Introducing the New Cat Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
reprinted with permission....

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Introducing the New Cat
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC


 For stress and aggression-free introductions between cats encourage them to have positive associations with each other while they are kept separate from each other.

Confine the new cat to its own room. The room should be comfortable with at least two cat boxes, food, water, a comfortable place to sleep and ideally, a window to look out of. Plug a Comfort Zone diffuser into a wall socket in the new cat�s room. Another Comfort Zone should be plugged in outside the room where the new cat is confined.

Judge by the cat�s responses in each phase to determine the length of each of the phases detailed below. There is no typical time frame. Every cat is different. If there is howling or hissing, prolong the phases. Cats should remain separated from each other throughout the introduction process described below

Phase 1

􀂃 Twice a day: Use two clean socks or rags. Put hand in one sock and gently rub it on the new cat�s cheek, transferring pheromones onto the sock. Repeat, using the second sock on the resident cat�s cheek.

Place each sock where the other cat sleeps.

Phase 2

􀂃 Twice a day: Continue to rub their cheeks with the socks. Instead of putting the socks where the other cats sleep, rub their cheeks with the socks that have the other cat�s cheek pheromones on it. Use clean socks or rags each time.

􀂃 2-3 times a day, feed the cats delicious treats or regular meals simultaneously, separated only by the closed door. Try feeding close to each other. If, at first they either won�t eat or display aggression towards each other, back the food away from the closed door to a comfortable eating distance. After they are comfortable with the distance, move the feeding stations closer to the door until they are eating next

to each other without displaying aggression. This may take days. Spray the bottom of the door with Feliway spray before feeding the treats.

Phase 3

􀂃 Continue the activities in Phase 2.

􀂃 Multiple times each day: encourage non-threatening interaction between the cats. Use a toy with something cat-intriguing on both ends. Position the double-ended toy under the door so the cats can play tug of war. Before each play session spray Feliway spray on the bottom of the door.

􀂃 Once a day: Use clean towels. Rub the resident cat�s back and sides with a towel. Rub the new cat with another towel. Then exchange towels, rubbing each cat with the other�s towel.

Phase 4

􀂃 Continue the activities in Phase 3, separated by the closed door.

􀂃 Change locations for a few hours every day, putting the resident cat in the newcomer�s room, allowing the newcomer to explore another area of the house.

􀂃 Multiple times each day: with foot firmly wedged, open the closed door about 1 inch allowing the cats to sniff each other several times during the day. Wedge your foot so that the door can not be pushed open.

Before opening the door, spray Feliway on the edges of the door and the door jamb.

Phase 5

􀂃 Introduce cats to each other without the benefit of a closed door: Open the door to the confinement room.

When door is opened, feed one cat a distance from the room at the same time the other cat is being fed in the confinement room. The cats should be able to see, smell and hear each other. At any sign of aggression, divert the cats either by a small toy thrown horizontal to the ground and across the aggressive cat�s vision or with a fishing pole type of toy.

􀂃 Watch the body and eye language and the locations the cats choose to occupy. Check for fur rippling, ear positions, fixed stares, pupils dilating, pounce postures, etc. If all OK, gradually extend their times together, supervising them

􀂃 Spray Feliway spray in the areas where the cats are going to be together.

If the cats start to fight, go back to the previous stage and proceed slower with the introductions. If the cats do fight, do not separate them with your hands.


� January 2007 by Marilyn Krieger, CCBC All Rights reserved

Marilyn is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants  650.780.9485

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