Congratulations on adding a new cat or kitten to your home! More often than not, introducing a new cat to a multicat household can be a little rocky in the beginning. If your kitties are having a rough time adjusting, our Queens pet sitter manager, Jenn, has a few pointers.
Try natural remedies
Like many animals, cats are very sensitive to pheromones and fragrances. You can use this to your advantage to literally lower the stress levels in the air. Jenn recommends a product called Rescue Remedy, which is a supplement that can be added to water bowls. Another product she uses is Feliway, which comes in both electrical outlet diffusers and in a spray. “The spray version you would spray into different areas of your home, on cat beds and blankets, and in carriers,” she explains. “Feliway has the ‘feel good’ phermones that cats naturally release when they do things like rub their faces on corners of tables or do putty-paws into blankets, cat beds, and sometimes their people!”
Share their scents
More importantly, cats need time to adjust to one another’s scents. An easy way to do this is to let them smell each others beds, blankets, and toys before they are formally introduced face to face. Jenn recommends brushing the new kitties with the same brush. “This helps them get used to each other’s smells in a non-threatening and less stressful way.”
Expect a little hissing
On a final note, don’t be too alarmed if the cats hiss at each other at first. Some people recommend waiting 1-2 weeks before introducing new cats. According to Jenn, you needn’t wait nearly so long. “You can judge it by how your older cat (who technically ‘owns’ the home by cat standards) is behaving and responding.” Just keep an eye on them.
Do you have questions about your cat? Our pet sitters have years of experience taking care of all sorts of animals. Feel free to send us an email or write to us on Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!
Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.