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Help! My new cat doesn't like my cat, New Farm Vet.

cat kitten introduce feliway fighting stray new farm teneriffe emporium


I am passionate about finding forever homes for unwanted pets, especially older animals. I often get questions on how to introduce a new cat into a family where there are existing pets. This is a typical scenario:

"Hi Dr Nic, I have a cat for 5 years and he is very attached to me. Being the only cat in this household, he has never been socialized with other animals. I am thinking of adopting another cat from the shelter but I am worried that the new cat may not get along with my cat.

Do you have any ideas on how to introduce a cat and prevent them from fighting?"

How do I introduce a new cat to my family, New Farm Vet?


It is quite important that prior to adopting a new pet into your life, make sure you go through our Puppy/Kitten Basics Series.

The other important question is to find out if the shelter has a "trial period" for the potential adopted pet where they would gladly take back the new cat if she just does not get along with your current kitty cat. The last thing you need is have pets that fight and squabble day in and out, resulting in stress for yourself and medical problems for them.

I would keep the new cat segregated from your current one in the first week. Make sure the new cat has her own litter box, food and water bowl, places to perch, scratching post and toys. Don't forget to do all the anti-parasitic treatments while the new cat is in "quarantine". You can try letting your resident kitty cat see the new cat across the hallway and gradually let them be around each other for a short while.

Bear in mind that your resident kitty cat probably has a few favourite spots in your home for snoozing and perching. Discourage the new cat from going to these spots and encourage her to find her own special place. You can do this by putting some catnip at these new areas.

I would definitely get Feliway, a cat appeasing pheromone diffuser, which helps with calming and preventing aggression. Start using the diffuser one week before bringing the new cat home and continue for at least 3 months. Feliway also has a spray-on version that you can apply to both your cats' beds or lounging spots to further help reduce stress.

Watch out for any signs of stress-induced illnesses such as cat flu and urinary track infections. Come talk to us if these do occur. Your cats may need some medication.

Good luck!

If you are looking for a New Farm Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.