Be patient, gentle and work slowly through the process
The Importance of a Good Introduction
Planning to add a cat to your household? The introduction process is extremely important. First impressions can be lasting impressions for felines. Doing this step correctly in proper order will benefit you and your cat greatly.
Time and patience are the keys to successfully introducing a new cat into the household. The new cat should have a room of their own for a several days. Exchange the new cat’s bedding with that of the resident cat so that they can become acquainted with each other through the all-important sense of smell before they have the opportunity to see each other. When they are relaxed about this step, crack the door of the new cat’s room so that they can see each other, but can’t push the door open. Give the cats treats on both sides of the door. Next, let the new cat explore the rest of the house while the resident cat spends some time in the new cat’s room.
Throughout the introduction process, speak quietly and calmly to the cats. Praise them generously when they are tolerant of each other’s presence. Give special attention to the resident cat as it is this cat’s territory that is being invaded and it is this old friend who is likely to need the most reassurance. Until they become friends, give the new cat loving attention only when the resident cat is not around. If at any time the cats become fearful or hostile, return the newcomer to its room and close the door. Start the process over. This is a sign that the process of introduction was going too fast for the cats.
A minor setback will not ruin the budding friendship, but a fiercely aggressive encounter will be remembered for a long time and should be avoided at all costs. Whenever you run into a problem, back up to a previous stage of the process and then move carefully forward again. Only the cats can determine the pace of the introduction process. The time you spend gradually habituating your cats will eventually be rewarded with years of harmonious feline companionship.