How To Introduce Cats

26 May 2023

The way cats are introduced to each other can often make or break their relationship. Here are some tips on how to give your cats the best chance of getting along.

Two cats peer at each other through a glass door


Introducing Cats To Each Other In Three Simple Steps

 

View the how to introduce cats transcript here. 

Step 1: Pheromone Diffusers

Before bringing your new cat home, place synthetic pheromone diffusers, such as Feliway, in your new cat's settling room and areas of the home where your existing cat spends most of their time. These products mimic the pheromones cats leave behind when they rub their cheeks on furniture and people and can help them feel more secure in their environment. 

Get Your Free Pet Care Guide

Our free guide is packed with expert advice and answers to all your questions on toxic foods, body language, training, and brain games for your pet. We’ve even included recipes for making pet-safe homemade treats and toys.

Step 2: Settling Room

It's very important that your new cat first settles into a room on their own, preferably one that your existing cat doesn't use much. They should have everything they need; a litter tray, food and water bowls, resting and hiding places, and a scratching post.
 

Step 3: Scent Swapping

Allow your cats to get to know each other through scent swapping. Place a blanket used by your existing cat, in your new cat's settling room, away from their main resources, like food and water bowls, about two to three days after your new cat’s arrival. Then, do the same the other way around. Each cat will investigate in their own time, but you could put a few treats around the blanket for a positive association.
 

Step 4 : Spreading their Scent

Spread your new cat’s scent around your home by gently stroking their chin and cheeks with a soft cloth then rubbing it on vertical surfaces and furniture at your cat’s height. This will help establish your new cat as a familiar presence for your existing one.
 

Step 5: Visual Introduction

Once your new cat is settled in their room, it's time to visually introduce both cats to each other. With your new cat remaining in the room, start by slightly opening the door and securing it with a door wedge so they can see each other. Observe how they react to each other, but make sure to supervise these interactions closely.
 

Step 6: Supervised Meeting

If both cats appear to be comfortable and curious of each other after a few visual introductions, fully open the door, and, whilst under supervision, allow them to meet. Never force cats to interact. If they ignore each other or appear disinterested, this is a really good sign! Cats aren’t naturally social so sometimes co-existence is as good as it gets. To prevent them from fixating on each other, offer treats or toys as a distraction. If supervised meetings go well, allow your cats to interact on their own. Make sure you leave your new cat’s settling room available throughout this process, in case they get overwhelmed — a safe space to retreat to will help them feel reassured.

With careful planning and good resource provisions, it's possible to establish a harmonious relationship between your cats. 

If you feel that your cats are not getting on, then get in touch with us for further advice.