How do you introduce a new cat into your home? For example, how do you introduce a new cat to your dog? How do you introduce a new cat to your existing cats?
Introducing your new cat to your resident cat or dog is not that easy. Ironically, the reason why you got another cat may be to keep your current feline company, but it may not rush out and welcome the new comer in exactly the way you imagine. Indeed, this may take time!
Before you start introducing a new cat into your home, you’ll want to consider a cat’s orientation. Specifically, cats don’t form social bonds in the way that dogs do. They don’t need to be in a “pack” to be happy. Indeed, many cats are happiest when left to their own devices, coming to you when they want a little attention. As such, two cats may never completely embrace one another and become “best pals.”
Having said that, however, some cats really do enjoy another cat to play with, sleep with, groom and just in general enjoy.
If there is no competition for food or safe sleeping places, survival is the key word with animals. In such a situation the cats will accept each other eventually, and some will even seem to form close bonds with one another.
Also, remember that scent is the most important of the cat’s senses in terms of communications and well being. A good way to integrate the new cat into your home and make it less alien is by getting it to smell “home” before you introduce it to the resident cat.
To do this; stroke each cat without washing your hands, so you can mix scents of both cats. You can also gather the scents from around the cat’s head area by gently stroking it with a soft cloth and dabbing it around your home and furniture, so as to mix and spread the scents. This way the new cat gets use to the new smell of the house and another cat before the eventual meeting between both cats. And you won’t believe how these simple methods make the introduction more tolerable.
What about bringing a dog in the home? While cats and dogs are generally stereotyped as “mortal enemies,” you may find that it’s actually easier to introduce a dog to cat. This is because they don’t view each other as the sort of threat they might view one of their own species.
Indeed, you may find that cats and dogs can quickly become fast friends, and yet an odd looking relationship develops. I’ve had many dogs that have formed deep bonds with cats. Yet when this same dog went outside, he barked and even chased other cats off the property. Then again, dogs do have a sense of what belongs to the pack and what doesn’t, so perhaps he’d decided that HIS cat could sleep with him, but neighborhood cats must be chased away!
So how do you get dogs and cats together? This is done the same as previously talked about, where you initially keep them apart but introduce their scents to one another. Petting them without washing your hands is a great way to do this.
Once you’ve moved past the initial exchange of scents, you may put them on opposite sides of a closed door so that they can sniff each other for a few days underneath the door. Once the pets seem fine with this, you can put up a baby gate and allow the cat and dog to see AND sniff each other through the gate. Make sure that the dog doesn’t jump over the gate.
You may find that a few dogs, especially those not used to cats and breeds such as terriers or those breeds which like to chase such as greyhounds, may need to be kept well under constant watch until they have leaned that the cat is not “fair game”. Young pups are likely to get very excited and may try to “play” with the new cat which is unlikely to want to join.
Follow these simple tips and it will be much easier for you when introducing your new cats into your home.
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