Bringing Home a New Cat or Kitten
Whether you’re bringing home your first, second or fifth cat, it’s extremely important to prepare ahead of time. Before making the decision to add a new cat to your household, please consider the following:
Once you’ve carefully considered all the above factors and are ready to add a new feline family member, the following sections will help ensure a smooth transition and integration with other family members and pets.
General Tips for Bringing a New Cat Home
How to Introduce Cats to Cats
Phase 1 – Cat Smells Cat
Phase 2 – Cat Continues to Smell Cat
Phase 3 – Cat Sees Cat
Phase 4 – Cat Meets Cat
Phase 5 – Integration Complete
Please note: The 5 phases detailed above offer only approximate timelines. Some integrations may proceed faster or slower and integration is dependent on the personalities of the cats involved. Remember, you know your cat(s) best. Use common sense and patience when integrating a new cat or cats.
How to Introduce a Shy Cat Companion – The Exception to the Rule
If you’ve adopted a shy cat or kitten to provide companionship for your resident cat, a quicker integration may be best. Shy cats are often used to and welcome other feline companionship. They will be very lonely on their own, so we recommend that the integration take place very quickly (1-3 days) unless there are significant problems.
How to Introduce Cats to Dogs
Phase 1 – Cat Smells Dog
Phase 2 – Switch Spots
Phase 3 – Cat Meets Dog
Note: The length of time required to successfully integrate cats with dogs varies depending on the previous experiences of the animals involved. For example, your dog may have had previous encounter with a cat or the cat may have had prior experience with a dog. Often, when the cats and dogs are used to being around the other species, integration can be quicker.
Tips for Kids
To help introduce your new cat to children, we’ve included a little message with some tips from the cats:
Hi there! I’m your new cat and I’d like to tell you a few things:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.