Animal shelters must screen their cats for health and temperament, whereas pet adoption ads posted on the Web or in newspapers by individuals are usually unregulated. Adopting a new cat from a shelter is therefore often the best, safest option.read more
If you’re bringing a new kitten home, it’s only proper that you should formally introduce this newest family member to the rest of the cats in your multi-cat household. If everything goes smoothly, you’ll avoid many problems in the future.
After your vet clears your new cat, take him home in a carrier and put a blanket or a shirt of yours in there so he knows your scent is safe. He’s about to come across a lot of unfamiliar smells, and he might be left wondering where he’s safe and where he’s not.
Be aware that it takes time for adult cats to accept a newcomer. There will always be hissing and other cat “complaints.” This is normal and will not hurt anyone, if properly supervised. There will be a need for separate rooms or time-outs initially. Within a week or two, the hissing and behavioral mishaps usually stop.
For the first two weeks, never leave the new cat or kitten alone with the other cats. If you leave the house, put the new kitten in his own room with water, food, a litter box and any other essentials. Let the other cats have the run of the house as they normally would. Also, let the alumnae cats have their usual privileges and/or routine at night, and keep the new kitten in the separate room. This helps with the process of acceptance.
Once the initial introductory shock wears off and the cats begin to settle down, then you can let your new family member stay out for the night and see how they fare together. After this, you’ll know when the time is right to leave them all out on their own while you’re away.
Follow these steps when you’re introducing a new cat to a multi-cat household, and you’ll eventually have multiple cats living in harmony.
Jaime Lynn Smith is an accomplished writer and pet owner from Cleveland, Ohio. She owns the popular pets blog ThoughtsFurPaws.com and frequently volunteers at local and national pet welfare organizations.