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Video:How to Introduce a New Cat

with Maureen Ricksgers

Learn how to introduce a new cat to a resident cat so that your pets start off on the right foot. Here are some tips on how to introduce a new cat.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Introduce a New Cat

Hi, I'm Dr. Maureen Ricksgers for About.com, and today we're going to discuss how to introduce a cat to a resident cat.

Cats are great pets, and if you have one, it may occur to you to add a second one to your mix. Sometimes that's a great idea, especially if you use patience and go slow in introducing them. Some cats are territorial in nature and they may not welcome having a newcomer. You can do several things ahead of time to make this introduction go better.

Introduce a New Cat by Establishing Separate Litter Boxes

The first would be to make sure your resident cat has its own litter box. When you bring in the new cat, you want to make sure that your other cat is sequestered away so that he or she doesn't know there's a new friend coming.

Introduce a New Cat by Smell

It's very important for cats to learn that there's a newcomer in the house by smell before they get a chance to actually see them. A couple of tips would be to have the resident cat and the new cat each have a towel, separate, that they can sit on, lay on, get their smell all over - and then after a day or two, take that towel out of their room and give it to the new cat. You will notice that the cat will start to smell it, and you can watch and see how the reactions are going. If your new cat is sniffing and hissing at the smells of the new cat, it might be a good idea to keep going a little longer and not let them mix it up yet.

If your cat that was in the house at first seems interested, and friendly kind of, socialization starts to happen, rubbing on the towel, maybe a little purr, that might be a good indication that you might be able to move a little faster.

Introduce a New Cat Gradually

When you finally do bring the two cats together, remember that it doesn't have to happen for a very long time. I would introduce them over several minutes of playtime, or some food, and then after they've had a few minutes together, go ahead and put them back in their room - or ideally, put them in the other cat's room so they can mix it up again. If you do this very gradually, most cats will learn to like their newcomer.

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