Introducing a New Cat to Your Pets

Introducing a New Cat to Your Pets

October 23, 2013 | Apartment Lifestyle, Pet Friendly Advice

Pets make for the perfect companion. They’re cuddly, great listeners and can put a smile on your face without saying anything at all. And one pet sometimes isn’t enough! If you’re picking up a new kitten, this means introducing a new cat to your other pets. Here are some tips to help the process go smoothly and keep all of your furry friends comfortable and at ease:

Have Realistic Expectations

As much as you might want all of your pets to be BFFs, that may not be the case. It’s important to accept that your pets can’t be forced to like each other. And even if your pets do become besties, it may take some time for them to adjust.

Move Slowly

Instead of throwing the two pets in a room together, take this process slow. After all, you don’t want an animal lashing out because it’s scared or uncomfortable. Give your new feline time to adjust to its new surroundings–after all, big changes can bring stress to a cat. Keep it in a small room with only food, water, toys, a litter box and a bed for several days. Feed both your old and new pet near one another to help it associate good things like meal time with its new surroundings and the smells of your other pets. Over time, you can gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pet is able to calmly eat in the presence of other animals.

Help it Get Used to Scents

What animals smell is a lot more important than what they see. Making the adjustment to new smells is a big part of the introduction process. Take a blanket that your current pet sleeps on, and give it to the new cat. This way, when the pets finally do meet, they can at least be somewhat familiar with each other’s scents.

Give it Free Time

Give your new kitty a chance to explore its new home without the interference of your other pets. Confine your other pets to your new cat’s room while you introduce your feline to your house one room at a time. This gives them another opportunity to become familiar with each other’s scents gradually.

Play with Your Pets

Once it does come time for your pets to meet face-to-face, use toys to distract them. Dangle a string in front of your cats so they might be encouraged to play with one another rather than be afraid or uncomfortable.

Know How to Break Up a Fight

Of course, there is a chance that when you introduce your pets, they may not get along flawlessly. If they start to fight, make a loud clapping noise with your hands or throw a pillow nearby to distract them. If their fight continues, put them back into separate areas to help them calm down.

Be Patient

It’s important to be aware that the introduction process likely won’t happen overnight. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

 

[Image Source: Flickr - Barbara Quinn]

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