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You have (or are planning) a new feline member for your household. Here are some suggestions on making the introduction a smoother one.

Keep in mind that it is your #1 cat’s territory and he/she will not initially appreciate “invasion” by another cat. It is best to confine that #2 cat for the first 2- 3 days. Choose a comfortable room (preferably not your # 1 cat’s favorite one) where you can have a litter box, food, water, and a bed for the #2 cat.

Your #1 cat will need extra attention. Talk to him/her in soothing, quiet tones. Encourage his/her investigation of the door to the room confining the new cat. The cats will become familiar with each other through the smell and sound. This will help tone down the negative reaction when they see each other.

IT IS WISE TO HAVE A PHYSICAL EXAM, FECAL ANALYSIS, FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS TEST AND FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS TEST FOR THE #2 CAT BEFORE ALLOWING THE CATS TO HAVE CONTACT.

If they are too aggressive once they are introduced, confine the #2 cat again for another day or two. (Tolerate some hissing-that is normal.) It may help rub each cat gently with a towel or other article that the other cat has slept on (has his/her scent on it). Do not be over anxious to have the cats meet face to face. Cats’ first impressions of each other are not usually good. Given time and patience, they can learn to become close companions.