It’s always exciting to bring home a new cat! It’s the start of many fun and happy years to come, but at the same time, requires proper planning to ensure everything goes smoothly. Be sure to clear your day so you can spend the whole day getting your new addition acclimated to your house – especially if you already have other pets. Your new cat (plus your other pets) will need you to chaperone the welcome party!
The Healthy Welcome Committee
All pets, old and new, should be healthy and up to date on vaccinations. Sick pets aren’t just a health risk— it could mean the start of a bad relationship with your new cat due to behavioral problems.
While cats can be social, they’re also territorial and some might be aggressive toward strangers. Take caution when you’re introducing your cat to other pets and proceed with care. If everyone’s calm, the risk of a fight breaking out is much lower.
When you have multiple pets, introducing them to a new family member should be done one at a time and away from any food bowls.
Home Safe Home
Providing a “safe room” for your new cat is a great way to ease into life with the new family. Having a refuge that’s away from other pets will prevent the new cat from feeling overwhelmed. The room should have clean water, vet-recommended food, toys, litter, and a scratching post. Having a cat tower to explore is an added bonus! This safe room will be their own comfortable environment where they can get personal and direct attention from you. It also allows other pets to roam freely throughout the rest of the house while adjusting to the new addition.
Most cats get used to a new home in a few days, but some need a confined space for as many as two weeks. This is completely normal – don’t rush the transition!
How To Help Your Other Pets Adjust
When both your new cat and your existing pets start to show curiosity toward each other, this is the perfect opportunity to facilitate bonding. Place your new cat inside a carrier and allow the other pets to smell her/him without being afraid.
If any pet shows a bit of aggression, separate them immediately by making a noise. However, don’t get in between them once they’re angry because they might be aggressive toward you instead. Don’t leave your cat unsupervised with your other pets until you’re sure they get along. With a lot of love, patience and understanding, you’ll soon forget they were ever strangers!