How to introduce cats to company

Cats usually enjoy company on their own terms and prefer to be an only cat, so you'll need to introduce them carefully to new people or pets. Whether you're thinking about getting a new cat or dog, or you're off on holiday, read our tips for keeping your cat happy when there's someone new on the scene.

If you're going away and your cat likes being around people

Two tabby kittens entwined in a bed © Andrew Forsyth / RSPCA PhotolibrarySome cats like being left to their own devices, while others enjoy being around people. If your cat likes a bit of company, it's good to make sure they aren't left on their own too much. 

If you're off on holiday, make sure you have someone to take care of your cat. That could be friends, family or a house sitter, but the main thing is that it's someone responsible who you can trust ¿ and who your cat gets on with! Read our guide on what to do when you go on holiday and leave your pet at home.

If you're getting a new cat

Cats often prefer to live alone, so think very carefully before getting another one. Most cats will be friendly with cats they grew up with, but they may not accept having to share your home with a new cat. 

If you do want to get another cat, you'll need to introduce them patiently and carefully. Read everything you need to know in our guide to introducing cats.

Bear in mind that cats who aren't friendly with each other don't like sharing food, water, litter and beds. They also don't like passing each other closely. If your pets don't get along, give them enough space to avoid each other at all times, and make sure they can access everything they need without having to pass each other.

If you're getting a new dog

Cats and dogs can form close bonds, but you'll need to be careful about how you introduce your cat to a new doggy friend. It's best to introduce them gradually, making sure they're both comfortable with each other a step at a time. Read our guide to introducing dogs and cats for lots of tips on keeping both cat and dog relaxed and happy when they meet and get to know each other.

And finally...

Whether it's another cat, a dog or a person, it's important not to force your cat to interact with people or animals they don't like. And as always, if you notice your cat's behaviour becoming difficult, speak to your vet for advice. 

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