It will be important to make resources plentiful for your feline family. This means lots of litter boxes, feeding stations, hiding and refuge spaces, cat trees, and cat toys for stimulation.
Pheromone Therapy with Feliway can really help smooth the addition of a new housemate. Cat noses are much more sensitive than ours. Cats have the ability to communicate via scent. The Feliway Pheromone communicates to cats in their own language and sends a message of a friendly greeting. Here is the link to Deer Run Animal Hospital's Feliway webpagewith tips on how to get the most benefit from Feliway. Feliway is available at Deer Run, just ask our staff!
There is new Pheromone Product, FELIWAY MULTICAT. It contains an appeasing pheromone similar to the pheromone released from the mammary glands of the nursing mother cat to give her kittens a sense of safety and security. Watch this video from Cat Caregivers who participated in this new treatment to help multi-cat homes live in harmony. This is a great product to use when you are introducing a new cat to your home! This exciting new tool to calm stressed cat housemates is now available at Deer Run, just ask our staff for more information!!
As knowledge about the normal behavior of cats and their social behavior has increased over the past decades.
Many beliefs about aggressive behaviors between cats, its causes and management, have changed.
Failure to understand what will promote friendly, amicable behavior and what will promote aggressive behavior can lead to various behavior problems; including aggression and conflict over resources such as food, resting sites and litter boxes.
Understanding the natural social organization, relationships and communication of the cat and how this impacts on cats is essential if we are to better manage cats, especially those that live in multi-cat households.
Food Toys are a great method of environmental enrichment and can be very helpful for young cats with a strong prey drive to direct their normal and natural prey drive toward food toys and not other housemates (feline & human).
Initially we recommend you keep cats separated for safety. Usually the new cat is in a room behind a closed door while the long term resident house cat(s) are allowed to roam and sniff at the door. Later on you can swap the situation to allow all cats to smell and explore the other cats territory.
You may eventually progress to using a barrier that increases visualization. This can start by using a latch that only lets the door open a crack. Later a screen door can be a great barrier for long or short term separation and safety Here is a link that gives you instructions on how do this without ruining your door frame: