This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Feliway®. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you have followed some of my posts, you know how much I love my pets. They really are members of our family. As such, I like to make sure that they are happy, healthy and well-adjusted in our home. Because of this, when my husband and I recently talked about adding a new cat to our family, I wanted to get some professional advice on how to make it a smooth transition for our current fur-baby as well as any new pets we might adopt.
I decided to talk to my friend, Ashley Long, who is a professional cat breeder and raises pure-bred Savannah cats, about how to introduce a new cat to the family. Because she raises her cats in her home, she has tried hard to create an environment where all of the cats are happy and thriving. She says that a big part of that is making sure that they have a positive experience when they are first introduced into the family.
She says, ” It does [make a difference] with all cats..but especially Savannahs..the little bit of wild in them makes it a bit more difficult..so mastering introducing them is the key to having a happy household. I just want them all to be friends really”
How She Does It:
During her time as a cat breeder, Ashley has developed a successful method for introducing a new feline to the family, which she shared with me. Here is how she does it!
1. Quarantine Period- Ashley advises, “The biggest thing is to not just throw them together immediately when the new kitty comes home. Quarantine the new kitty in a bathroom or bedroom with the door closed for at least a few days, up to 2 weeks is ideal. Then let them sniff and play under the door..that way they can get familiar with the smell, and new kitty can get comfortable in her new home.”
2. Make a Neutral Space- Next Ashley prepares for the cats to meet each other by preparing a neutral space for them to meet in. She prepares it by keeping both cats out of the room for a time.
She also sprays Feliway® in the neutral room. This is a synthetic replica of the “Feline Facial Pheromone,” which is naturally produced when cats are happy and feeling comfortable in their environment. (This is why you always see cats rubbing their cheeks against objects.) By mimicking this pheromone, Feliway® creates a state of familiarity and security, helping to comfort and reassure cats as they cope with a challenging situation.
Feliway® can be used any time you want to create an environment of calmness and safety for your cat. This could include times that you need to travel with your cat, holiday disturbances such as guests, decorations and parties, a sudden change in schedules or other situations that may cause stress to your cats. It is available in a Diffuser, Spray, and Wipes and can be bought through your veterinarian or a qualified pet behaviorist. Find out more about Feliway® and to find where to buy it near you, check them out on Facebook.
3. Let them sniff- After creating a neutral space, Ashley lets the cats take turns spending time in the room alone to give them time to spread their scent and then smell the other cat’s scent.
4. Introduce them- Ashley said, “After a few days of that, letting them sniff where the other kitty had been in the neutral room, I put them together.” She also advises “If i see any aggression that wasn’t just curiosity, I separate them. If they attack, it will be a negative experience, which is what we dont want..so breaking them up before it becomes negative is crucial.”
5. Repeat as necessary- If you encounter a negative experience at first, keep trying during short intervals until the two cats are comfortable with each other. Try using the Feliway® diffuser or spray during each meeting to help reduce stress between the two cats.
By taking the steps to make sure that your new and current cat are properly introduced you can help them to become life-long friends and keep your home as a happy and calm environment for all of your special fur-babies.