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Introducing a New Pet to Other Household Pets

As many cat owners notice, some breeds can have personalities that are difficult to read. Depending on a variety of factors, including their upbringing, some of our pawsome friends can be timid while others can have friendly, social, and inviting personalities.

Many people believe that cats do better as the only pet in a household, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, if you have a cat, it is recommended that you also have another pet at home. That's because cats are truly social creatures, and if they are left alone too often, they can develop behavioral problems, depression, and more.

If you already have a cat or another furry friend at home and considering adopting another cute fur-ever friend, there are a few things you should keep in mind before adopting them. In this post, we will review what you need to consider before introducing another pet to your household and some tips to introduce them easily and smoothly.

Why Do Cats Living Under the Same Roof Fight Each Other?

Cats socialize from the fourth week of their lives. This usually happens with their siblings, but "single-born kittens" are the only exception. During this period, they learn all their social skills from their mothers or siblings. When they grow up with their kind, they are more likely to get along with other cats, but they may not always get along with other animals and different species of cats. Introducing a current cat to a new cat is not as simple as it seems. Cats are more possessive than other pets and may want to be the sole owner of the house. Bringing a new furry friend to a home with an adult cat can initiate a long and controlled introduction process. Of course, this depends directly on the species and personalities. The cause of the fight may be related to the idea of sharing their food or a decrease in the attention they receive.

Here are the steps and tips that need to be taken to introduce cats to other friends with paws.

Get to Know Your Current Pet

The current pet you will introduce to your new cat, may be a dog, reptile, bird or another cat. Therefore, you need to know your cute friend's behavior and their reaction to good or bad situations in advance. Because they may give signals that they are not ready for introduction. Catching these small clues can help you understand that you need to change your introduction method and prevent both pets from getting hurt.

Prepare Your Home for Your New Cat

Preparing your home for your new feline friend is one of the first steps you need to take before introducing them to their new living space.

Create a safe room designated for your furry friend. Think of this space as a sanctuary for your cat as they adjust to the new scents and sounds of their home. A safe room can be any size, but make sure it has a door, a ceiling, and a place for your new friend to hide. Additionally, you should equip the room with food, water, a litter box, and toys to meet your cat's basic needs.

Take Time to Introduce Them

Like humans, cats have unique personalities. While some may easily befriend their new feline sibling, others may need more time to adjust to a home with other pets. Rushed introductions can result in unwanted outcomes such as aggression and stress. Since cats may approach rodents and birds as food, it's important to allow them to spend time together in safe areas and to let them get used to each other.

Start Controlled Meetings

You can allow furry friends to see each other through some kind of a barrier when your current pet's behavior turns back to normal and your new pet cat exhibits social behavior or wants to explore outside of its room. However, this should be very controlled and should take place in a safe area for both.

Your next step is to choose a barrier that will serve as a buffer. You can use baby gates to introduce your new friend to the current cat in separate locations. This allows them to see, smell and interact with each other without physical contact. You can also use a cat carrier to introduce your two cats and keep them separate and safe. This applies to other pawed friends as well. Everyone should be in their own safe space, but they should have an open line of sight and eat together in the same place.

Feed Them Together

You can make them eat the same food they love at the same time to get used to each other in their own safe spaces. This will help them remember the time they spent together as a pleasant memory and condition them. You can also allow them to play with a beloved toy, not just food. Cats may be more compatible with each other, but the same may not be true for dogs. In this case, you should be patient and extend the introduction process to the dog over a longer period in a controlled manner. Because dogs and cats are beings that can live in the same house, and they will be able to adapt to each other, although it may take a long time.

Meet Without Barriers

When the new and old members of the house start to behave naturally in their own space, you can plan an unbarred meeting. At this stage, you can observe their attitudes towards each other by removing the barrier. If there is no negative behavior, you should not interrupt and wait for them to communicate with each other when they feel ready. If there is any excessive aggression beyond some hissing or showing teeth, go back to the previous step and try again when you feel that the cats are ready enough. This process may take several months, so patience is essential.


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