Your New Cat

Welcoming Your New Cat or Kitten Home


It’s time to bring home your new cat!
Whether it’s the first or the sixth, it’s always best to be prepared.

General Tips
  • Prepare a sanctuary space for your new cat or kitten. It’s normal for cats to hide when introduced to a new environment and this phase may last several days. She will start to become familiar with all the sights, sounds and scents from her enclosed safe haven. A cardboard box on its side or a pet kennel with a blanket covering can be a really comfortable environment for your feline to hide in. Set up the safe haven in a quiet room or corner of your home.
  • Put a clothing item you have worn in the sanctuary space to help your cat get familiar with your scent.
  • Always keep water, cat food and his/her open litter in the same space. Don’t fret if she doesn’t eat much within the first 24-48 hours. Just bring out the good stuff like salmon or canned tuna.
  • Scratching is a natural and comforting behavior for felines. It’s important to provide them with a scratching post. An unused post that another cat has not marked will help her to adapt quickly into a new environment.
  • Make sure to spend time with your new feline as well. If the cat is hiding, sit quietly nearby. Provide toys for your cat and, as she becomes more comfortable, try interacting with the cat and entertain her with toys

Introducing Cats to Cats

Introducing cats to cats can be a fairly quick and easy process but often it will take time and patience. Take your time, go step-by-step and watch how your cats respond.
  • Keep the new cat in a separate room and allow both cats to smell each other from under the door. Provide each cat with it’s own bedding and, after a few days of under-the-door-sniffing, switch the bedding. This will help them get used to one another’s scents without being in the same space.
  • If both cats have not displayed any signs of aggression (hissing and growling), the next step is to move the resident cat into a secure room and allow the new cat to explore the house for several hours each day.
  • It’s time to allow the cats to see each other, safely. Place the new cat in a crate with a wire mesh door. Put both cats in the same room together. If you see any signs of aggression, keep the visits short and repeat several times a day until they become more comfortable with one another.
  • Once there are no signs of aggression, you can put both cats in adjoining rooms and leave the door ajar. This will give both cats the option to explore and visit. It’s always important to supervise this scenario. Be prepared with a spray bottle of water to stop any aggressive behavior in the instant.
  • If the aggression continues, consider installing a screen door that will allow them to coexist in separate spaces while still being able to see and smell one another.
Cats are hierarchal animals by nature. It’s possible and normal that even with the best of introductions you may notice some occasional swatting or grouchy behavior between the two cats. Just remember that cats are like humans and sometimes they just need time to warm up to one another.

Introducing Cats to Dogs

Fighting like cats and dogs? Let's hope not!
Take it one step at a time to prevent this scenario.
  • Keep the cat and dog in separate rooms, with the door closed, and allow them to smell each other from under the door.
  • Switch the cat and dog ‘s places and allow them to smell each other’s room. This will most likely give the cat opportunity to explore the house while the dog is confined in a room.
  • Now it’s time to make the introductions. Let’s put a leash on your dog while the cat is free to roam loose. Ensure you have treats and keep the dog interested in what you have in your hand. This will distract the dog from becoming hyper-focused on the cat and keep him focused on you as the leader. Reward the dog with the behavior of paying attention to you.
  • If the dog gets distracted by the cat, gently correct him. Reward him once he refocuses attention on you. Repeat this exercise as often as necessary until the dog either ignores or accepts the cat and pays attention to you. Some dogs will get it right away. Others may need several short training sessions.
Enjoy your new family member!