So, you already own a cat, or two, and you’re concerned about how you’re going to integrate a new addition to the clowder. Which is quite understandable.
Domestic cats like to establish a hierarchy early on, so when their authority is challenged by a newcomer, it can cause a variety of problems such as stress and common behavioural issues.
If you can learn to execute this integration in the right way, not only will it keep the peace between your kitties, but it will also strengthen the bond you already have with your pets.
Good Early Socialisation Helps Transitions
Put it this way:
In the wild, if a cat is not intelligent enough to spot a potential threat before it gets too close to cause damage, it simply doesn’t survive.
So cats with this natural instinct will undoubtedly see anything ‘new’ as a potential threat, unless you teach your cat what to trust and what to fear. It helps to build confidence in your feline friend.
This is very important when it comes to making changes in their lifestyle, as they won’t be nearly as hesitant to resist, or create conflict.
Reduce Sensory Input to Reduce Arousal
Cats have the same natural instincts as every other animal on this planet, including human beings. And that is the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response.
Basically, what this means is when an animal is faced with an immediate threat or danger, it will do one of three things.
- Run away
- Fight for it’s life
- Freeze on the spot from shock
This response in your cats could potentially trigger many many fights at random times. But don’t panic, there is a very effective method you can use to prevent this.
How do I do it then?
Well, this response is triggered by the cats senses. i.e. sight and smell. So if you remove just one of these senses from the equation, it drastically reduces the chance of conflict and allows the cats the tolerate each other one stage at a time.
Provide a Safe Room for Your New Kitty
Territory is important to felines. Your current cat isn’t going to appreciate the fact that his space is being totally invaded by a new member of the family.
So as not to make your cat feel this way, it’s best to assign your new cat just one room in the house that can be his or hers own space. This will help your current kitty understand that his entire turf isn’t being taken over.
Once your new cat finally arrives, it’s wise to keep it in the safe room for about a week before allowing them to engage for the first time.
Your cats should recognise each others scent before they meet nose to nose for the first time.