Introducing Cats in a Studio Apartment (No Isolation!)

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Here’s a quick guideline of what to do when introducing cats in a studio apartment or similar types of spaces:

  1. Screen the new cat (personality, gender, etc.)
  2. Prepare a cat-centric environment before new cat arrives.
  3. Set-up the new cat’s home base in the specified zone.
  4. Distract cats with play.
  5. Use food motivations to create positive associations.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 until cats are friendly/tolerant of each other.

There’s a well-known process to introduce cats. It usually goes like this: Isolate the new cat in a separate room and slowly introduce the cats to each other. While this is the ideal process to give all your cats time to adjust to the new situation, it is sometimes impossible, especially for the people living with their cats in one-room living areas.

Before you start, I included a free PDF that you can use to track your cat’s progress with each other. Tracking your cat’s progress will help you understand what is happening and which boundaries to push during your introduction process. Please share with me how long your introduction process takes down in the comments!

Introducing Cats in a Studio Apartment Guide

I introduced all of my kittens and cats in one room without the traditional isolation, slow and gradual introduction process.

So how did I manage to introduce a cat/kitten into a one-room studio apartment? First, know your cat’s personality and screen the cat’s personality by meeting it first. Choosing a same-gendered cat or kitten to introduce to your resident cats increases its chances of getting along and having the same type of playstyle. Second, have a stimulating environment by providing toys, cat furniture, and regularly scheduled playtime. And third, leverage the power of food and snacks to create positive associations between the cats and you as their owner.

Kitten exploring his new apartment during his introduction process!
Loki is the rescue kitten’s first time in his new home.

Here are the basic points to know when introducing cats in a studio apartment:

  • Cats are living things, and so as all living things, they have an innate instinct to survive, and they will be able to manage by themselves, even without much help.
  • Even if they are stressed and a little bit uncomfortable initially, they will be able to adapt. With the power of consistency and positive associations, we can help this process go along much faster.
  • By following these steps in a studio apartment environment, you’ll be able to have the cat or kitten adapt within a week as a reference.
  • On average, for me, it takes about 3 days from the introduction for my cats to get along and play, eat, and sleep together with each other.

Update: I have streamlined this process and created a more illustrated guide for introducing a new cat without isolation or separation. However, this article contains more in-depth details and provides solutions to some problems that you might have! It’s recommended you read this one first and then look at the illustrated guide!

Before the Introduction: Personalities & Factors That Affect Introduction Process

Even before a new cat is introduced, you must consider your cat’s personality and the new cat’s personality. This is why experts recommend whoever is introduced should be in the same stage of life as your current cats. For example, if your cats are 2-3 years old, it would be recommended that the newcomer be 2-3 years old.

However, it could be that you have an active breed that is kitten-like throughout their whole life (such as a Bengal). Then it would be fine to introduce a younger cat to their lives. It would provide them with a partner to expend their energy on. My recent addition is an overactive rescue kitten that my Bengal loves to play together with.

Nothing, however, is set in stone in the animal world. Cats have personalities, and some are more resilient than others. Some need some extra time to cope with the change. Some cats warm up to the new cat in one day, and some need a week.

So as a responsible owner, it is important to do the research and meet the new little guy before you introduce them to your household. Ask yourself these questions:

1. How well are they playing?
2. Are they afraid of you or other animals?
3. Are they playing with their siblings/other cats (If they have any)?
4. How young is the cat/kitten?
5. Is it male or female?

All of these are factors on how well they will adapt to changes or react to other cats or people.

The most important factors that increase a cat’s likelihood of adapting quickly after an introduction would be its age, gender, and playstyle.

Age Matters For The Introduction Process

A younger cat/kitten is much more adaptable than an older cat. Simply because there’s a time period in which they are learning what’s okay or not okay in their environment, is usually it’s within their first 8 weeks of being born and can extend up to 14 weeks.

A young kitten will learn quickly what is acceptable in terms of behaviors with other cats and humans. Take this into account. Even if the kitten is a bit more timid/shy or sensitive initially, they can develop into confident and active cats.

I introduce Loki, the kitten, to my other 3 cats in my studio apartment!

So if there’s a kitten that you really love and they’re still pretty young (within that time period of socialization) but maybe a little bit shy or afraid, I’d say go for it. There’s a higher likelihood for the introduction to go well between cats with younger kittens.

If the cat is older, know that it takes a little more time and effort for older cats to get out of their old habits and learn new ones. However, with consistency and a proper plan, there’s a high chance that it will still be successful.

Gender Influences Playstyle (For Better Cat-to-Cat Compatibility)

Try to have the cat you are introducing be the same gender as your cats at home. This is because males and females have different traits and quirks:

  • Boys are usually rougher with their play than girls. Girls tend to like a game of chase, but boys like to wrestle.
  • Boys can also be more independent in their play, and girls like to lounge, chill and observe. Pick the gender that most match your cat at their current state.
  • Is your resident cat overweight and doesn’t move that much? Maybe a female would be better.
  • Is your cat super energetic and always nipping at your ankles? Then giving him a boy to wrestle and expend his energy on might be a good idea.
two boy cats fighting when being introduced in studio apartment.
Boys will be boys. Males will tend to like to rough-play and wrestle.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but thinking about these two important factors will help have a smooth introduction process.

Environment Preparations: Before & During Introduction Process

In the interactions with cat to cat, think about what you can control. You can’t control what they do to each other. You can’t control where they want to go. However, you CAN control their environment, food and play. So, in a sense, you can control their associations and as a result, you control their feelings towards each other and you as their owner.

Environment Preparations Before New Cat Arrival

Other than providing stimulation in the environment, try to block off most of the unders in the apartment. Under the bed, under the couch, or the cabinet. The reason for this is because it makes cats keep pushing their comfort zones and not hiding in a dark place for hours at a time.

  • Try your best to block off or minimize the number of things that the new cat or kitten can go under.
  • If you do have some unders available and you’ve tried your best, then it’s okay. It’s not a make-or-break type of thing. It just helps the introduction process along.
  • Just remember, if a cat or kitten ever goes into these places, never reward them with treats or food. You don’t have to coax them out either. They’ll come out when they realize it’s more fun out in the open rather than under something.
Kitten perching on scratching post.
Being perched on something is much better than hiding in a dark corner during the introduction process!

During and After Meeting of Resident Cats

  • As you begin to release your new kitten/cat into its new environment. Release him in one section of your apartment. It doesn’t have to be a room. It might be just one corner of the room.

    This should be where there is a litter box easily accessible for the new cat or kitten. Allow for the hissing and swatting to happen. It will happen, and there’s no controlling that. Allow the other cats to notice. Some cats might be following the new guy, and some will immediately try to avoid them.

    As I said before, think about what you can control. The environment should allow other resident cats to avoid them (perches and things to climb) and a relatively secure place for the new cat to hide if it gets too intense. Such as the carrier you brought them in. The kitten may want to stay there for a while until it gets use to the new smells.
  • Be patient on the first day. Sometimes it takes an hour or two for the new kitten or cat to move out from the carrier. Sometimes it takes until all the other cats are asleep to be more comfortable with sniffing around and exploring their environment.
  • As they explore, maybe he’ll discover some fun things around the apartment, such as balls or toys. Let the new kitten/cat do whatever and allow the hissing and swatting.
  • The only time you should intervene is when there is a full-on catfight with biting and scratching (clap loudly or make a loud noise to stop the fight).

In these rare cases, you might need to separate them until you know what’s going on. This usually never happens if the resident cats are spayed and neutered!

Scheduled Feeding and Play Strategies For Introducing Cats in a Studio Apartment

The two things that can create good associations between you and your cats are food and play. If you have been free-feeding your cats up until now. Stop. The cats will be in a constant state of fullness and won’t respond as well to snacks or food.

Introduction Strategy 1: Positive Associations From Food

I have 3 scheduled times to feed, and I recommend you have the same type of schedule. Morning, lunch, and night time right before I sleep.

A scheduled feeding time works well because it allows them to anticipate food and be hungry enough to eat together and start to associate each other with positive feelings from eating food. Therefore the steps are as follows:

  • Set 3 times in which the cats will have mealtimes.
  • If you know a certain food or type of snack your resident cat loves, start using them during the scheduled feeding times. At first, your cats will want to eat pretty far away from the new cat or kitten. Maybe some will refuse to eat at all. That’s okay for the first time you try. Leave the food there and try next feeding time again.
  • As your cats get hungrier, they’ll start to care less about what’s around them and care more about food. Start to move their feeding bowls closer together each time. Imagine crossing a boundary line each time when feeding the cats. Continue to keep crossing that line and bring the food bowls closer together.
  • Eventually, if it goes well, they’ll get to a point where they’re beside without hissing at each other. That’s when you know you’re breaking through, and the process of peace, love, and toleration begins!

What I like to do is when they get to that point, have a large dish or bowl with some food they go crazy over and allow them all to eat from that one dish or bowl. There should be enough space for all of them. If they can do that, then the rest is easy.

Introduction Strategy 2: Positive Associations From Play

  • Similar to scheduled feeding, have a time in which you play with your cats together. I would recommend twice a day for about 20-30 minutes. Preferably, playtime would be before scheduled feeding time. This fits in line with a cat’s instinct to hunt, catch, kill, eat, and groom. After they play, it’s time to eat.
  • Play creates a distraction for all of the cats. Instead of focusing on the new cat or kitten, they can focus on hunting, tracking things, and in general have fun. As a result, everyone starts to notice things are okay as they play around each other.
  • It’ll begin a bit hissy, of course, but if they’re trying to play around with the other cats, it’s a good sign. If the other cats are attempting to play, it’s also a good sign. Again, a bit of hissing and swatting is okay in the beginning. Your main goal is to distract.
  • Interactive toys such as laser pointers and wand toys are great for this. Kittens love things to chase and so it’s easy to distract the kittens around the other cats.

What does this convey? Things are only fun when everyone is together. As cats tire out and have fun chasing, hunting, and catching the toys, you can reward them with a snack or whatever food you feed them during scheduled feeding time. This will reinforce their positive feelings towards you and the other cats around them.

Cats successfully introduced to each other in a studio apartment!
2 days later: peace at last.

Introducing Cats in a Studio Apartment: Conclusion

That’s all there is. If you consistently provide good associations by scheduling food and play, eventually, their bond with the other cats and with you will strengthen. They’ll be chasing, playing, and napping together in no time.

I’ve never had an introduction last for more than one week. They eventually start to play with each other by the end of the week. The first day is always the most stressful, but once you get the hang of it, you can be confident that your efforts will be rewarded!

This is my video outlining the steps for the more visual learners out there.

Loki, my rescue kitten, was one of the fastest introductions I’ve had to date. It took about 2 days for everyone to be okay with each other. This is the process I’ve followed for each one of my cats, so I hoped this has helped some people wanting to add another cat to their lives!

monsieurtn

With a science background and years of experience including learning, observing, and training cats - increasing our beloved feline's welfare and wellbeing is the priority and passion.

47 thoughts on “Introducing Cats in a Studio Apartment (No Isolation!)

  1. Thank you for this article. It is exactly what I’m looking for. We have a 1.5 yr old spayed female bengal and looking at adopting a young kitten. The kitten is also female and will be spayed when we bring her home. Our bengal loves to play obviously and the kitten is the most playful in her litter. We are going back and forth if the bengal will be open to a sister. She is very energetic and playful but also very sweet and loving. She is the queen of the apartment and is obsessed with us and we are obsessed with her. We have a small one bedroom apartment and I don’t think the separate room thing will work. I think my only hesitation is the scheduled feeding time. Right now she is free feed and doesn’t eat too much. If we switch her to a schedule, how long do we leave the food out? What if she doesn’t eat it since she’s used to eating whenever she feels like?

    1. First off, thanks for your kind comment!

      Your Bengal and Mine seem to have the same eating habits! Latte also nibbles at his food but he does eventually finish it relatively quickly when I put it out.

      The way I would start to transition your Bengal to scheduled feeding is by first taking away all the current food and waiting for about half a day. Observe and see how she is – Bengals are quite vocal about food when they’re hungry but if she’s still visibly not hungry or vocal keep waiting. I would wait for about a maximum of 12 hours. Then I would introduce to her a good portioned amount of food (enough so that she can finish it all within a couple of hours). I would recommend something that she really likes to begin with (like her favorite wet food for example) and then switch to your normal dry food when she starts adapting to the new schedule.

      If she starts to eat it, take note of when she finishes the whole bowl – if she takes more than 3 hours to finish it, it might be too much food. Getting the proper amount for your cat will take a bit of trial and error.

      I hope this helps!

      I go a little bit more in-depth in my article here: Scheduled Mealtime Guide

      1. Hello I have a short hair tortishell cat and I would say now she is about almost a year and a half we just adopted another kitten who is about 5 months old and very energetic she also got completely comfortable on her first day of letting her out and about our apartment my other on so far has chased her here and there the hissing and swatting is happening but is the chasing bad she doesn’t actually do anything besides just run after her for a quick second Im hoping everything works out considering it’s only been two days since we adopted the other one also when our older one swatted our new female the new one also smacked her back don’t know if that’s also something by her smacking back when our older one smacks her first or if it’s just a thing to say I understand your in charge just back off please let me know if there’s something I can try

  2. Thank you for this article. It answers a lot of questions i had because I can’t do the separate room approach most advocate.

    I am a little unsure if my resident cat will be receptive of a new friend because he is my first cat and a rescue. We got him when he was roughly 2 months old and is generally shy. He also hasn’t been around any other animals aside from humans.

    He is 1 yr old now and neutered, no behaviourial problems and was very easy to manage even for first time cat owners like myself. I am worried he won’t take well to no longer being the centre of my attention at home.

    I am looking at adopting another kitten roughly 4 mths old to be his playmate and your article has given me good tips on how to approach it. I just hope their personalities will match

  3. Thank you so much for this article. I am getting a new kitten soon its 3 months old and my resident cat is 1 year old. My resident cat is neutered by his personality is what has me worried. He has a morbid fear of people, he hates loud noises and he likes sleeping under the covers .I adopted him from the street, do you think this will affect how receptive he will be towards the new kitten?

    1. If your resident cat is a bit more timid then the process might take a little longer but I think if you follow the steps for positive associations – I’m sure it’ll work out cause he’s still relatively young at 1 year old.

      I’ve introduced very timid cats and they still become good friends with more confident cats. For timid cats during the introduction process – schedule more play time to distract him!

  4. Thank you so so much for this. I was feeling guilty because I don’t have space for proper introductions either but definitely think my boy Gizmo will benefit from a friend given that he seems to have social anxiety when I’m not able to give him attention. He seems to be a somewhat active boy but also a couch potato, definitely is altered. Would a male his around his age (7) that likes to be around kittens be good for him? I have one in mind but wonder the best companion for him as he isn’t very active but loves company and occasionally play. Thank you!!!

    1. Yes! I think that would be a good match! They’re the same age and gender – which should mean they would have the same playstyles and energy levels! Just make sure they’re both neutered to make sure no hormones get in the way of the introduction!

    2. Hi thanks for the artiche, we just got a new kitten he’s 2 months old. Our resident kitten is 4 months old and everytime he’s around he wants to dominate, bite and scratch him. This is day1 and I’m scared he will get hurt

      1. I think the answer here is to incorporate more hunting play for your resident kitten so he gets out most of that behavior on the toys. The kitten will be okay but just monitor carefully so it doesn’t go beyond that.

  5. How would you go along with introducing a one-year-old tabby male cat to a senior blind female cat (both are neutered and spayed)? Also thank you for your article and video, it has given me a lot of insight as a first time cat owner!

    1. In general – the older the cat the more consistent you have to be with the strategies! Keep at it and with time – they’ll probably tolerate each other and with toleration, can develop into friendship or more!

  6. Hello, I have a 1 year old female that lost her brother 6 weeks ago, i want to get her a friend. I have 2 questions, the vet said maybe a male since she is used to that energy, curious your thoughts. Second question, would you have the new one sleep in the bathroom separate from the resident cat for a couple nights? I watched your introducing cats in small spaces, it doesn’t sound like you separated the new one from your other cats at night time. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your comment! Sorry for the late reply! For your first question, it depends on her play styles – does she enjoy rough play or chases? If she enjoys chases then maybe a female companion would be better and vice versa. For your second question – you’re correct, I don’t do any separation at night time. Cats will generally give each other space during the night as they sleep! So throughout all my introductions – there haven’t been any problems leaving them all together at night time!

  7. This has been very useful for reducing my anxiety about an upcoming move where I will be introducing my spoiled little princess (a year and a half) to my dad’s four (a year old). She’s been living with min pins, so I know she is ok with other animals, generally, but his four have literally only not been in the same place long enough to get their spay/neuters (they were born on his friend’s porch and were with his friend until they moved in with him–they’re the coolest cats ever, because they’ve never known ANY sort of lack. Even as kittens, they didn’t fight over food or anything). Long-winded, but I knew the slow introduction was not going to be viable when we move, so it does make me feel much more confident about them all getting along.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Definitely understand your concerns. Luckily cats are resilient animals and with a little guidance, things will probably work out in a positive way! Good luck!

  8. Hi! Thanks for the article. These are very nice points since I live in a small apartment and don’t have the space for proper introductions. My resident cat is a 9 yrs old and he’s a bit overweight so he doesn’t move around much or play a lot. He gets scared a lot by loud noises that he’s not familiar with. He’s been in areas with other cats before, but it’s only been for like a day and he just kinda hid in the corner and hissed if a cat got too close. He didn’t eat or use the litter the entire day. I’m looking to introduce him to a 1 yr old male kitten who is quite playful and likes animals and while I have faith that they could eventually coexist I don’t want my resident cat to be freaked out for the entire time and not eat or use the litter.

  9. Thank you for this very interesting article.
    I live in a small appartement with a 14month old persian cat.im planning on getting another female kitty. A chinchilla persian in 2
    Months time.

    You mentioned about introducing the new kitten to her litterbox …

    i bought a 2.5’ x 2.5’ litter box thinking i would be using just one big litter box rather than 2.

    Does that means each cat will have her own litter
    Box? Or can there be a transition for the new kitty to use the larger litter box? If so? Can you tell me how please?

    Thank you

    1. Hi! Definitely, they can both use one litter box after they’re both okay with each other. The moment the hissing stops and they can eat together from the same bowl at least – you can then remove the second litter box and leave the one larger one for both of them to use!

  10. I have a 3 year old neutered male. When I first got him my boyfriend at the time had a female kitten and they were in LOVE and I felt bad about breaking them up ever since we did.
    All of 2020 Louis and I were living with my dad who has 2 males cats also. They NEVER learned to really get along, just strained tolerance. Louis is territorial.
    Yesterday I brought home a new 8 week old kitten, the person told me it was a female but when I brought him home he is DEFINITELY a male.
    Last night after the kitten got home we had a tornado warning situation and we all had to sit in a tornado shelter with everyone else’s dogs and cats.
    I was worried about Louis learning to love the kitten to begin with, and now they’ve both been freshly traumatized. I don’t know what to do.

    1. I can understand your frustration and stress! Cats however are adaptable but it will require time. Start from the beginning. In this situation, I would try my best to separate them and start the introduction from part one. Let them feel comfortable in their separate places and then begin the introduction process again! Good luck!

  11. Thank you for your article! We live in a small apartment and it has been hard to separate the two kittens. They are both 12 weeks old but we got them 3 weeks apart. We are on our third day but it is really hard and the kittens keep fighting when they are together in the same room. We have tried wand toys but the newer one then gets aggressive and holds onto it while watching. Balls/laser pointers are a little better but the older cat refuses to play if the newer one is playing. If the fighting is bad we separate them but the newer one then cries if he is alone in the room! I am unsure of what to do now and any help would be really appreciated!

    1. Hi I am in the exactt same situation. One cat is 7mo old the other is 3, both female. The new 3mo old is very aggressive with the resident 7mo old and when I try to play with them both the 3mo old swats and hisses when she realizes the 7mo old is in her space. She even goes after the 7mo old aggressively. I’m going to get two feliway diffusers (calm and friends) to see if that helps but in the meantime I don’t know what to do. @ me if you get a response.

    2. Thanks for your comment! It’s completely okay if one cat is sort of dominating playtime! The key is to distract both of them. Another solution is to use 2 wand toys! So that both cats can sort of interact separately but together! Keep at it with food as well (continuously pushing their comfort zones) with the goal of feeding both of them from the same bowl! Good luck!

  12. I live in a studio apartment and I just brought a new kitten home, she is a scottish fold (her name is Pixie) to keep my current 1 year old ragdoll Loki company. I wish I would’ve done more research about what gender of kitten to get before hand. I wanted a girl since I already had a boy and I didn’t know they played differently. Loki is very rough with her, he chases her and play fight but then he starts biting her and thats when she starts yelling and i need to separate them. He will also start liking her for a while nd then bite her out of no where. I usually play fight with Loki when he was a solo cat and i use to use a blanket to do it since he tends to bite hard. I’ve left them alone since I work 8hrs shift and they’ve been fine but I get worried if something wore can happen while im not there. I clipped Loki’s nails so they are’t sharp but I left Pixie’s nails unclipped that way she can defend herself if she needs to. She is currently 2 months old.
    Thanks for the article, i’ve been trying to feed them together and play with them both and for the most part they are fine until Loki loses interest in playing with me and want to roughly play with Pixie.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, as you have discovered, gender plays a big role in their playstyles. However, you’ve done a good job so far to minimize the rough play! I’d go a step further here and get some sort of kicker toy to misdirect him whenever this occurs. When you see him being a bit too rough, separate them and then give him the kicker toy (maybe with some catnip) so he can take out his aggression on the toy!

  13. Thank you so much for this brilliant article, it has helped me SO much, I can’t tell you! I only have one small question.. long post incoming..!

    I live in a small one bed flat. My resident cat, a 2 year old male, was one of the friendliest cats in his shelter. He even broke in to a little ladies cage, Ellie, to snuggle in with her! He also likes my Mums female cat, but she won’t tolerate him. Doesn’t stop him trilling at our door, though.

    We noticed he gets really clingy with us when we have been away, and even if we are just out for an afternoon, he is waiting at the window for us when we get back. Based on the above (limited) info we had on his cat interactions, and the fact he likes short bursts of play but is mainly quite chilled, we got a female kitten as his companion. She’s 3 months.

    There was a lot of hissing and growling from her part on day 1, and he seemed to submit and try and reassure her with slow blinking. I worked round the clock on the positive associations (food didn’t work quite as well for us as they both still chose to eat when they wanted, but play and treats were brilliant) and by the morning of day 3 they were chasing each other round, play fighting, rubbing noses.. it’s all looking very promising! My resident cat sleeps in the bedroom with me, as he always has, and she sleeps in the living room, which gives them a little bit of alone time and didn’t change his routine. But he actually wakes me up at around 5am to let me in to her room to play with her!

    Now for my question.. it’s day 5, and day 3 of positive play fighting etc. I’m still in the room with them any time they are together, to make sure things don’t take a turn and that I can intervene with a clap if they do. But because they seem to want to be around each other ALL the time, it’s exhausting! I’m worried about leaving them to do their own thing in case it undoes all the hard work.. but when would you suggest it’s safe and the relationship is stable? What signs can I look out for.

    Also- I still don’t let the kitten in the bedroom even during the day, as I wanted my resident cat to have a safe place to retire to if he needed (and sometimes he does when he’s done with play and she’s still being active). Same question- when do you think it’s safe to let her explore that room, too, without putting his nose out of joint?

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your comment! From what I can see, you’re doing a great job and from what you’ve told me about how your cats are interacting, those are basically the signs that you can now let them be. At this point – the basics are there and all you have to do is to continue whatever it is that’s most effective for your cats (snacks & play in your case). If they’re tolerating each other without hissing – then you’re good to go. It’s pretty much all up from here, just be consistent at this point.

      1. That’s brilliant to know, thank you! Only thing I’ve noticed is that for the last 2 days, my older cat has been less interested in playing with her, and although she tries to snuggle up to him a lot, he’ll often move away. Is it normal for this to happen? For one cat to take a steps back for a while?

        1. It’s normal! They’ll have phases of play and just general lounging around – one day you’ll probably see them randomly playing chase. Congratulations on your successful introduction!

          1. Thank you- your guide was a godsend and I am so, so grateful for it! It’s so nice to see my cat with a companion and see a more playful side to him that we aren’t able to offer as humans!

  14. I have three resident cats who get along beautifully. The are 1.5 years old, 2 siblings and the first cat I got.

    A month ago my husband and I decided to adopt a mother cat with 5 kittens. The kittens are 2 months old now.

    We did the slow introduction, which began after the mother was spayed almost three weeks ago.
    Both groups of cats are separated by a mesh door and at meal time they cat fully see each other. The kittens seem to be fine with the resident cats but the mother is hissing from time to time, protecting the litter even though they are already weaned. The vet said she would still have estrogens in her system for 3-4 weeks.

    The mother is quite strong and big and I am afraid she would attack my very calm resident cats if I rush things up.

    My question is how long should I wait to put them together?

    Thank you very much. Greetings from Mexico.

    1. I think waiting another week is a good idea just to make sure everything is alright hormonal-wise. At this point, it’s a good idea to track how much hissing is going on and start eating closer and closer to that screen door during mealtimes.

      I think as long as there isn’t any big aggressive red flags, you’re good to go in terms of letting them freely interact with each other!

      1. Thank you for your quick reply. Your site and chanel are really interesting and useful. I’ll keep coming back to read/listen all the information.

  15. Hi. This is really helpful. I have a few questions. I am trying to introduce a 6mo old female(already spayed) and a 3 mo old kitten. I can get them to each close to each other. The problem is when the food ends. The younger one gets ready to roam around and play but the older one keeps chasing her, hissing and swating. Is chasing also acceptable? We try to play but she cannot take her focus of the other kitten. Its been a week since they first met and we seem stuck.
    Would really appreciate some advice.

    1. Chasing is acceptable, I think if you give the older one some more space through some more perches or vertical areas for her to just watch the kitten but still have her own space, there won’t be as much chasing. If they’re eating together – that’s generally good news and they’ll be okay with each other soon enough! Keep at it!

  16. Hi,
    Thank you for all the amazing tips. We have a 1 year 7 month old Siamese female indoor cat. She is spayed. She is alone at home from 8 to 5 all weekdays and I would like to get a another cat for her to have company. I am confused if I should get a female or a male cat? Same age or a kitten? Would it be better if the new one is of Siamese breed? I think my cat is a bit spoiled and she is a bit aloof. She is playful and affectionate with all the family members when she feels like, but a bit more aggressive with my youngest child. I still haven’t figured out if my cat thinks my daughter as a playmate so the nipping and swatting or considers lower in hierarchy at home than her and is being a bit aggressive. Would another cat be a bad idea? Please let me know.

  17. I’m attempting to adopt a female kitten and I already have an adult male. I’m not sure of their ages as they are both rescues. The kitten seems to be completely comfortable on her own, and is fine if they are separated by a door or screen. She is able to be distracted by food but my male won’t eat with her around. He wants to follow her around and smell her, but she starts to hiss and growl any time she notices he is around. I am able to distract them while playing, but the kitten immediately growls when I leave them be. My male has hit her a few times and nipped at her, and I can’t seem to move past this. He has places to hide or jump on to get away but he seems to want to stay near her. I keep her in a separate room when I am not at home so that I can make sure a fight doesn’t break out when I’m gone, and I let her about 3 times a day to interact and play with him as well as on her own with him in a separate room. It’s been about 2 days so I’m sure I just need to give it time, but is there anything else I can do to help the process along?

    1. You’re doing a great job. Sometimes all you need is time and consistency. I would recommend to find some sort of snack or food that they will go “crazy” for and start to have them eat their meals closer to each other more frequently.

  18. Hi, not sure if you still check comments on this post, but I am trying to introduce two adult female cats (both around 2 years old). I have a 1 bedroom apartment. The shelter recommended me this cat who is generally good with the other cats and has a similar energy level to what I described of my resident cat. What should I expect from their first meeting? What are the signs that it would be ok to let them be together without supervision?

  19. Thank you for this. It gives me some ideas on how to modify the introduction I’m facing soon, because isolation may or may not be entirely feasible.
    I’m moving in with my BF and that is going to mean blending our pet families: my male (age 9) and female (age 14) cats with his male (age 16) and female (age 11) cats, AND his dog (who is a whole other handful). All are spayed/neutered, but his two cats are declawed while mine are fully armed.

    My two main worries are that I’m really not sure how well my male will handle the new cats, and my female absolutely can’t stand confinement. So I’m thinking there may be some blending of methods, with more of yours for my female and more isolation and slow steps for my male.

  20. I adopted my cat 3 months ago from my upstairs neighbor who said that Nacho came through his window and voila…there he was! However he had another cat and it was too much for him to handle. He offered me the kitty and I said yes.
    So Sock-It-To-Me and I are now a couple, so to speak. He’s a
    1 year old male orange tabby. I had him neutered and he’s had his shots. However I’m totally freaked out about leaving him alone without companionship in a very small apartment. And isolation is not a nice word, now is it! But I live in a very small apartment with a kitchenette. It does have one great feature; two large West facing windows with a pretty decent view. But all in all a very small apartment!
    I’m trying to emphasize that the apartment is small so I can be clear how freaked out I am about putting another cat into such a small place. On the other hand…there’s that isolation thingy going on!
    I need sage advice. And I think that you might just be that cat! So what to do…what to do!
    Thanks for what you do!!

  21. Hi there, I really love this guide. I’ve rewatched your videos over and over again lol

    I’m having a bit of trouble (both cats desexed) where my older girl who is 2 is quite nervous and also a bit territorial, but my kitten who is a 4 month male is verryy confident and keeps trying to approach. She will hiss and sometimes chase him a bit and he will take the hint for a little while and back off, but before long he goes right back to trying. I’ve tried exhausting him with play but he still pushes her comfort zones. She hasn’t clawed him or bit him yet, just hiss, growl, smack and chase, but I’m afraid she might because sometimes she shows stronger signs of aggression in her body language (she almost always stays low to the ground though) when they’re together i try to redirect them onto toys as much as I can but they’re both too distracted by eachother most of the time. Is this still okay?

    They both love to play individually and my girl had a lot of extra energy before I got my boy. I give them these play sessions about 30 mins twice a day, and separate them in between, but I’d rather not as I put him in a small pet pen which isn’t too nice for him but otherwise I’m afraid if I let him freeroam he might start fights accidentally. What do you think? Should I just let him mostly freeroam (monitored) now as they haven’t had a real fight yet, or should I keep doing these small play sessions? (Verryy heavily monitored)/am I worrying for nothing or not worrying enough?
    Thank you so much!!, sorry for the long/repetitive question

  22. Hi! I would like to get some advise about cats introduction with difficult cats. I have two old cat Satsu (8 years) and Yuuki (3 years) and just got two kittens Ichigo and Kaede (2 months). Satsu is OK with new comer, can see them without hissing if they are not too near, this morning Kaede and Satsu sniffed each other, Kaede was stiff but no hissing, just sniffing. But Yuuki is quite asocial, she doesn’t like any stranger, she tolerate Satsu but they do not play together. She do not want to eat if she just have a sight of the kittens, she is growling at us too, she is upset there is new kittens, once we went to my parents’ house for 1 months and took Satsu and Yuuki with me and by the end of the month Satsu was ok with my parents’ cat and dog but Yuuki was still hostil to them. Have you already work with such difficult cat? thank you for your answer!

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