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Introducing Your New Kitty

Introducing Your New Kitty

Many people buy pets for the holidays, but it takes some real savvy to introduce a new cat into a house where there are cats already in residence without the fur flying.

Following these simple steps will ensure that your cats become fast friends for life:

1. Bribe your cat. A few days ahead of the new petís arrival, buy your cat a new scratching post. You cat will associate this prize with an impending positive change.

2. Be patient. Solid friendships sometimes take time. Some cats take weeks, even months to become paw pals. Expect to hear a few hisses.

3. Plan ahead. Select a large bathroom or spare room to house the new arrival. Place cat necessities in that room: food an water bowls, bedding, litter box, and toys, and shut the door so your house cat wonít snoop around.

4. Be stealthy. Bring the new pet in quietly and incognito. Try not to let your cat see you entering the door with this animal to avoid any resentment. Donít pussyfoot around. Walk straight to the new cat room and place him inside and shut the door.

5. Encourage the sniff test. By now, your house cat will suspect something is different and will be drawn to the door. Let both meet each other by sniffing one another from under the doorframe. This helps them to get to know one another on their own terms.

6. Share scents. After a day or so, take a slightly damp towel and rub it on your new kittenís back. Then rub this towel on your adult catís back. Take a second damp towel and rub it first on your adult catís back and then on the new arrivalís back. Intermingling scents encourages familiarity.

7. Donít play favorites. Spend quality one-on-one time with each cat. Pamper them with plenty of praise, hugs, and treats. Make each one feel special.

8. Switch rooms. After two or three days, switch places. Put your house cat in the spare room for a few hours and let the new arrival check out the rest of the house. This helps prevent any possible turf tussles.

9. Make the introductions. Youíre finally ready for the face-to-face introduction. Let your house cat be free to approach the new arrival that you place inside a carrier or on a leash. Let them have plenty of time to approach and sniff. Expect a few hisses–itís your adult catís way of declaring, ďHey, Iím the boss around here.Ē

10. Encourage interaction. Gradually increase the exposure time of the animals to each other. Give them both food treats, always offering a treat to your adult cat first.

Once you feel confident that the two felines can get along, leave them alone unsupervised.

Read more: Pets, Cats, Everyday Pet Care, Safety

Adapted from The Kitten Ownerís Manual, by Arden Moore (Storey Books, 2001). Copyright (c) 2001 by Arden Moore. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from The Kitten Ownerís Manual, by Arden Moore (Storey Books, 2001).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Kitten Owner's Manual

Solutions to all your kitten quandaries in an easy-to-follow question and answer now


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4:40AM PST on Mar 3, 2013


3:46AM PST on Mar 2, 2013


3:54AM PDT on Oct 18, 2011


10:01PM PST on Nov 24, 2009

What about getting together two (or three) adult cats? I have 2 cats, that get along very well, and my boyfriend is coming with his cat: an adult and kind of paranoid cat :- / How can we make them get along together without getting any of them get hurt? I would so appreciate your ideas or comments.

9:39PM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

if you... care to help me make this amazing woman known to the world. It could benefit so many, and she truly deserves this recognition.
I was, in fact, "one" of those people that she has helped to survive.
She doesn't ask for money. Her good deeds go un-known, and she never brags about any of it.
Can you imagine? My heartfelt thanks goes to her & her heart of gold.

9:19PM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

I know a woman personally, who honestly loves cats more than anything on this earth, I think I can say without reserve. She has her own shelters for them, and they are treated better than the best of nursing homes care for the elderly.
I know there is not a person who could possibly know more about cats than this "Cat Lady."
She lives in Ohio, and when her father died, she was left an entire farm. She houses over 100 cats in a huge, nice, barn. She has built double garages with air-conditioning and heat for many, many more,as I don't have her recent numbers. These cats were graduated from the barn. Each day she brings a SUV load of cat food, and supplies, and feeds all of them. The graduates all get lovingly held for a short time, so each one has attention. And then it gets even better. But, altho the towns people know this special person, who also helps people, helps with town benefits, has a job, a husband, family she works with...etc. But with all her goodness, I've never met anyone who does so much, and is smart too. College graduate, and popular, retired teacher. She should be given a National Award or something of that nature, with details that would put any sincere person in Awe. I can put someone in touch with her, if I am contacted, and find it would benefit others of her wisdom of cats, their needs, personalities, and anything, even vets would not know. So cranks will be deleted by me before I ever contact her. Contact me at
if you

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