We’ve compiled this guide to walk you through the best way to introduce two cats to each other.
The fastest way to introduce one cat to another
The fastest way to introduce two cats to each other can also be the slowest way if not done correctly. Therefore, it’s important to note that you cannot rush the process of introducing one cat to another.
Even if your cat has already lived with another cat in the past, it’s vital that you take things nice and slow. Particularly, if you’re introducing a cat after one of your cats has passed away within the past year or so. Another reason to be more patient would be if a human or dog friend moved away or died.
Simple steps on how to introduce two cats to each other
Rushing through the process could result in lasting bad first impressions and tension between the two cats. Instead, you need to make sure that you follow this process so that the two cats become the best of friends!
Here’s our feline best friend recipe…
1. Time, time and more time!
Humans have different personalities and do things at different speeds. It’s no different with cats.
Different cats will take varying amounts of time to acclimatise to their new surroundings. Remember that you need to give them time to settle in and feel safe.
As a result, you cannot throw the two cats into the same room. To introduce two cats properly, place the new cat into a separate closed room with no way to escape. Give the new cat everything that it needs: a bed, water, food, scratching post and a litter box.
While the cat is in the new room, it will allow it to become accustomed to the new smells, surroundings and even things like temperature and humidity.
During this step, you should introduce your resident cat’s belongings. For example, things that your current cat sleeps on or laid in. The scent is one of the strongest cat scenes; making this a necessary and essential step.
After some time, you should also start to do the opposite. Take items that the new cat slept on, and place them in your house where your resident feline can get used to the scent.
A bonus trick you could do is to take a damp piece of cloth and rub the current cat’s cheeks and pads (scent glands). Take the cloth and rub it on areas where they spend time (eg. windowsills, chairs and beds). Doing this twice a day will help your current cat feel safe around the new scents introduced from the new cat.
You’ll know your cat is becoming curious and more confident when they start to sniff the doorway of the room you’re keeping the new cat in. When the two cats are introduced, they’ll both be relieved to finally meet the source of the new scent.
2. Briefly show the cats to each other
One or two days after you’ve placed the new cat into the separate room, try opening the door open an inch so that the two cats can momentarily see each other.
Judge the two cats’ reactions, and move onto the next step if neither cat showed any aggression/anger. You may need to repeat the door part a few times to make the cats feel more comfortable in the presence of each other before you properly introduce two cats.
When both cats react to each other in a calm way, you should allow your new cat time outside of the separate room. However, ensure that your old cat cannot meet them during this time. It’s a vital step when introducing two cats to each other.
Going out into the main part of their new home will allow them to become accustomed to your other rooms, surroundings and smells.
3. First meeting!!!
Finally, the cats get to meet each other. Exciting!
If possible, the first introducing between the two new cats should be with your new cat in a large pen/cage.
If you don’t have a pen, then ask a family member for help (this is very important). While you’re with the current cat away from the room, your helper should open the door to the new cat’s room.
However, if you do have a large pen or cage, then allow both cats to approach each other up to the walls and see what they do. You should obviously take your existing cat away from the cage if it tries to attach the new cat in the pen.
Whether using a pen or a friend for help, watch the two cats and see how they react to each other. If they’re both calm, you should reward them with treats. Giving them treats at this stage will make them associate the meeting as a positive experience.
With time, both cats will get used to the presence of each other. Rushing or forcing the cat introduction will only make the process longer and more stressful for your feline friends.
As mentioned before, cats have different personalities; just like humans. Your cats can either become best friends or simply learn to tolerate each other when you introduce two cats.
If after some time the cats don’t get on, contact us for more advice. Alternatively, you can seek the help of several specialist organisations. These include:
- The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (worldwide)
- Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (UK)
- Animal Behaviour and Training Council (UK)
- American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (USA)