- Jan 13, 2009
Introducing a new adult Sphynx cat or Sphynx kitten into the home
Introducing a new cat or kitten into your home can sometimes be very stressful to you, your current pet residents and of course the new kitty. Here are some tips to help this task go smoother and keep all your pets a bit safer and stress free.
Be aware that unlike dogs who are pack animals and one in the group requires alpha status or dominancy, the cat will thrive to acquire his or her "turf" or territory in the home. A new cat will sometimes go way out of it's way to avoid conflict with a cat whom has already laid claim to the home. It generally takes at least 1-2 weeks for things to start settling in in most cases with new residents.
You should try your hardest to ensure both cats, especially the cat with the most issues with the other has escape routes to shelter, food, water and the litter box. To have a poor travel way to these important items like food etc can lead to one or both cats not sting or even making messes like peeing or pooping in unwanted places other than the litter box. Cats like heights to feel safe, a few cat trees or shelves work wonders for feeling safe and secure.
Always see your vet as soon as possible after bringing your new kitty home, within 24-48 hours if possible.
Always quarantine your new kitty for at least 5 days to a week in a separate room. This protects your new kitty and your existing kitty residents from contracting a disease if the new kitty has brought some germs into the home. The other pets and the new kitty will be able to smell each others scent under the door of the separate room which will let them become familiar with each others scent. Alway give your new guy his own food and water dish and of course his own litter box. A good rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the home.
Some have had great results with the Feliway products for calming. This can be purchased at most big pet Store chains.
Next take a clean washcloth and gently wipe the cloth on the new kitties cheek area. This is where the cats pheromones are released. So when your cat is rubbing your face with his cheeks he is leaving his scent on you saying "I now own you!" Take the washcloth and rub it on low lying areas of couches or if you have a cat house or carpeted scratching post, rub a little there as well. This gets the scent of the new kitty around the house so the other pets will become familiar with the new guys smell.
Another little trick is to put pet shirts on both cats (always monitor pets with clothes on), the new kitty and the existing tenant for a few hours and then "switch" their shirts - one wears the other shirt and before you know it in no time they will be used to each others scents after wearing each others shirts for a few hours.
Use a toy with the new kitties scent after she has played with it for awhile and then use that toy to play with your current kitties and have them become accustomed to the new kitty's scent off of the toy. this is a good way to get the scent out there and to the other cats in the house.
A day or two before the actual "introduction" put up a gate or slightly crack the door to the room the kitty is in to see the reactions of of all the cats. If there is hissing or swatting maybe wait another day or two.
The next step is the "meeting." When you feel comfortable- plan to have the meeting in a controlled environment like a room with all doors closed and maybe perhaps a helper or two. A good idea is to get a plate of tuna for each cat, bring the new guy in the room and have them all enjoy a little tuna together. Give it to the new guys first as sort of a pleasant distraction-It makes the "meeting" or introduction" pleasant for all. You can do these "pleasant" meetings as much as you would like and feel comfortable moving to the next step.
Then the next meeting would be sort of a play date where you have a few toys, wands with a feather at the end work best. Also have this "meeting" in a controlled room with some helpers if needed. No tuna at this meeting. Have fun and entertain all kitties together, again it makes the "meeting" seem pleasant and fun. sort of a fun distraction so all the attention is not on the new kitty. It could take some time, but your love and patience and will eventually pay off.
Here is a great video from Jackson Galaxy about kitty introductions.