How to introduce a new cat – Transcript

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.

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. It's very important that your new cat first settles into a room on their ow, 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. 

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 2 to 3 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.

Spread your new cat 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. 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. 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 coexistence 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.

That was our advice on how to introduce a new cat the Battersea way. For more hints and tips head to the Battersea website and follow our social channels