By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When introducing cats to each other, for example, a spayed female older kitten to an adult neutered male, it’s always best to separate them initially for a period of time. Keep them in different rooms separated by a door so that they can pick up each other’s scent and energy while keeping some distance so that they each can remain safe and at the same time get used to the idea of the other’s presence.

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Give them each a blanket or towel to lay on and then switch the materials so that they can pick up each other’s scent. Make sure to treat them as they check out the fabric to associate a good experience with the new scent. Use the same brush on each other to pick up the scent as well.

Make sure your new cat is eating, drinking and using the litter box in a timely fashion. Provide separate litter boxes for each cat. A change of environment can cause certain levels of anxiety and stress.

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Make sure your new cat gets checked by your vet for the health and safety of your other animals.

After a couple of weeks, and most importantly, when you feel comfortable, use the carrier to introduce the cats to each other safely. Once the carrier isn’t needed, supervise their company at all times and, if not unsupervised, leave one cat in the safety of another room with food, water and litter until you come home.

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When initially together, always provide an area that they can retreat to such as an area to climb higher or to be able to make a quick exit. Never leave them unsupervised together until you are certain they are getting along.