When you decide to adopt a new cat, it’s a choice more for you than for the cat you already have. Most cats are solitary by nature, but some will eventually accept or possibly tolerate the presence of a second cat in their territory. It’s up to the owner to make this process easy for both felines.
If you present two kittens to each other, the process of familiarization can be short and does not exceed 10 to 15 days. The presentation of adult cats depends on their temperament and nature. When presenting a new cat to your current one, you need to make sure to give him lots of love and attention. In this way, he will feel safe and know that he is not competing with the new one.
When you bring the new cat home, you must leave it in a safe and separate room until you have finished presenting both. Its dedicated space can be any small room in your house, and be sure to choose a room in which your current cat does not enter. In this room, prepare a space for the new cat, including all the accessories he will need, namely a scratch post, a bed, a water tray, a litter box and a food dish.
At first, the current cat may develop reactions like meowing loudly when he stands at the door, trying to let the other cat know he is not at home. When this happens, ignore it, because punishing it may cause more problems. After a while, the first cat will start to act more calmly when it is near the new cat’s door. Once he starts to be calmer, you should pet him and congratulate him.
When your first cat starts to pass by the door of the new cat and without screaming; you can start presenting them to each other right now. The best way to do this is to get them used to the smell of everyone. You can start to let them eat in the same dish at different intervals in the beginning. In this way, the smell of each cat will be present in the food dish.
Once each cat is accustomed to the presence of the smell of the other, you can start to feed them closer. For example, you can let the new cat eat in the room with the door closed and the first cat next to the door. Make sure they eat at the same time. After doing this several times, they should start eating without any whistling or growling. At this point, they are ready to be introduced to each other.
When you introduce them to each other in the same room, expect grunts. Although they may be accustomed to the smell of each; the first cat will always feel a little embarrassed of the new since it is on its territory. You should play with them two at the beginning so that they can feel and greet each other in their own way. If they start fighting, you have to separate them and give them time.
The introduction of a new cat may take time to get used to each other, but once it is done, they will become playmates for life. Cats like to be sociable, although it may be a bit difficult at first, especially for the first cat.
If you familiarize them both very early, it will be much easier to add future cats at home.