Since we recently adopted Steve, I wanted to talk about how most of the advice online about introducing cats was near-useless for us.
That’s not to say the advice is bad—it’s all helpful, especially if you’re new to introducing cats. I highly recommend looking into everything you can before bringing a new cat home.
However, it’s important to keep in mind something that we didn’t: even if you think your cats will respond in a certain way, prepare for if they don’t. We thought Jasmine would be excited to have a new friend because she did well with Catarina and has been lonely since she passed away. Since Steve was so friendly and gentle, we thought he’d be the same way with Jasmine.
We were wrong on both accounts.
Because of that, we had a variety of issues to deal with:
- Steve did not want to be shut in a room all day, which led to incessant meowing and the destruction of our carpet.
- The meowing also caused stress for everyone and really bad sleep, which meant more stress for everyone.
- Our apartment space is limited, so extra towers are difficult to acquire.
- Since our apartment is small, it also means there are more opportunities for Jasmine and Steve to run into each other.
- Steve really wants to play with Jasmine; Jasmine really wants to not be chased around.
Essentially, we had a 6-year-old cat that weighs 7 pounds constantly being badgered by a 7-month-old kitten that weighs 10 pounds because he wanted to play before she was comfortable with him.
While we are still dealing with some of these—mostly Steve chasing Jasmine around the apartment—things have gotten easier. Even though we barely followed any of the advice online, they’re still getting along better every day.
We’re also still working hard at making sure they’re friendly towards each other, and we are also in the process of making more space for them to roam. I have an idea to give vertical space that Jasmine can traverse without fear of ambush, and we currently have window seats on the way from Chewy. There are also a lot of toys on the way, so hopefully Steve will be more interested in those than in playing with his uninterested sister.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s certainly worth it. I don’t recommend getting another cat if you’re on the fence about whether or not you’re ready to deal with the introduction process, especially if you’re likely to give the new (or, even worse, old!) cat away because it’s “too difficult” to deal with.