Your New Cat to Other...
If you need
to introduce a new animal to other animals, make sure your new
animal has been seen by a veterinarian to reduce the risk of
transmitting illnesses or parasites to your other animals.
to introductions is planning and patience. First impressions
are lasting and negative ones take time to neutralize. It’s
all about turf. The newbie is suddenly by himself in new territory
already inhabited by others. The current residents are suddenly
faced with a stranger trespassing in their territory.
is to manipulate the physical environment to ensure everyone’s
safety. The outcome of this process is dependent upon the temperament
and ages of
the animals involved and your levels of patience and consistency.
may take several weeks to a month for everyone to feel comfortable.
Do not give up, and don’t lose your cool.
In very, very rare
cases, you can simply let them work things out, and after a
week or so, things are fine. However, most introductions require
more time and are a process that has to be worked through. The
following procedure has worked for us:
animals (newcomer/s and existing residents) down with a washcloth
soaked in cider vinegar. This will make everybody smell the
new cat in her own room, with her own litter box and dishes.
(Adding a screened door to the room is a great short cut.) After
a day or so of this, put the new cat in her carrier, take her
out of the room and let the original pet/s smell and explore
the room thoroughly. Put the new cat back in. Keep repeating
until the original animals no longer excitedly sniff at everything.
the new cat out (in her carrier) to meet the original pet/s
under close supervision. There's bound to be some hissing, maybe
even spitting. Don’t chastise anyone for this—it’s
normal behavior among cats who are re-figuring their hierarchy.
Try to end these sessions on a quiet, positive note. Keep repeating
this until the hissing stops.
the new cat (in her carrier) about five feet from where the
other animals eat. Keep moving her carrier closer and closer.
with your new cat on your bed, leaving the door open to the
other animals. Have the new cat’s carrier and a big towel
(to throw at or envelope someone) close at hand. (Know that
where you sleep is a special/sacred place to your animals because
when asleep, you are vulnerable.) The first time, just sit quietly
for about five minutes and then return the new cat to her room.
your animals should be ready to be loose in the same room together
under close supervision (have that towel handy). Keep them separated
while you are not supervising until you’re certain they
get along and everyone has
a safe “retreat” somewhere.
The length of time
and amount of supervision required can be modified as you discover
how the animals react to one another. Some forms of cat interaction
or play can appear hostile but in reality, are not.
to humane society studies, these are some combinations
of animals that tend to work well:
older kitten and a puppy
pair of mature neutered animals
Introducing a very
young animal to a household with an elderly animal already present
can be stressful to the older animal. The best way to handle
this is to make sure the older animal does not feel threatened
by the newcomer. Lavish attention on the older animal, not the
newcomer. Make sure the older animal has a cozy place to retreat
to, and undisturbed time to eat and relieve herself.
A puppy introduced
to a cat will quickly view her as another sort of dog and leave
her alone or, more often, want to play with her. The cat will
view the dog as a nuisance for some time, but will eventually
learn to ignore him or even to play with him.
Introducing a kitten
to an older dog will depend on the dog’s temperament.
Many dogs are good with cats, such as Labs or Newfies, and will
present few problems. Dogs
with high prey drives need to be taught to leave the kitten
Soon enough, the
kitten will be able to get up out of the dog’s reach when
he wants to be left alone. Providing the cat with a place the
dog can’t get to is always helpful. Place a childproof
gate in the door of a room high enough for the cat to get under
but not for the dog. Trim the cat’s claws to minimize
damage to the dog’s nose.