Introducing cats together for the first time

introducing CATS

Introducing a new cat or kitten to your feline household takes care and planning.  A positive first meeting will often transition into positive long term kitty relationships.

Cats need time to get to know one another

Many people adopt a new cat or kitten with the expectation that the new cat and their existing cat will become fast friends and inseparable pals immediately, with no growing pains or introductory period.

Unfortunately, this isn't a realistic expectation.

Cats are very connected to their territory and perceive your home as "theirs". Bringing a new cat into the mix can cause your existing cat to become defensive of their environment. They may also show territorial behaviours that owners find inappropriate, such as urine marking or vertical scratching.

To help develop a positive bond between multiple cats living in the same household, introductions should be done slowly and with respect for the current cat's relationship with their environment.

Tips for a successful introduction between cats


See tips on adoption to help ease the transition for your new cat or kitten.


Plug-in a Feliway Diffuser where your cats spend most of their time. If the cats are separated, do not share the same living areas or you have a large or multi-level home, you may need more than one Diffuser.


Ensure each cat has access to its own resources (food and water bowls, litter boxes, rest and activity areas) and that they are distributed throughout the house.


See tips for promoting harmony in multi-cat households and try our app for planning a cat friendly home to help reduce potential conflict between cats.


While the new cat is restricted to one room in the home, you can swap scents between the cats so they get used to each other before meeting for the first time. Scent swapping can be done either by temporarily swapping the cat’s bedding, petting one cat and then petting the other cat, or by gently rubbing a towel or blanket on each cat’s cheek and placing it with the other cat.


When you are ready to introduce the cats, open the door to the room where the new cat has been staying. Make sure that the cats are supervised for their first meeting and ensure that each cat has an escape route and access to hiding areas in case they feel frightened.


Allow the cats to explore one another freely. Don’t force an interaction between them. Some cats will be friendly immediately, while others may need more time.


Don’t panic if the cats don’t seem to like each other right away. Keep them separated until you’re comfortable that they’re getting along before leaving them together unsupervised.


Leave the Feliway Diffuser plugged in for a minimum of 30 days to help all cats feel settled. Replace Refills monthly, as needed, to provide ongoing comfort and reassurance.


Use Feliway Spray on key items in the environment for additional, targeted support.

For more helpful advice on introductions between cats, see International Cat Care's detailed how-to guides.

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