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

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

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