22 May Introducing Your Cat or Kitten to Your Family
Introducing your new cat or kitten into their new home will be a smoother transition if you already have your essential supplies on hand. The steps of introduction will differ depending on if this is your only pet, if there are other pets already in the household, if you have small children, and if you are going to allow the cat to go out of doors.
If this is Your Only Pet:
Let your new arrival explore your home on it’s own by starting with one room at a time. It’s a good idea to pick one room that is easily closed off, like a bedroom, and is accessible to the litter box, food, and water.
First show the cat where the litter box, food and water are and then let the cat explore the room, both with you in it and also with you out of it. Once the cat seems comfortable with that room (usually a day or two) you can start to add other rooms.
If You Have Other Pets:
Introduce your other pets gradually. Start by keeping your new arrival in one room, separate from the other pets, with it’s own supplies (litter box, food, and water) and let the cat explore and become comfortable with that room. Typically this can be done in a day or two.
Once your new arrival is comfortable with that room switch the situation by letting the established pets into that room and let the new arrival explore the rest of the house, still keeping them separated. This will give all pets a chance to ‘sniff out’ the others. Again, this should only take a day or two.
Then you can introduce your pets to your new arrival. Keep a close watch on the first few encounters. It is perfectly normal for a few hissing tiffs. However, these will eventually fade. Don’t forget a cat tree is also a great investment for each cat to claim their own area as their own!
Remember to give equal attention to both new and existing pets.
Also remember that cats tend to be very territorial and the new cat is the intruder. Social adjustments will gradually work themselves out.
If You Have Small Children:
Even if you have existing pets in the household it’s a good idea to keep small children away from your new cat for the first few days. As your new cat will likely be scared and unsure of its new surroundings, small children will only add to the worry of the new cat.
Introduction to the Outdoors:
If you choose to let your cat outdoors it’s a good idea to only do so once it has become familiar and comfortable with its new indoor surroundings. Make sure the cat has a cat collar and tag with your name and phone number on it incase it gets lost. Also, go outside with your cat for the first few trips and make sure not to let him/her roam at night.