household

Thursday, September 01, 2016

 

Spring and summer are the peak times for bringing a new kitten or cat home. Kittens are generally better accepted by the existing cat or cats but some established cats don't like any newcomers on principle. Patience is key--the transition can take several weeks but planning ahead can reduce the stress, allow for an easier transition, and build a positive relationship between your feline companions.

Isolate your new cat in a separate room with its own food, water, litter box, bedding and toys for the first few days. Bring familiar items from the adoption centre in order to make it smell comforting and "homey" for them. Keep the carrier open so the cat has a place to hide. Isolation allows both cats to get used to the scent and sounds of the other cat without risk of confrontation. Be sure to spend a lot of time with each cat or group of cats.

Once all cats in the home seem relaxed, gradually move the food dishes closer to the door that separates them. If you notice any signs of stress, go back to the step where they were comfortable and work more slowly. You can also use a toy for them to play with under the door when they are calm and curious. If the cats are calm, take a cloth/blanket and wipe one cat and then put that cloth in the room with the other cats. Do the same for new and existing cats, so that they both can smell each other in their own areas. If this is comfortable to all cats, mix the scents on one cloth, wiping first one cat, then the other. Reward all calm behaviors with treats and praise in a soft voice.

When the cats are comfortable with the above, try a brief interaction. Crack the door open an inch so that both cats can see but not touch each other. If one cat hisses or tries to attack, close the door and back up the process, and restart more gradually. Sometimes it can be helpful to distract the cats with food. An eye and hook latch or doorstops on each side of the door might help.

When all is going well, place the new cat inside the carrier and allow the other cat(s) to see and smell the new cat more closely in a safe environment. Continue to reward calm behaviors with treats and praise in a soft voice.

If the cats seem comfortable in this environment the next step is to try placing them in the same room with direct supervision. Start introductions for brief periods making it more likely that the experiences will be positive. Remember to be patient and go back a few steps if necessary and gradually re-introduce.

Even when the cats are successfully introduced, remember that each cat needs their own resources ie food, water, bedding and litter boxes, preferably in different locations.


Search Blog

Recent Posts


Tags

weight loss abscess diuretics furballs hypertension flea treatment brown snake behaviour change fleas cage stare into space kitten vaccine virus euthanasia hunched over feliway pet insurance sudden blindness feline herpesvirus worming enclosure not eating sneeze Canberra Cat Vet poisoning arthritis dymadon head overweight touch fits sun when to go to vet holidays client night revolution face rub radioactive iodine urinating outside litter cat flu kidneys dry food itchy hyperthyroidism mass goodbye spraying vomiting poison aggression blocked cat grass fluid pills feline AIDS runny nose slow asthma information night liver cat fight roundworm photo competition comfortis vaccination appetite rigid head heaing kidney disease thiamine deficiency conflict string train cranky skinny heart disease intestine sick sore eyes mental health of cats diarrhoea renal disease kitten play ulcerated nose cat bad breath appointment blood pressure birthday wobbles stiff rough play old cat wet litter eye ulcer indoor cats adipokines paralysis lump lick teeth weight control holes activity snake foreign body pill kitten deaths blockage pred lily corneal ulcer meows a lot exercise weight anxiety best vet high blood pressure cat enclosure panleukopenia salivation award inflammatory bowel disease competition unsociable dilated pupils litter box home visit cat friendly free mince cat history blue diabetes home snakebite changed hungry paralysed pancreatitis snuffle ribbon advantage IBD scratching post bed new year tick vomit moving allergy furball hunting urinating panadol pet meat urine house call crytococcosus sense of smell straining training seizures scratch stress bump skin carrier African wild cat mouth breathing body language hunters attack strange behaviour opening hours jumping vision nose scabs panadeine gasping blood in urine cta fight heavy breathing old prey cancer toxic fireworks FIV rub tooth Hill's Metabolic hunter food puzzles check-up snot cognitive dysfunction aspirin enemies christmas tablet senses lymphoma cat behaviour runny eyes thirsty dental treatment worms echocardiography blood catoberfest fat rash calicivirus kibble herpesvirus gifts groom collapse feline enteritis breathing difficult chlamydia flea prevention scale ulcers hard faeces marking painful kittens cortisone hearing signs of pain lilly fear noisy breathing paracetamol aerokat hiding open day spray massage introducing cystitis sensitive off food holes in teeth introductions bladder urinating on curtains or carpet cryptococcosis sore toxins hairball aggressive hyperactive pain relief change spey sensitive stomach sucking wool fabric rolls visit poisonous pica dementia decision to euthanase antiviral blindness allergy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cough New Year's Eve fever pain poisons ulcer cat containment pheromone plants socialisation return home scratching blood test introduce pet whiskers desexing enteritis cat enclosures AIDS hospital headache desex health check computer lilies mycoplasma annual check on heat wool vocal twitching castration best cat clinic introduction examination holiday bladder stones urine spraying tradesmen sore ears panamax tapeworm eye infection permethrin dental check plaque litter snuffles unwell restless yowling bite tartar abscess,cat fight best clinic polish sick cat vet visit thyroid nails snakes xylitol open night cat vet discount physical activity antibiotics dental cat worms Canberra learning microchip pain killer drinking a lot biopsy anaemia petting cat eyes outdoor cat panleukopaenia RSPCA new kitten lame obesity in season flu paralysis tick obese best veterinarian skin cancer urination love eye senior odour ACT snake bite kidney diet new cat blind breeder behaviour joints tumour hole insulin fight FORLS prednisolone constipation poisonous plants grooming checkup depomedrol drinking more

Archive

A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions