warning signs when introducing cats

Warning Signs When Introducing Cats And What You Can Do To Help

It can be difficult to introduce your existing cat to a new cat. You must be aware of some warning signs when introducing cats.

It’s possible that the neighborhood cat will turn against the newcomer. They might even act aggressively toward one another, hissing, growling, and grumbling.

You can introduce cats successfully and lower the likelihood of hostility and aggression with the right planning.

It could take a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months to introduce cats. If you do it correctly, they will get along faster and with less resistance.

Warning Signs When Introducing Cats

By carefully monitoring warning signs, you can reduce the likelihood that your feline companions will exhibit intolerance. While the new cat tries to settle in, your resident cat will be responding to it.

The following are some of the warning signs when introducing new cats:

1. Staring at each other

Upon recognizing one another, your feline partners will start staring at one another. Because it feels threatened or uneasy, the local cat may stare at the newcomer for a long time.

If the cats are staring at you for an extended period of time, they may be preparing to become aggressive and unpleasant. To calm the cats down and stop any attacks, you can enter the room and separate the cats.

2. Growling

warning signs when introducing cats

When confronted with uncomfortable circumstances, cats growl to express their fear, rage, repulsion, and distress. At first contact, one of the cats—either the resident or the new cat—might start growling. The cat that is most uneasy will typically growl first.

In order to express their discomfort at having another cat in the house, your resident cat may growl upon the first introduction.

The majority of the time, growling is normal and shouldn’t raise any serious issues. In any case, it demonstrates to you that your feline partners are considerate of their privacy and would sound the alarm if they were uneasy.

3. Hissing

The cats might decide that growling is no longer sufficient and turn up the volume. When their fear levels increase, the cats might begin hissing at one another.

Cats hiss as a form of self-defense when they feel attacked or agitated.

If you hear your cats hissing at one another, you must intervene and separate them. If you don’t step in, the cats might become more agitated.

4. Ears flat or pushed back

The way cats move their ears is another red flag to look out for when introducing them.

When cats feel threatened, anxious, or uneasy, they will flatten their ears and push them back. They act in this way because the new feline makes them feel threatened.

To defend themselves from any outside threats, cats flatten and move their ears back. Your cats are now afraid that the other cats might jump on them and start a fight.

5. Dilated pupils

During the initial meeting, your cat’s pupils might enlarge. This demonstrates how frightened and defensive the furry partners are. They are closely monitoring potential developments right now.

6. Puffing out their fur

At first contact, your feline companions might puff out their fur. The cats are attempting to bulge out their bodies to appear large, so this is a defensive maneuver. More fur will be puffed out by the cat who is more insecure than the cat in charge.

7. Chasing and hiding

The less dominant cat will flee and hide for protection if the more dominant cat is frightening another cat.

Cats frequently find refuge behind curtains, on the sofa, and under beds.

Because they are afraid of the stronger cat, hiding cats occasionally choose not to return. If this occurs, you must separate the cats and search for the cat that has hidden them so you can show them some affection.

How To Introduce Cats

warning signs when introducing cats

Cats make excellent pets because they are fiercely possessive. It’s possible that your resident cat feels threatened and won’t accept your new cat.

Your existing cat will become aggressive and attempt to drive the newcomer out of its territory. While this is sometimes acceptable, if the cats are not handled properly, they can occasionally turn ugly.

You should understand how to smoothly introduce cats into your home. Starting with the preparation phase, the process continues until you see the cats coexist peacefully.

1. Prepare for a multi-cat home

You need to get ready to host your new cat before bringing them home. To accommodate the new cat alone, create a separate room.

All family members should have easy access to the room, which should be lockable. Additionally, it needs to be roomy enough to accommodate all of your cat’s accessories.

For your animal friends, you need to acquire more cat-related resources. Increase the quantity and variety of cat gear, treats, and other necessities. Your furry friends shouldn’t have to engage in conflict over scarce resources, which is what you don’t want.

2. Immediately after the adoption

You must first take your new cat or kitten to the vet after adoption. Let your vet diagnose them for all the common cat health problems.

If they are discovered to have a medical condition, they should start receiving treatment and medication right away.

If it’s the cat’s time to get vaccinated, let him get the prescribed shots. Unvaccinated cats should not be brought inside.

They could easily contract some contagious diseases and endanger your feline family.

3. Bringing your new cat home

Your cat should be in a cozy carrier box once you have him. To keep your cat interested throughout the trip, you can put some cat treats and toys in the box.

Your cat’s carrier box needs to be securely fastened to the seat of your vehicle with a safety belt.

Take your new feline companion to their own room once you’ve arrived at your house with them. Do not yet let your resident cat see the feline guest.

Allow the cat to enter and exit the carrier box at will while keeping it open. The newcomer is probably feeling a little stressed out and eager to settle into his new place at this point.

How To Introduce Kittens To Your Adult Cat

warning signs when introducing cats

It might be different from introducing kittens to introducing adult cats. Kittens get along with adult cats much more easily.

Some cat parents reported that it was simple to get their older cats to accept the new kitten. In less than a week, your new kitten and the neighborhood cat should get along.

Having a kitten around is entertaining and playful. The natural territorial instincts that cats develop as they age are not yet present in kittens.

Also, a young visitor won’t be as intimidating to your resident cat as an older one would. The adult cat in your household might accept a new kitten at first, but you shouldn’t count on it.

To make sure your feline companions get along, remember the following advice.

1. Know your resident cats’ personalities

Loves kittens your cat? You wonder if your cat will freely accept kittens and engage in endless play with them. They might get along easily if you have an older cat.

2. Start training your kitten

Training your new kitten is the best way to make sure that it fits in with the rest of the furry family. Train them not to scratch the furniture and show them the more convenient scratching post.

It will be simple for them to get along if you allow your new arrival to grow up with the same morals as your resident cat.

3. Get them to play together

Cats enjoy playing, and kittens enjoy it even more. Giving your new kitten a playmate is one of the best ways to help him feel at home.

Allow the feline companions to play together by providing enough cat toys. From tugging games to chewing toys to jumping on cat trees, let your cats enjoy and maximize their fun.

Have a look at the video below from Dr. Kim Chainey where she talks about the 10 things you need to know if you have a new kitten.

What Not To Do When Introducing Cats

What about the opposite, now that we’ve looked at some of the ways you can introduce cats? If you want your resident cat to welcome his new furry friend, there are a few things you should try to avoid doing.

1. Introducing your cats too quickly

Do not rush to introduce the newcomer once you have brought them home. Allow the new cat to remain in their home for a few hours or even days.

Give them time to become accustomed to the new home. Rapid introductions could make the new cat feel threatened. With a new environment and a new furry friend, they are attempting to catch up.

2. Leaving your cats unsupervised

If left alone, you shouldn’t leave your cats close together. Make sure you are present every time you want to bring the cats into close proximity so you can keep an eye on them. Then, you’ll be able to keep a close eye on their interactions.

Additionally, the cats will feel more secure in your presence. As a result, the likelihood of tension building would be diminished.

3. Forcing your cats to get along

Be patient and let your animal companions get along over time. Don’t make any of them accept friendship right away.

By doing this, you could end up doing more harm than good. Be as natural as you can in the process. Your furry friends will maintain the bond for a long time if they get along naturally.

4. Shouting at them

Your pet may turn hostile if you yell at him or punish him for not welcoming a visitor. Your cats’ stress levels and anxiety will only rise if you yell at them.

warning signs when introducing cats

How To Get Cats To Get Along

When cats will all get along is not something that can be predicted. It takes weeks for some cats to become friends, while others take months.

However, you can get involved and facilitate your cats’ quicker and more peaceful coexistence.

1. Increase your Cats’ Resources

If you only have one cat, your house needs to be set up to accommodate several cats. Getting ready will entail giving the cats enough resources to live happily and peacefully.

No resource should be contested by cats. This might cause them to become agitated and fight occasionally.

Ensure you add an extra cat litter box for your newcomer. Cats are clean-living creatures, so they might not want to share a litter box.

You can get an automatic cat litter box if you have a newcomer kitten to make it more convenient for them.

Sharing feeding resources may also be difficult for cats. The feline partners may become hostile to one another as a result of their food-based competition.

For your new cat, make another feeding station. Feeding points should have cat food bowls, an automatic cat feeder, and cat water fountains.

You must designate a separate area for your newcomer to sleep in. They should avoid sleeping in the same spot as the neighborhood cats.

Consider getting a tall pet gate to separate the two rooms, where the cats can see each other but they can’t physically reach each other. The introduction stage may move more quickly as a result.

For the start, it is important to have the cats sleep in different cat beds. Once they are accustomed to each other, they can eventually share a bed.

Get more interactive cat toys for your feline pets. Make sure your pets have enough cat toys so that they don’t fight while playing.

2. Allow your resident cat to cool down

You must give your resident feline some time to calm down after your feline partners have met and aroused their curiosity.

Take them to a different room so they can calm down after potentially accumulating anger. Don’t push your cats to immediately get along with a newcomer. Permit them to approach each other at their own pace.

3. Eating together

You can place their meals close to one another if your furry friends do not fight over food. Give each cat a different food bowl, and let them all eat together.

To lessen the possibility of a fight, make sure all the cats have a generous amount of food.

4. Use a Pheromone Diffuser

A Feliway Diffuser sprays pheromones which helps cats to calm down in stressful situations. A calm response to changes is also aided by these scents for your cat.

The resident cats will readily accept the visitor, and your new cat will quickly get used to its new surroundings. These diffusers can be installed in the living room, hallways, and bedrooms of your new cats.

5. Reward your cats when they tolerate each other

Have some tasty cat treats and reward your cats when they’re staying calm together. When they embrace one another, let them know you’re joyful.

6 Signs Cats Are Starting To Get Along

If your feline companions behave differently, you can tell if they are getting along. Cats that used to hate each other are now cuddling up to one another.

Cats can get along at any time. While for others it takes months, some people become friends very quickly.

1. Sharing A Room

You’ll know that your animal companions have begun to embrace each other if you see them spending time together in one space.

The native cat is now welcoming the newcomer into the household. No more running and hiding.

The behavior of the cats in the space can also be seen. Do they still feel on high alert, or do they feel secure in each other? This will demonstrate to you how much they have embraced one another.

2. Eating From The Same Bowl

Eating from the same bowl is no problem for friendly cats. This is apparent even after you have provided each cat with its own bowl, as they continue to share one bowl while eating.

3. They Great Each Other

Now, when your furry partners encounter one another, they raise their tails and meow. They are aware of one another if they do this.

They can even continue to rub their heads together and even briefly lick each other. An exchange of love and affection took place in this act.

4. They Groom Each Other

Regular grooming is a sign of friendly cats. A cat will assist its partner in cleaning some of the body’s hard-to-reach areas.

5. Playing Together

warning signs when introducing cats

The tug-of-war games are no longer monotonous. To increase the excitement of their games, sociable cats will include everyone. For toys, they no longer fight. Now that there is less competition, they can share some of their toys.

They further engage in running, jumping, and chasing battles, especially on their scratching posts.

6. They Sleep Together

Your feline friends are currently exhausted from playing together and sleeping next to each other on the couch. This is to let you know that they can now coexist peacefully in the same area.

Your cats have finally accepted one another if they are displaying the aforementioned behaviors. The newcomer now feels welcome and like a member of the family.

You shouldn’t, however, assume that the cats are no longer in need of their own spaces. In order to relax and calm down, cats may occasionally need some alone time in a solitary setting.

The space and hiding place for each cat should be kept clean. Allow them to have access to all the resources at any time.

What To Do If Cats Get Aggressive

When introduced, cats can occasionally turn hostile. You must step in at this point to avert a potential assault on your person. An aggressive cat or one that is overly territorial may exhibit this behavior more frequently.

You must introduce your cats in the presence of a second person if you want to keep them from fighting. If an attack seems likely, you should both remain vigilant and keep a close eye on each other.

You must stop any fighting right away and lead the furry friends to their respective rooms if you see any signs of it. This is a red flag that the cats’ bonding process may take much longer than expected.

You can then switch the scents of your cats, which helps the host cat accept visitors to its territory.

buy some accessories, like, towels with your resident’s cat scent, and take them to the new cat’s room. Allow the visitor to catch a whiff of the neighborhood cat.

Allow your resident cat to catch a whiff of the newcomer by doing the same for him. Additionally, you can change the cat’s bedding.

Let them interact with each other’s smells and scents. Continue using the pheromone spray as you do this.

Reintroducing the cats is now possible after doing this for a few days. A little more cautious this time to avoid any escalation of aggression

To prevent any potential physical attack by furry friends, have more than one person handle this task for you.

I have written an article on how to deal with an aggressive cat. For more advice on how to calm down your cat when aggression flares up, see that article.

FAQs About Warning Signs When Introducing Cats

How Long After A Fight Should I Keep My Cats Apart?

The cats should be kept in separate rooms indoors for 24 to 48 hours following a catfight to give both cats a chance to cool off.

How Long Does It Take For Cats To Get Used To Each Other?

While some cats might only need a few days or weeks to get used to one another, others might need several months. When cats get along, there is no set period of time. Some cats quickly form bonds with their companions, while others take much longer to do so.

Some cats might need eight to twelve months to develop a friendly bond with a human after the initial meeting. Every cat has a unique personality that is unmatched by others. The length of the bonding period varies from cat to cat because of this.

How Do I Know If My Cats Like Each Other?

Your cats are rubbing their bodies and faces against one another, which is one of several signs that they get along. The bonded cats’ tails are also entwined as they stand side by side.

In addition, they kiss and share a lap while they sleep. They will, however, have fun and enjoy being together. They will tenderly groom one another as well. Although cats are typically thought of as lone hunters, they can get along and socialize with other cats they care about.

After Fighting, Can Cats Rekindle Their Friendships?

It’s possible for cats to get along again after a fight, but don’t count on it. When cats are introduced suddenly, they frequently start fighting, so it’s best to introduce them slowly and give them only limited contact until you can gauge how they’ll respond.


When introducing cats, it is best to separate them right away if you notice any warning signs. Don’t push your house cat to accept the new furry friend right away.

Allow them to get to know and accept one another at their own pace.

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