5 Tips For Introducing a Young Cat to an Old One

Sometimes it is necessary to bring a young cat into a home where there is an older cat in residence. This could be for a variety of reasons such as looking after a cat while a friend is away, or if an adult child has moved into an apartment that doesn’t allow cats. It can also be that you have decided to add a young companion for you older cat. Done correctly, there should be no problem in introducing the younger cat to the older one. Done incorrectly, you could have some major problems. Remember, cats are territorial so the introduction needs to be done gradually.

Here are my favourite tips to introduce a young cat to an older one.

  1. Keep the new cat in a separate room for a few days and keep the door shut. You want your older cat to get used to the scent of the younger cat. The older cat will be aware of the new arrival and most likely will stand outside the door and growl. Hold the older cat and stroke it and talk gently to it while standing outside the room. Scent is very important to cats so use an old flannel or tea towel to rub over each cat. By using the same cloth for each cat, they will get used to the scent.  
  2. When you feel the time is right, try swapping the beds each day. This exchange of scents will play an important role when the cats finally meet face to face.  
  3. Start feeding your older cat outside the door where the new cat is shut in. Start doing this sphynx cats for sale as soon as the older cat stops growling at the door. Keep the door shut for a few days while doing this.  
  4. When the time comes to actually let the cats see each other, make sure the initial introduction is done when your older cat has been fed and is content. He is more likely to be in a good mood than if he is hungry or wants to play. You will need to have two people, one for each cat. Don’t have too many people in the room as this will unsettle the new cat.  
  5. You can start by putting the new cat in a cat carrier for a while so the older cat can see it and sniff it. Having the younger cat in a carrier would be frightening for it and could disrupt and delay the process. I personally prefer having both cats being held and seeing each other across the room. Both cats are with someone they trust and are comfortable with. From this initial ‘sighting’, you will need to let your cats dictate the pace you work with. As they start to tolerate each other, slowly move them towards each other, pausing if one starts to become unsettled. Keep moving them closer together until they can sniff each other without growling or hissing. From there, crouch down on the ground and while still holding them, allow them to touch and sniff. When you are completely happy that they are not going to fight, then you can put them down. However, you must both stay close by to intervene if necessary. Make sure each cat has somewhere to retreat to if a fight breaks out.

Be prepared for some hissing and growling over the first few weeks as the cats sort out the feline hierarchy of your house. If the introduction of the younger cat to the older one is done properly and slowly, you will soon have two cats that will not just tolerate each other, they will become firm friends and will share toys and laps happily.


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