INTRODUCING The “NEW PET” To Other FAMILY PETS
Cats live in colonies in the wild and do get along with each other. Face to face meetings however only heighten anxiety, raise hair and encourage hisses and if too close howling growls and a swats. DO NOT INTRODUCE TOO SOON! Animals get to know each other by smell. The best introductions fall after the new animal has “YOUR” smell! And the smell of your house.
In all of nature there is dominant and subordinate behavior. If dominant subordinate behaviors (one picking on the other) begin in your home they are very difficult to break.
A well planned introduction allows your new cat to feel at home, discourages dominant behavior. A happy home with multiple pets should be harmonious and everyone should be happy. The “feeling” of being safe is a very important to all animals’ happiness. DO NOT INTRODUCE TOO SOON!
We suggest the “new” cat sleep in a family members room, not in a laundry room or spare room and not have the full run of the house. Since each household is different with activity and each animal takes it own time to feel comfortable, choosing the right time to introduce will be up to you and your instincts. But remember a week or more is not too long to be comfortable.
Step 1. Keep all animals separated. The two cats will be able to smell each other from under the door. More playful animals may in fact want to interact and will stick their paws under the door. (A great sign). If your original pet is growling and has a hissy attitude when walking by the door it is not time to introduce.
Step 2. When you think the time is right, put the new pet in a bathroom and let your original cat sniff the surroundings of the new animal. Later, do the same thing with the new one. (Let it sniff the other’s quarters) Still, no-nose-to-nose contact.
Step 3. Keep the new cat inside a carrier and let it be in the living areas with you to safeguard it and allow it to feel safe in an unfamiliar area. The animals may his or growl. If your original cat acts aggressive it is not the right time yet. The better your sense of timing and the less confrontational experiences the better for the introduction.
Step 4. NEVER ANY NOSE TO NOSE MEETINGS! After an adjustment period both cats should feel safe in each others presence if done properly with their feeling in mind. Have a spray water bottle and rolled up newspaper ready TO BREAK UP ANY SCUFFLES. Remember, feeling safe is key to all animal interaction and will build good relationship.