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


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


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