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How to introduce a new cat

August 28th, 2007, 06:17 PM

I have a question for multiple cat owners. I live by myself in a 3 room apartment, and I have one cat.

I work full time, so my cat spends a lot of time alone. I was thinking of getting her a pal, but I am a little worried that she might not take too well to it.

She is 8 years old and has always been an only cat. Should I keep it that way, or try getting another cat?

I tried to introduce her to my parents' dogs once, and she threw a hissy fit.

If I were to try introducing a new cat, what are some tips you could give me to make the new arrival easier to accept?

Other than weekends, I don't spend a lot of time at home, so I can't keep as watchful an eye as I would like, and I don't have the space to keep them locked away from each other.

So, basically, what is your advice?

August 28th, 2007, 07:47 PM
I brought the new cat in the house and left him in the carrier and left my others smell that one. then took him out and the others in carriers and let him smell them. You can also try it by putting the one in a room and just let them smell under the door. Hope it works out! amber:cat:

August 28th, 2007, 08:22 PM
At eight years old I would try to get another cat. You won't know how your cat will react until you get one. Has she ever been exposed to another cat? You may want to try that first if you have a friend that is willing to go through the test with you. Keep the visiting cat in a room and allow each other to sniff under the door. Watch how your cat reacts.

If you can't do that I would look for a cat that is not aggressive in anyway towards other cats. If you go to the shelter, let the employees know what you plan to do and ask to look at the cats that are not bothered by other cats. This will reduce the risk of bring an agressive cat into the house and make the introduction easier. If the shelter will allow you to, take the potential adoptee out of the cage and see how he/she reacts to the other cats.

When your cat comes home keep them seperated. Slowly introduce but put the cat back in the room to give your current cat some space to slowly get used to the idea of another cat sharing her territory. Do not panic if they hiss or growl, only get involved if it gets physical. It is natural for two cats to do this on their first meeting. Your cat will sense your reaction and if it is panic/stress, your cat will think this cat is "bad".

The problem with cats is that you never know if two will get along until you get them home.

Some people get kittens, but I found with my female cat, she hates them, wants to be left alone and another quiet, gentle older cat was best for her.

Good luck!

August 28th, 2007, 08:26 PM
Has she always lived with you? Does she seem reasonably happy? Then I would think long and hard about a second cat. You probably wouldn't have any problem finding a good match, maybe through a rescue, but it would require introducing them slowly and being there to see how they interact. If you're not at home much, even on weekends, this might be difficult. But if you're willing to put in the time initially, then go for it!

August 28th, 2007, 08:34 PM
No, Chinook has been with me less than a year, but she has adopted me fairly quickly. :lovestruck: Or maybe she just likes my bed... :evil:

I will have to ask her previous owner (became alergic and gave her away).

Oh well, I'm still not ready to take that step. I think I'll move to a bigger apartment first. :D

August 28th, 2007, 08:52 PM
In the meantime, there are other forms of stimulation you can provide. Give her 20-30 minutes of play in the evenings, laser tag or flyball, anything on a string. Put a bird feeder outside the window (they love those). A little catnip sachet is always appreciated. Just because she doesn't initiate, doesn't mean she isn't up for a game.

August 29th, 2007, 10:07 AM
I always use the door, the new one in a seperate room for at least a few days.

At 8, you will have to be very patient, and it may take them a very long time to tolerate each other. My parents introduced a new kitten when their other cat was 7, and it took over six months for the hissing to subside. But they found their own spaces and now even sleep near each other and play together. They aren't the best of buddies, but when my folks are away, they usually come home to find them together on the couch, keeping each other company. ;)

August 30th, 2007, 12:36 AM
Hey Hey! :D

I'm a dog person but my cousin who is my neighbor is so into cats. She has one and recently got another cat. she told me that it takes a long time and patience to introduce the 2 cats coz cats are very territorial. She had the same issue on how to introduce the 2 to each other. She followed this advice written by some vet. It helped her tons and now her cats are good friends.

:cat: :cat: