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

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

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