When we first brought Yanni cat home, Odessa, our 11 year old resident housecat growled and hissed and spit. Six months after introducing the two, we would still sometimes find her percolating like a little coffee pot in the corner of the living room, staring daggers.
During those early months, I stressed over Odessa’s grumbles, wondering if I’d upset her beyond repair. And even after Odessa began to tolerate Yanni, I still stressed. I hemmed and hawed. I tapped my feet anxiously. I bit my nails. Those months went something like this. Odessa would bristle. I’d paced and watch her every move anxiously. Odessa would grumble. Yanni would tiptoe in to cuddle Odessa and she would growl. Yanni would snuggle with me instead. And repeat.
Bringing home a new cat is hard work. It’s scary for the resident cat. It’s unfamiliar for the new cat and it’s stressful on you. As a fur-baby parent you only want the best for both cats. Sometimes small tweaks in your behavior can help the transition. We set the stage by first taking the recommended slow steps towards introduction, such as isolation and room swapping. Read more on those steps here. Once we were safely into full-time cohabitation, we still had to help Odessa accept Yanni. Here’s what worked for us: