How To Introduce Cats So They Don't End Up Hating Each Other


Cats are territorial animals for whom first impressions make a big difference. Here are some tips for introducing cats the right way! 


1. Take them to the vet.


Make sure both cats are fit and healthy! This is extremely important if the cat you are bringing into your home is adopted from a shelter, many cats come home with upper respiratory infections when adopted. 

2. Keep cats separated at first. 

It is always a good idea to keep cats separated when introducing them to each other. Even a bedroom door can make all the difference. Cats can smell each other underneath the door so they can get used to having them around without the face to face meeting first. Give each cat their own bed where they can feel safe and secure. After some time has passed, try putting a blanket that one cat has laid on with the other cats so they can get used to each others' scent. 

3. Give cats space.

If one cat starts to become aggressive, refrain from interfering. Don't try to pick them up and soothe them, which can cause additional stress and confusion. Give them more time apart. It can also be good to try hands-off enrichment toys like a teaser toy or catnip-filled toy to put the cats at ease in each other's presence while you stay out of the picture. 

4. Be patient.

There is no way of knowing how long it should take. Every cat is unique. Be patient and try and make sure both don't get too stressed out. A stressed cat is not a happy cat! Some

5. Adopt together.


Getting your cats at the same time is the easiest way to create a fight free household! As kittens, they will accept anyone so they can play and bond and spend their lives snuggling! 



  • Wendy

    We have the same problem as Tammy. We have two neutered Siamese males (Zabardas and Samarkand, about five years and three years old respectively), who adore each other. A year ago (when we had four Siamese – two have sadly died since) we took on another young (three year old) Siamese neutered male whose owner didn’t want him. The new cat Mao is a very gentle, quiet animal who was extremely frightened when he came and spent the first three months living in our wardrobe. Although all cats are originally from the same cattery and are closely related, Zabardas and Samarkand are very hostile (Zabar occasionally sprays where Mao has been) toward Mao and use gang warfare to terrify him. The situation has gradually improved and they can all exist in the same room – but under supervision. Mao would love to be friends with the other two and go outside, but it’s always hard for him as he has to avoid the other two cats. Feeding them together does give them (and us!) some sort of peace but overall it’s still a pretty hostile situation. They all have “Calm” collars and (every so often) are on Vetologica “Tranquil” tablets. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very appreciative.

  • ronda

    Love these stories!

  • Nancy Gartner

    I have 8 cats. Each of them were brought in separately. They seem to understand that all cats are welcome. The new cat is brought in in a carrier and left in the carrier for about an hour. Others will sniff to their content. Then I open the carrier door and allow the new cat to come out when ready. I carefully supervise but allow the new cat freedom to explore and make introductions as he/she is comfortable. I allow hisses and growls but also reprimand whoever makes them.

    The only jealousy I had was when our queen bee got a little sister and her nose was really out of joint. She hissed and growled for quite a while and would not share a food dish with her little sister. They have worked it out now. They may not be best buddies but they tolerate each other and sometimes even play together and now eat together. The only time the jealousy rears its head is when they both want attention from me at the same time.

  • Anna

    At Lucky Cat Haven, a feral and semi-feral rescue society in Victoria, BC, Canada, we bring new cats in all the time with no problems. First, we do not hide cats behind closed doors as that causes the cats to be suspicious of our behaviour.

    When we bring in a new cat, after it has been examined by a vet and vaccinated, we leave the new cat in the carrier and let the resident cats investigate. After about an hour, we let the new cat out in a quiet area. We then brush all the cats with the same brush to share their scent and hair. We do this multiple times so everyone’s scent and hair are intertwined and when the cats lick themselves, the scents and hair become familiar. We also ensure our focus is on the resident cats and not the newcomer. This reassures the resident cats they are not being replaced.

    We also maintain order. Hisses and growls are the cats advising you are too close for their comfort. If a cat folds its ears and wags its tail, we intervene by distracting the cats: such as, clapping hands or spraying water. This causes the cats to forget what they were doing and focus on you.

    In a feral colony, the alpha male will stalk any cat that disrupts the order in a colony. To maintain order, we do the same thing. We stalk the trouble maker to show we disapprove of their behaviour. In our household, my husband is the alpha “cat” and I am the beta “cat”.

    To socialize feral cats, we do not allow the cat to hide. We want the cat to observe the other cats interacting with us. Allowing a cat to hide will encourage that cat to maintain its feral behaviour: that is, come out when everything is quiet.

    Remember to always focus your attention on your resident cats and NOT on the new cat or kitten. The new cat/kitten must be accepted by the resident cats or you will cause jealousy amongst them. When you feed the cats, always start with the resident cats, the same applies for treats and playing.

    It saddens us when a family contacts us to take their resident cat into our care because it didn’t get along with the new kitten. The family made the mistake of focusing their energy and love on the new kitten, but it is the resident cat who suffers the consequence of an improper introduction. :(

    For a successful introduction of a new cat/kitten, the resident cat must adopt the new cat/kitten!

  • Rachel

    I will be moving back home soon. I have three cats, mom has one. I have been bringing blankets and such that smell like my cats to mom’s, and stuff from mom’s to my place. Hoping that the smells will help in the future move to keep everyone calm. Also got one of these plug in things that are suppose to help calm them. I am hoping this will all work.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.