Although adopting an additional cat to a household may seem exciting for the family, that feeling can often be one-sided. Most cats are solitary by nature, so it might take them a while to eventually accept or tolerate another cat suddenly coming into the picture. Besides their solitary disposition, cats can also be very territorial. Therefore, you should take their temperament and personality into consideration during this process.


Reassure your current cat

When you introduce a new cat to your current cat, always make sure you give a lot of affection to your current cat. This way, your cat will feel more secure and know that she/he is not in competition with your new cat. Introductions can be short or long depending on if there are signs of aggression.

If you are introducing kittens to one another, the entire introduction process can be as little as 10 to 15 days (about 2 weeks). For adults, expect this time to be twice as much.

Provide a safe room

When you bring your new cat home, you should provide them with a safe room until you have finished introducing both cats. The goal here is to use a room that your current cat does not go in. Your safe room can be a bathroom, spare, or any small room in your home. In the room, you should leave your new cat a bed, litter box, scratching post, water, and food dish.

Allow both cats to express themselves

At first, your current cat may stand at the door and begin to hiss or howl. This is just a way for him to communicate he is not ready to accept the other cat. When this type of behavior happens, you should try to ignore it, as punishing your cat may only lead to more problems. In time, the first cat will gradually start to be more relaxed when he is near the new cat’s door. As he starts to act calm, you should reward him with a gentle pet or other forms of affection.

Get them use to each other’s scent

When your first cat is able to go by your new cat’s door without howling or hissing; you can start introducing them to one another. Getting them familiar with each other’s scent, is one of the best ways you can accomplish this. You can start letting them eat out of the same food dish, however, do not allow them to feed together right away. Instead, try to feed them at different intervals. This way, the scent from each cat will be present at the food dish, and each cat will get the scent when he eats his food.

Once both cats have gotten familiar with each other’s scent, you can start feeding them closer together and at the same time. An effective way of accomplishing this is by using a door as a temporary barrier. Keep your new cat in the “safe room” with the door closed, and the other cat on the opposite side with his food dish. Do this a few times, and they should start eating without any hissing or growling. At this point, they are ready for the introductions.

Introducing both cats in the same room

When you first introduce them in the same room, a bit of hissing or growling may occur, this is expected. Although, both cats may have gotten used to each other’s scent; your first cat may still feel a bit of uneasiness about having a new feline in his territory.

You can overcome some of this awkwardness by playing with both of them at first. This is also a safe way for them to smell and greet each other in their own way. At the same time, you should monitor their behavior. If they start to fight, break them up, and give them some time apart.

It may take some time for you to get them fully used to one another, especially the first cat. Even so, cats are also very social creatures. If you manage to get them acquainted early on, it should be a lot easier to add future cats to your home. Once they get familiar with each other, they will become playmates for life.