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I live in a neighbourhood which is inhabited by a fairly large number of cats. One in particular, a smokey grey female around 3-4 years old, is very friendly, to the point where she casually strolls into mine and other neighbours' home without much care for other pets. She also gets along well with other neighbourhood cats, she was on good terms with my cat and they'd often playfully chase each other around.

Sadly we lost our cat to a road collision at the beginning of December. The regular visits and attention-seeking from this smokey grey cat played a huge part in helping us to grieve and feel better over the Christmas period. However, I'm starting to feel that she's starting to make herself a bit too welcome in our home. We let her in for about 5-10 minutes at a time, during which she's rubbing her head against any corner she can find (claiming the house as her own), and wanting a big fuss from us. Whenever we return home she hears the jingle of our keys and immediately rushes to our door.

We're currently looking to rehome a new cat (not her, we know where she lives and who her owners are :) ) and we're very unsure as to how any new cat would react to this neighbourhood cat inviting herself in. We'd be keeping any new cat away from the front door, we wouldn't be letting him/her outside until s/he's settled in and willing to return home. However it's inevitable that the two will meet indoors at some point, so should we start to discourage her from marking her scent in our house? Or should we use a gentle introduction plan for her and our new cat?

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    Seems like the local cat already partly lives at your place, so unless you want to almost permanently evict her you might want to look into how to introduce a new cat into a multi-cat household. This should be perfectly doable. – Stig Tore Jan 15 '19 at 13:35
  • @StigTore Sounds sensible. It'd be cruel to just to blank her completely, plus we can do this by leaving the living room door slightly ajar. Cheers. – Michael Dodd Jan 16 '19 at 8:02
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    It's possible she's scent marking so prolifically in your house because she was bonded with your cat that passed away, and is actually trying to pick up his/her scent from places previously marked by both cats to maintain their 'family smell' and shared territory. I think such a cat-friendly female will probably accept the kitten pretty readily with a careful introduction. – Meg Jan 16 '19 at 20:33
  • @Meg That's a very interesting theory, the two places she's most active are around the food cupboard (yet not actively seeking food) and in the downstairs hallway, two places where our previous cat spent a lot of time and marked a lot of his scent. – Michael Dodd Jan 16 '19 at 22:00
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Answering as a follow-up. We decided to introduce the two of them slowly, firstly behind a frosted glass door, using scented fabrics such as blankets, and then slowly face to face. Our new cat seems a bit indifferent, sitting down intently and standing his ground while not making any active threats or hisses. However the neighbourhood cat has not been happy about another cat being in "her territory" at all, hissing and occasionally taking swipes (after which she's been swiftly escorted from the house).

Our cat is now going out for a little bit at a time each day, so there's no doubt that they'll bump into each other again, however the neighbourhood cat has now been visiting us less and less. Probably for the best but still a bit disappointing, though at the end of the day our home isn't hers.

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