Introducing New Cat To Home In Carlisle Pa

Bringing Kitty Home When You Have Other Cats

When you bring your kitty home from surgery or a hospital stay, and there are other cats in the household, they will essentially be viewed as “new.” They’ll smell and act differently on the first day, so the other kitties might see them as a new cat in the household. This means that cats who are brought home from vet visits can experience stress, bullying, and even aggression from their housemates if not reintroduced to the household gradually. It’s best to follow a specific household introduction procedure, whether you’re introducing a new kitty to your household or re-introducing a kitty who has had time away from home, even just for a day.

The Household Introduction Procedure

Below, “Kitty A” will refer to the new kitty or the kitty returning from the vet hospital. “Kitty B” refers to the other cat or cats who are already at home when they arrive.


Initially, keep “Kitty A” separate from the other cats in a “recovery” room that is quiet and dimly lit, with the door closed. This should be for at least a night, but don’t rush the process. “Kitty A”‘s room should have all the essentials: a food bowl, water, litter box, scratching post, toys, and napping spots. This will be their sanctuary spot. Meanwhile, your other cats should have those options elsewhere in the house, so they don’t have to share initially.

Spending Time and Scent Swapping

During the separation period, make sure to spend time with “Kitty A” in their sanctuary and give your other cats snuggles and playtime as well. This not only ensures all cats get the attention they need but also allows them to smell each other on you. Scent swapping is crucial. Gently wipe “Kitty A” with a towel when they first come home and place that towel next to “Kitty B”‘s food dish, so they can smell it. Once “Kitty B” is accustomed to “Kitty A”‘s scent, and vice versa, you can begin to introduce their scents to each other’s personal spaces.

Reintroduction Through Feeding

Give the cats a reason to like each other again by associating good things with each other’s presence, mainly through food. Feed them at the same time but in separate rooms initially. Gradually bring them closer together during feeding times, monitoring for any signs of aggression. If there’s no hissing or growling, you can slowly start to bring them into the same space for meals. If at any point they show discomfort, step back to the previous successful arrangement.

Important Reminders

Do not rush the reintroduction process. The time it takes can vary greatly depending on the dynamics of your household. What’s most important is that the kitties return to a neutral and amicable relationship. Stress post-surgery can delay healing, and stressful relationships between cats can affect the home environment negatively. If you have any questions or if any issues arise during the reintroduction, keep “Kitty A” in the stage where they are most comfortable and reach out for help.

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The Healing Paws Veterinary Care promise is a thorough and kind experience. Taking the time to listen to you (and your pet) while being thorough in our examination, pain assessment and diagnostic testing means that we can find answers and solutions that keep your friend living longer and more comfortably.