Introducing a New Cat into the Household
Introducing a new cat into the household can sometimes be stressful for all involved. However, certain steps can help create a smooth transition.
Initially, new cats should be isolated in a separate room with its own food, water, litter box and toys. This allows the new cat to become adjusted to the sounds and smells of the other animals in the house as well as the house itself. This period also lets the existing animals get used to the newcomer. This separation period should be no less than one week.
During this time, exchanging bedding and toys between the animals helps them absorb and become accustomed to the other's smell. Also, there are many commercially available pheromone products that may ease the transition.
After the isolation period, start introducing the new cat to the rest of the household for short periods at a time while being supervised. Feeding all of the animals at the same time may help reduce stress as well.
Do not leave the cats together unsupervised until several supervised interactions without aggression have occurred.
It is not unusual for this introductory process to take a month to several weeks or more. Be patient. The majority of cats adjust well to their surroundings and to the other animals in the household.
Remember, new cats should always be tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Aids before entering the home.