It is very important to give your newly adopted pet TIME to adjust. We talked about getting another cat through adoption. With so many pets in Arizona shelters, cat rescue was the option for us. I’d like you to meet our new kitty cat Neffron.
Honestly, at first we thought we may have to return our newly adopted cat. The introduction wasn’t easy with our Labrador, Jack Russell and another cat. Tension was very high with cat hissing, barking and new cat behaviors I was not familiar with.
After hours of research on success when adding a second cat, we came up with a plan.
At the shelter Neffron was in a cage. We held this lovable Siamese cat and found him to be very easy going. Neffron was a 6 yr old neutered male and quite large. This was good as our tenacious Jack Russell Terrier would not do well with a young, smaller cat.
Before bringing our new cat home we had set up the back bedroom with food, water, and fresh litter. Our second cat would have a climbing post with a stimulating view from the window. By nature cats are very territorial and our other cat would naturally resent an adult feline intruder. Our adopted pet would have their own safe room.
According to the Animal Humane Society and S.A.F.E., Saving Animals From Euthanasia, the sex of the cats makes very little difference. Many feline behavior experts agree that age and temperament are the most important factors.
My husband and I would take turns relaxing in the room with Neffron. Now our 12 yr old cat was very nervous and upset. The behaviour of our older cat changed from mild-mannered to angry. On the second day, I began to hold our older cat and sit with him across from Neffron for short intervals. Batman, our 12 yr old was making deep moaning, growling noises and hissing at the new cat.
Periodically, we started to leave the bedroom door open so Neffron could explore his new house. Our Jack Russell was put on his leash so he would not chase the new cat. With treats in hand, I would reward the dogs as Neffron walked passed. At bedtime, Neffron was safely brought back to his cat room and the door was shut.
Our 12 yr old cat, Batman, was having a harder time with the adjustment of adding a second cat. We provided him with his own new litter box. In his behavior I noticed our darling cat wasn’t eating. This worried me so I placed extra bowls of cat food in different rooms that Batman was hiding in. Also we gave extra petting and attention to help him feel safe.
These two cats sit down together but will not look at each other. I giggle as I learn how a cat behaves with other cats. The cat hissing and growling has finally stopped!
Two weeks of constant supervision have passed and we are so grateful that Neffron is part of the family! Bedroom doors remain open, cats are eating and drinking, the tension has gone and only hugs, toys and playtime remains.
It is hard to predict how a cat will react when you add a new feline to the family. You won’t know until you try and we are sure glad we did! Best wishes to all you pet owners and future pet owners.