When you first get your new cat home, pick a room and set your new cat up there. Try pick the room of least importance to the established cats. Provide a litter tray, water and food and toys, provide a couple of cosy holes for the new cat to curl up in, preferably one up high. Your new cat will need to have at least one full week in this room to get used to the smells and sounds of you home. You should try to spend a little time in this room each day so the cat can start to build a relationship with you as well.
In a multi-cat household, exchange bedding between the cats, so that they can start to get used to the smell of each other. After about a week limited interaction may occur under the door between the new cat and the established cats.
Begin to allow the new cat access to more of the house. This is best done when the established cat/s are not around. Allow the established cat/s to explore the room where the new cat has been.
After about 10 days you can bring the new cat into the area where the established cat/s are. Feed both cats in opposites sides of the room during this short interaction to help reduce stress. Continue doing this over an extended period of time moving the bowls closer to each other each time. Reward friendly behavior with treats. Gradually increase the supervised time together.
Do not leave the cats together unsupervised until several supervised interactions without
aggression have occurred. The process of introducing a new cat may take several weeks.
Older cats may need a quiet space away from kittens for an extended period of time. Friendly, well socialised cats may adapt to each other rapidly. Pheromone products may ease the introduction but should be used in conjunction with gradual introduction.
To prevent the occurrence of toileting problems in multi cat households it is wise to have one litter tray per cat and one extra. Locate the trays at different points throughout the house, so that any cat will be able to find a clean tray to use without fear of being surprised by another cat.
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