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

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


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


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