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How to Introduce a Second Cat

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Have more than one litter box and more than one scratching post in the environment. The litter boxes and scratching posts shouldn’t be in the same room because you don’t want one cat having to cross another cat’s path. Place important resource items in each cat’s preferred area. This will give the cats more choice and often helps when it comes to a peaceful co-existence.

Continue to do the mealtime training where the cats eat in the presence of each other but keep in mind that they may never feel comfortable enough to eat out of the same bowl. It’s a good idea to feed in separate bowls anyway because it’ll train them for the possibility in the future of one cat having to be on a special nutritional program.

Remember… Don’t Rush the Cat Introduction

I always advise clients to go at the pace of the most stressed-out of the cats. If one cat is ready and willing to make friends but the other cat isn’t, you have to go at the pace of the unhappy kitty. New cat introductions take time but it’s worth it to increase the odds of helping these two cats develop a good relationship.

Need More Information?

You can find the latest information on cat behavior in the new book, CatWise, by best-selling author Pam Johnson-Bennett. In CatWise, Pam answers 150 of the most-asked cat behavior questions. You can find Pam’s books in bookstores everywhere, through your favorite online book retail site and also right here on our website.

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You can find more information on cat behavior and training in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s best-selling books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s behavior or health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care. This article is for information purposes only and not offering medical advice or providing a medical diagnosis.

4 comments

  1. hi Pam,
    I have two bonded neutered male cats, aged 7 and 8. I have taken in a cat that belonged to my best friend, who has died. Her husband is allergic and travels. The new cat (neutered male) is around 6 years old, and pretty mellow. He is in a spare bedroom at present. I let my cats sniff him through a crack in the door. The first day, the 7 year old peed on my dining room floor….and was totally freaked out, running and hiding. He’s usually pretty alpha.My other cat, generally mellow, crashed through the baby gate I put up after about a week, and cornered New Cat under the bed, where they hissed and growled at each other. New Cat has been here for almost 2 weeks, with little forward movement on the part of my first two. At least the peeing stopped. But what to do? I’ve never had so much trouble integrating cats!
    Thanks for any advice.

  2. We found a stray kitten in a tree at our home. He is in isolation in a separate bedroom until I can get him vet checked next week. I already have 3 adult cats, all related Mom,10 yrs oldm & her two grown kittens – 8 yrs old). Do I introduce kitten to all three at same time in methods you mentioned?? Bray Cook, Hudson, FL.

  3. Hi,
    I adopted a 8 week old female kitten 2 weeks ago. My resident cat, a 3 year old female was not too impressed. She took to hiding and hissing every time the baby would come to close. She also has become very hesitant with me and won’t come into my room all that often, whereas before she was my shadow.

    However, after very little progress today I got them to play with the same rope, the big cat hiding under the bed and using her paws to grab the rope from around the bed and the little one just running around. There were a few hisses from under the bed but she didn’t stop playing for even a second.

    My question is whether this is progress or not? And if I continue this play therapy is there hope for things to get better between the two?

  4. I have a 1 year old male cat called Kygo, thought with us working it would be a good idea to get him a little friend, so we got a female kitten called Khleo.
    We introduced them through a gate and they just smelled each other so let them see each other, kittens fine loves playing with him does hiss when he moves really fast, but Kygo goes into pouncing position and runs over and paws her but no claws! Is he playing or trying to hurt her??
    Also any suggestions on helping them get on best as possible.

    Thank you in advance

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