by Sojos | February 19, 2013
It’s easy to fall in love with cats – and because of that, it’s easy to want more than one. If you already have a cat, however, adding a new one to the household should inspire some serious consideration and planning. Without it, the introduction of a new purring bundle of joy could lead to some unwanted chaos.
Whether you’re considering a kitten or an older cat, keep these tips in mind to make the transition smooth and less stressful for you, your existing cats and the new kitty on the block.
* Give the newbie a space of her own. No matter the size of your house, it can feel intimidatingly large to a new cat. By keeping her in one room (complete with litter box, food and water, a comfy bed and toys), you’ll make the adjustment easier for her. The new cat and your existing cat will still be able to get used to each other’s smell and presence – and they may play a bit of “footsie” under the door – which can make face-to-face introductions easier.
* Take reactions in stride. Cats might hiss, growl or even swat at each other when seeing each other for the first time. To help control the reactions – or the result of them – it can help to keep one cat in a carrier, which will act as a protective barrier. If you don’t see aggressive behavior after a couple of meetings, try opening the door for free interaction. It’s very important that you don’t rush this process and supervise all interactions during the first few weeks the cats are loose in the house together.
* Take time with food transitions. Cats are big fans of routine living, so it’s important that you minimize the changes they have to deal with. Providing the food that they had been fed before you made the adoption will give them a feeling of normalcy at first. If you’re not satisfied with the quality of the food your cat has been used to, no need to worry. Making the switch to a higher quality diet, like raw food, simply takes some planning and patience. Transition your cat to your preferred food gradually, as we recommend for all Sojos raw pet foods. This will save stress on their digestive system and help prevent finicky eating habits.
* Provide plenty of litter space. Giving your cats plenty of room to potty is important for many reasons, among them the concern that a cat unhappy with his litter box situation will start going outside of it. Giving each cat a litter box is a simple solution. If you have enough space, providing one extra box beyond the number of cats you own can also help to keep everybody happy and using their boxes properly.
Some patience, forethought and TLC from you will make it much easier for both new and “old” cats to learn to live in harmony.