Introducing a new CAT or DOG to your pet resident can be rewarding, puzzling, exciting and frightening concurrently.
No matter what your pet’s temperament, modest steps can make the introduction calmer and in turn pleasant for the entire family. It’s important to look after your pet’s welfare during a major life alteration to eradicate future behaviour issues that weren’t there prior.
INTRODUCING A NEW CAT:
- It can take 2-3 weeks and occasionally more for the original cat to warm to a new animal companion, sometimes they never really bond, just accept the new cat isn’t going away and learn to live with it.
- An adult cat is usually more accepting of a kitten. It helps to plan for the initial cat to remain as the authoritarian cat.
- One method is to keep the new cat for the first few days to a week confined to one room with all their specific requirements met and making regular visits.
- Its imperative to let the new cat adjust to its new location where it’s guaranteed emotional and physical stability.
- Your resident cat will smell and sense traces of the new cat on you, make sure to spend time equally with both cats.
- Gradually relocate both cats feeding bowls near the door where the new cat is restricted and feed at the same time – eating reduces anxiety!
- Move your resident cat to their favourite room with all it requirements and then allow the new cat to explore the house on daily basis, gradually increase the time they get to explore.
- Allow both cats to wander around the house supervised at meal times.
- Bit of hissing is normal and to be expected, if the situation isn’t working out, go back a step and confine the new cat back in the dedicated room by allowing extended exploration periods on their own.
- If both cats continually aggressive, it may be necessary to try other methods. Some cats are known to respond well to herbs, essential oils and pheromones. Trial a variety of scents and see which ones work best for your individual cat.
- Keep in mind some cats will NEVER get along, they just reach a mediation point of tolerance.
INTRODUCING A NEW DOG:
- Breed specific, size and dominance can matter, allow the resident dog to be the ‘boss’ (at least initially)
- Allow ‘time out’ for both dogs; a puppy may want to sleep in a cage or in a comfortable safe zone while an adult dog may want to find a quiet spot from biting puppies.
- Dogs are best introduced when both dogs are restrained on a leash!
- It’s best to introduce them in a neutral territory which is unfamiliar to both dogs.
- Take the time to assess both dog’s behaviour and temperaments to enable you predict responses.
GENERAL TIPS FOR BOTH DOGS & CATS:
- Allow some period together for greeting, play time as well as time apart.
- Feed in separate bowls however bring them closer together; it can force them to eat and spend time mutually.
- Be patient and allow at least 2-3 weeks for settling.
- Remember cats are territorial animals and the new cat is an interloper.
- Social adjustments need to be made and only the animals can work these out!
- Success is achieved when both sleep next to each other!
Assume opposition in most cases which may last for days or weeks but it will gradually diminish, eventually there will be a reasonable accommodation on both sides and generally good friendship. Make sure to shower both animals with love and affection and don’t neglect your resident pet in favour of the new one.
To find out what makes PET NURTURE unique or to learn more about us contact Melina on 0403 939 202 or Enquiries@PetNurture.com.au
Taylor, D. (1987). You & Your Cat. Surry Hills, NSW, Australia: R.D. Press. Retrieved 2017
Ultimo, T. (2017). 10. Behavioural Advice_V2. Sydney, NSW, Australia. Retrieved June 18, 2018
weekly, A. W. (2002). Caring for Cats&Dogs. Sydney, NSW, Australia: ACP Books. Retrieved December 12, 2016
Individual blogs are based upon the opinions of the specific author, who retains full copyright. The material is not intended as medical advice, it’s intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.
We are not veterinarians and do not diagnose any conditions, perform surgery or prescribe medications. We encourage you to make your own pet health care choices in collaboration with a certified pet health care professional.