Cats are fabulous and sensitive creatures. Introducing a new cat to a new home or other cats in the household can take time and patience. Dogs are usually happy to greet other dogs, but cats may take 2-4 weeks to adjust to new homes and other cats, so expect this.
The very first step is to establish a “safe room” for the new cat, so it can adjust to its new home slowly. Offer food, water, litter, a comfy bed, and scratching post. Open the carrier and allow the new cat to explore its new home at its own pace and expand its territory gradually as its comfort level grows.
For those introducing a new cat to other cats, an excellent resource for this process is online; search “purrfect paws cat introduction” and the first article on the list is both thoughtful and thorough.
A note regarding hissing: this is more often an indicator of nervousness rather than aggression, so expect some of this when your cats start to interact.
Good luck with your new addition and thank you for providing a forever home to a cat in need!
Dr. Sherry Zenor
PS:If you are in the Sarasota, Florida area, 150 cats have been taken in from the Caboodle Ranch by the Sarasota Cat Depot. On Saturday August 10th and Sunday, August 11th, 2012, there will be a special adoption event at Robarts Arena. Please come out and support this event and adopt one of these now homeless cats, for only a $10 donation. All cats have had veterinary checkups, and are spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Let your friends know about it