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How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Cat


 

cats meeting nose to noseWhen living with a cat, you may eventually want to add another pet to the house. It’s a pretty normal desire, but your cat may feel differently, at least to begin with. If you’re thinking of introducing a new cat or dog into the home, there are a few steps you might want to take before letting your cat and this newcomer have at it. Here are some things you can do to introduce a new pet to your cat.


Before moving on, you may be curious as to why exactly you’d want to add another pet for your kitty to get along with. Well, for a lot of people the choice is based purely on the desire to have another animal, but there are real benefits for your cat as well. For one, another pet in the house can encourage exercise, as chasing, wrestling, and general play can occur, plus this adds another companion so that even if you’re away or sleeping, then your cat has someone to seek comfort from. For some of this is this a huge selling point indeed.


But once you decide to find a new cat or dog, keep in mind that not all cats will take kindly to the new addition. I have a cat and a dog, and the dog has never really been welcome in the house for as long as the cat is concerned. She has gotten better about allowing him to live near her, but they rarely if ever interact on positive terms, with the majority of their interactions coming down to either the dog running after her because he’s so bored he wants to get smacked, or it just so happens that they find themselves both asleep on the same couch, though typically with a barrier between them.

If you’re confident that your cat can handle the addition, the first thing you’ll want to do is set up a room specifically for the newcomer. This time being separated is important because it lets the new dog or cat get used to the new place before there has to be full-on interaction. That initial comfort time is critical for all involved as it reduces some of the stress on both parties, which is really the goal with everything here.


Next, you’ll want the two to “meet” but only via scent. The best way to do this is have the two animals be separated by a door, allowing them to smell one another underneath. While this is happening, it’s best that you have one person with each pet, offering comfort throughout the process so that each pet gets the sense that what’s happening isn’t something that’s overly strange but rather something you’re assuring them is just fine.


Before actually letting them meet muzzle-to-muzzle, you’ll still want to have a barrier between them, though this time make sure it’s transparent like a kid-gate or a screen door. There should still be the scent factor involved, so putting them on opposite sides of a window make it difficult for the transition as part of the reasoning of adding the visual aspect is so they can put together that this is the same animal they smelled previously.


After a while of not freaking out at the sight of one another, you may finally be ready to let them fully interact. You don’t want to force the interaction though. Rather, you will just let both pets exist in the same room together and keep a close eye on how they handle this. Start with shorter test times and then gradually increase the time until there’s no need to watch them anymore. The hope is that the transition goes on without complications, but sometimes cats and other pets can be unpredictable, so be very watchful early on for fights or trouble.


There’s no way to force a pet to like another one, but you can take steps to make it more likely. It just takes patience sometimes. Let’s hope your cat is willing to accept new residents!

 

 

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