Introducing Cats: From Strangers To Roommates

Introducing Cats: From Strangers To Roommates

Beth Zeigler
Feb 3, 2010

We knew our our recent move across town wouldn't be easy, but it was our final task that proved to be the most challenging: introducing the cats. And while we got advice and read up on how to introduce cats from different households--we must admit, tensions were running high earlier today.

Most of our anxiety stemmed from the fact that our female cat is quite the drama queen. Looking back, we probably over-analyzed how to introduce the cats, but as any cat lover knows--these mysterious creatures are tough to predict. We "purr-ferred" (sorry-- had to include one) to err on the side of caution.

  • We first got the bedroom and office set up with cat food, litter boxes and toys so our cats would be comfy and cozy in their new space.
  • It's important to keep the cats separate for a day or two in different rooms so they can discover their new surroundings at a slow pace.
  • You may want to introduce a stress reliever (our pet caretaker recommends Bach Rescue Remedy-- one drop, 3 times/day). We also picked up some Feliway room sprays to further keep anxiety levels at a minimum.
  • Once your cat seems calm and back to normal, it's time to make the introduction. We purchased a child's safety gate (which acts as a barrier but still allows the cats to view one another at a safe distance). You can also put the cats in their separate crates and introduce them that way--but for us, we wanted our furry friends to have room to move around.
  • Closely monitor your cats (and don't forget to separate them again at bedtime or when leaving the house). Keep this routine up until the cats seem to get along (or are at least ignoring one another).
  • And lastly, remember that introducing cats is a slow process and it may take months for your cats to get along.

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(Images: Beth Zeigler)
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