Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introducing a New Cat into Your Home

Image via KrittersThatTwitter.com
My friend Lisa Illman at Kritters That Twitter is going through the process of introducing a new kitten to Abigail, her seven year old female tabby. Those of you who follow Lisa’s blog know that yesterday started out not-so-good, but ended on a much better note.

Introducing a new cat into your feline household is always a challenge. Having acquired five adult cats and four kittens in the past four years, I’ve been through my share of hissing, growling, and swatting – so I thought I would share this article on how to introduce your new cat or kitten to your other cat(s).

Lorrie Shaw, community contributor at AnnArbor.com, suggests the following:

  • Start the process by bringing the new kitty into the house in a carrier and taking it directly into its own room set up with a litter box, food, water, a bed and a blanket.
  • Allow your new cat to acclimate for one week before attempting interaction with your other cat.
  • Use a Feliway diffuser or spray to help reduce any stress either cat is experiencing during this time. Spraying doorways and furniture can help ease the transition.
  • After a week, begin feeding the new cat and the resident cat on either side of the same door. 
  • Swap sleeping blankets between the new kitty and the resident kitty so they can become accustomed to each other’s scent.
  •  Once the new cat is using its litter box and eating regularly, allow it to explore the house while your other cat is confined. This provides another way for the cats to become accustomed to each other’s scent without meeting face-to-face.
  • Once the cats begin to interact, you should expect some hissing, growling and spitting. If either cat becomes fearful or aggressive, separate them and continue the introduction process from the beginning.
  • If a fight breaks out, throw a blanket over each cat. Wrap them carefully and remove them from the situation.

For more tips, you can read the full article at http://bit.ly/I7Qt44

Good Luck to Lisa as she continues with the introduction process of Abigail and the new kitty, who is yet to be named (you can read more about that here)! 


  1. Good post, and the link to the Indoor Cat Initiative's 38 page handout is great too...in fact, I printed it off and am sending it along with the family that are adopting Clem and Hero! Yep, one of the clients at the cat hospital where I work, came to meet them and want to adopt them both...I am tickled pink!

    1. Thanks Teri - I think it's important for new pet parents to have as much information as possible. That way they know what to expect, and they won't get discouraged and possibly give the cat(s) back.

  2. What an awesome post, I can't believe how "deer in the head lights" I was the first few days. Panicked is an understatement! Posts like this helped me through and reminded me, nothing worth it's salt is easy at first. The hard work is paying off tremendously. The two were on the same floor today for over an hour with no hissing. I do want to pick up the Feliway you mentioned above. I have heard good things, since you gave it two paws up I will be sure to grab some tomorrow!
    Thanks Vicki, your blog rocks.

    1. Glad to hear things are going better. Just give it time. xo

  3. Introducing a new member of the family can be a real challenge. I remember when we found Buster and decided to adopt him - Ty was not pleased! It took a lot of patience and some creativity, but we eventually prevailed in turning us into a slightly bigger, happy family.

    1. I think any changes in a pet's environment requires an adjustment period. And I know a few humans who also had a hard time adjusting to their new sibling!