Are you feeling the need to add another feline to your furry family? It’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and this time of year can often see a rise in cats that enter shelters and animal rescues. If you’re adopting, here are our tips for introducing your shelter cat into your household. 

Step 1: Create separate resource areas for each cat

Your new cat and your current cat should have separate areas stocked with all their necessities—litter box, food, water, bedding, and enrichment options. Ideally, you should keep the new cat behind a closed door at first, to allow your two cats to sniff each other under the door as they acclimate.

Step 2: Swap bedding to exchange each cat’s scent

Once your new cat has settled into your home, swap a piece of bedding to exchange scents. This offers the cats a low-stress, non-confrontational “meeting.”

Step 3: Allow exploration of each cat’s area

Put one cat in a carrier in a different room, and allow the other cat to explore new territory and the scent markers left behind.

Step 4: Allow visual contact

Use a gate, glass door, or mesh door covering to allow your cats to see each other but have no contact. Feed each cat treats or high-value food, so they form a positive association with seeing each other. 

Step 5: Allow supervised physical contact 

Once your cats appear calm, remove the barrier, and allow a physical meeting. Slowly work up to longer supervised periods, and then practice leaving your cats unsupervised for brief times. With patience and perseverance, your kitties will become best friends. 

Contact us to schedule a wellness exam for your shelter cat. We can’t wait to meet them!