How to Introduce Two Cats: a Cat Owner's Guide - The Trupanion Blog
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How to Introduce Two Cats: a Cat Owner’s Guide

Read on to learn how to introduce two cats in this cat owner guide.

Even if you have years of experience with cats, introductions can still feel daunting, as kitties are very unique and complex creatures. However, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to warding off potential conflict so your kitty family can live happily ever after! Read on to learn about how to introduce two cats for a happy home.

How to introduce two cats and what to expect from your feline friends

Step 1: Playing matchmaker: how to set your new kitty up for success before they come home with you 

Discover the proper steps on how to introduce two cats who have never lived together.

Careful consideration is required when bringing another kitty into the family, and just like with any relationship, compatibility is an important factor. Is the cat you’d like to bring home currently living in a multi-cat household or in a shelter where they enjoy being social with other kitties? Or are they used to living in a single-cat household and prefer their independence? 

Though opposites can sometimes attract, it’s important to consider your cat’s personality. An older kitty eager to get in their daily catnaps may not be enthusiastic about sharing space with a frisky, young kitten. Likewise, a cat that loves rough-housing and lots of play may frighten or intimidate a shy kitty. 

It’s important to be patient with the process as it may take between 8-12 months of bonding for kitties to develop a friendship. While any two cats can become closer with time, bringing home the right kitty for your family will pave the way to having a happy, harmonious household. 

Step 2: My home is my castle: making sure both cats feel secure

Each cat should have their own space to retreat too - an essential tip on how to introduce two cats.

Your new feline friend is beginning a new chapter of their lives and may feel a bit of trepidation about this sudden change, but this is a big adjustment for your current kitty, too. Establishing a territory for each cat is quite possibly the single most vital step of the introduction process. Whether it’s in your living room, bedroom or bathroom, each kitty needs their own space with their own food, water, and litter box where they can feel safe and comfortable. 

You should also ensure your entire home is conducive to helping your cats feel happy and protected. Provide them with lots of spots to perch, such as shelves or a cat tree. If they feel trapped, they may revert to hiding. 

In each kitty’s space, you should also have “scent soakers,” such as blankets and scratching posts, so your kitty can spread their own scent around. Some also suggest rubbing each cat with a towel to capture their scent during this process, and then switch the towels between the two kitties so they can get used to the shared scent. 

Once a comfort level has been established with each other’s smells, you can have each cat spend time in each other’s safe place. During this process, you bring your new feline friend into your existing cat’s space, and let your existing cat enter your new kitty’s base of operations. This gives them more of an opportunity to get used to each other’s scents individually. 

Step 3: Sitting down together at the table: making friends over dinner

Socialization over food is just one of the tips on how to introduce two cats guide.

As for meal times, you’ll want to set up scheduled feeding times, rather than free feeding. This will allow your cats to develop a shared ritual of being fed. Initially, you should use an “other side of the door” technique, allowing them to create a positive association with each other through food. A pet gate or screen is a good barrier to use. 

You may also want to start with a blanket draped over the gate. This blanket will give the cats an added level of security. Begin with the bowls far apart and gradually move them closer –– close enough that they sense each others’ presence through sound and smell but not sight. Once they appear to be more comfortable, you can gradually lift the blanket with each feeding.

Step 4: Seeing eye to eye: handling their very first meeting 

Discover the different ways to encourage engagement and interaction between your feline friends in this how to introduce your cat guide.

You want to control the first impression as it will set the mood for their relationship. It’s vital to make every effort to develop positive associations between your feline friends. Eating, playing, and receiving affection are activities that kitties tend to enjoy most, so those are all perfect opportunities to bring your kitties together.  

During their first few meetings, you should always supervise them; whether they’re engaged in a play session or enjoying a shared meal. When meeting during play, it’s best to bring in your new kitty when your other kitty is in the middle of a play session. 

It’s important to have a variety of toys available, as one kitty may go crazy for catnip while the other prefers kicker toys. You can receive a monthly box with a mix of engaging toys and tasty treats at KitNipBox to help create a bonding experience for your feline friends! 

During this process, using a partner is great so that you can keep both cats fully engaged. These play sessions can last as long as you’d like, but consistency will help. Some conflict, however, is normal and natural, so don’t despair if your two fur family members hiss in their first meetings. Carefully guide each cat back to their secure area, either by using your body as a barrier or a soft item, such as a towel. Further, if tensions escalate, you can break up the fight by clapping your hands together or by creating another distraction.

You’ll want to repeat the introduction process for all the cats in your home, so they can each get used to the new kitty individually. Once those one-on-one relationships have been established and a sense of comfort is present, you can allow your feline family to mingle as a group. 

Step 5: Happily ever after: setting your cats up as friends for life

With slow introductions and bonding time, your felines will be friends in no time.

When done correctly, with time and patience, introducing a new cat to your household doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as both cats are given proper time to adjust to their shared territory and are made to feel secure throughout the process, they may develop a life-long friendship with an unbreakable bond!

We hope this guide helps you on your journey to expanding your cat family. Please share your experiences in the comments with any special tips that have worked for you.

There’s a purrfect cat toy subscription service called KitNipBox, in which you’d receive a monthly box with a variety of fun toys and tasty treats to welcome home the new member of your family! 

KitNipBox guest bloggers:

Candice Mikenas is the manager of KitNipBox‘s ameowzing customer service team. She’s the proud mom of her kitty, Rory, and she enjoys reading, traveling, and all things cat! 

Lauren Salley is a pawsome team member from KitNipBox’s customer service team. She loves spoiling her kitty, Gina, and in her free time, she enjoys karaoke and playing board games!

              

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