Getting a new pet into a house should not be taken as something that will happen automatically especially if there are other animals within the house.
Introducing cats to cats
Cats can be very territorial and sometimes it can take a while for them to adjust to having a new furry friend in the house. If the new addition to the family is a planned decision then prepare in the weeks / days before. This could mean introducing a new bed into the house or using something like a plugin feliway spray to neutralise the odors in the house before the new cat arrives.
When the new pet arrives don’t leave existing cat (s) alone with the new cat instead supervise them and keep them in separate rooms when you cannot be there. This may take anything from hours to weeks and sometimes longer. Older cats often take longer to adjust to new crazy kittens coming into their territory whereas younger cats may adjust faster but there is no right answer and it all varies from cat to cat.
Once the new cat arrives be sure to keep routine as normal as you can for the other cat (s). Never ever change food or other routines in the same time. You can use treats to award the cats for their good behavior but don’t let them over indulge or you will end up with fat cats! It can be an idea to switch around beds/ blankets as this will allow them to pick up on eachothers scent. You should also ensure that you have enough litter trays or there may be accidents. It is recommended that you have 1 litter tray per cat + 1 extra. This avoids any accidents and in time you may be able to cut down on the number of trays.
Supervision and the outdoors
New cats should never be left outside unsupervised. There are a lot of new scents and places within the house to explore but left outside along in the initial introduction period and there is a high chance that your cat may wander. One suggestion would be to purchase a harness for your cat/kitten. This way they can go outside supervised and familiarise your cat with the outside before they are left outside alone. Of course you may prefer to keep your cat indoors in this case it would also be a good idea to bring your cat outdoors supervised for fear they happen to escape. At least this way they know where they are.Neutering pets calms them down so in many cases a tom cat may start spraying upon meeting a new arrival but neutering can help with this.
Timing is one of the most important things you should factor in when deciding to get a new cat or dog. Never ever get a pet for a birthday, anniversary, christmas present. Imagine all the hype and excitement during these days. How would you as a person feel landed in a strangers house along with excited people and kids hyped up on sugar. This is the worst time to get a pet it is scary for them and they may act out of character and scratch or bite. How long will it take? In the end it varies pet to pet and could take hours or years or in the end they may never bond but the aim would be to get them to the stage of tolerating eachother. It isn’t a good idea to separate them over and over anytime they growl or meow this will associate eachother with something distressing. Only consider a second pet if you have the time and patience to help them work through any initial disagreements.
For more information check out advice from the Bluecross HERE