Introducing A New Cat To Your Other Pets
9 January, 2012

When you first adopt or bring your new kitten or cat home, there is always a chance that this new feline friend is not your only pet. You might have to introduce your pet to another cat or dog.  While this can be a traumatic experience for some pets, most can and will adapt to the situation quickly.  The key is patience.

IT CAN TAKE TIME

In most cases, you can simply introduce your cat to the other pets and let them work it out on their own.  If your pets are happy and everyone seems to be getting along, then you are good to go. However, sometimes the transition can be a long process that you will have to work through.

It might take several weeks to a month to achieve desired results; it might happen overnight. Whatever it takes, do not give up and don’t lose your temper.  The transition generally will depend on the temperament and ages of the animals involved.

I think we will be good friends!

If the above does not work, I recommend the following:

PLACE THE NEW CAT IN A SEPARATE ROOM

Put the cat in its own room, where the original pet can smell it, but not see it. After a day or so, remove the cat from the room and let the original pet smell and explore the room thoroughly.  Then, put the cat back in the other room. Depending on the reactions involved, let the cat out and meet the original pet under supervision. If there is some hostility, separate them while you are gone until you are certain that they get along. It is best if you can arrange a place for each animal that is his or her own.

SUPERVISE THE PETS

You can modify the length of time and amount of supervision as you see how the pets react. Some forms of cat playing can appear hostile but are not. Look at the ears for a clue (standing up or forward when grappling is trouble, flat back when standing and staring is also trouble). If the fighting immediately stops when one yelps or squeaks, they’re OK.

TAKES MORE TIME WITH AN OLDER PET

Introducing a kitten (or even cat) into a household with an elderly animal already present can be stressful to the older animal. The best way to handle this is to make sure the older animal does not feel threatened by the newcomer. Make sure to give a lot of attention to the older animal, not the new kitten.  Again, it is important for the older animal to have a cozy place to retreat to, and an undisturbed time to eat and relieve itself.

INTRODUCING A CAT TO A PUPPY

If your other pet happens to be a puppy, the cat will view the dog as a nuisance for some time, but will eventually learn to ignore or even to play with it. Soon enough, the kitten will be able to get up out of the dog’s reach when it wants to be left alone. Providing the cat with a place the puppy can’t get to is always helpful. This can be done by placing a childproof fence in the door of a room high enough for the cat to get under but not for the dog.  Make sure to trim the cat’s claws to minimize damage to the puppy’s nose or face.

I hope these tips help.  With patience and time, you will have one big happy pet family.

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