How to Introduce a Male to Female Cats

Ease his stress by introducing your male cat correctly.
Ease his stress by introducing your male cat correctly. (Image: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When you introduce a new male cat to your resident female cats, prepare to spend about two weeks acclimating the kitties to each other. There are several things to consider when you bring a new male cat home. If you do not want to wind up with a litter of kittens, neuter your male cat, if he is old enough before bringing him home. Cats are territorial, and males often "mark" their perceived areas by spraying. There are several other steps to minimize aggression and integrate your cats.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 litter boxes with fresh litter
  • 2 food bowls
  • 2 water bowls
  • 2 towels
  • 2 to 3 blankets

Begin by putting the male cat in a room away from the female cats. Give him a fresh litter box, food and water bowls, and a blanket for him to lay on. Keep the door closed, so he does not have direct contact with the female cats.

Put a towel under the male cat's food bowl, and place the food bowl near the door. Move your resident female cat's bowl near the door of the new male cat. Do not place the bowl too close to the door yet since it can upset both animals.

Remove the blanket from the male cat's room after 24 hours, and allow the female cat to smell the blanket. Allow the male cat to smell the female's blanket. Allowing your cats to sniff each other's scent helps them identify the new smell and associate it with the new animal.

Take the towels out from under each cat's food bowl. Place the male cat's towel under the female's bowl, and place the female cat's towel under the male's food bowl. The cats will identify the new smell with an enjoyable activity such as eating.

Move the food bowls closer to the door on each side of the male cat's room. Each day, move the bowls a little closer to the door while still keeping the animals separated. Repeat this process for one week.

Take the male cat out of the room after one week, and allow him to roam the house and learn the different scents. While he is out, place your resident female cat inside the male cat's room so she can learn his scent better. Do not let the animals have contact with each other yet. Repeat this process for a few hours each day for an additional week.

Allow your animals to meet for the first time after two weeks of preparing them. The male and female cats will recognize each other's scent at this time. Open the door to the male cat's room, and allow him to wander the rest of the house and meet the female cat.

Observe how your male and female cats interact with each other. If there are signs of aggression or hostility, place the male back in his room and close the door. Repeat the process with towels and blankets to help the animals learn each other's scent better.

Give your cats plenty of space and love. Reassure each animal with hugs, pets and attention.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seek help from an animal professional if your cats have difficulty with or attack each other.
  • Make sure that all of your cats are current on vaccinations. If the male cat is sick or injured, delay the introduction process until he is well.

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