Friday, September 17th, 2010
Many of us animal lovers probably already have a least one pet at home but can never seem to say “no” to that stray kitten you’ve been feeding for a few days or the beautiful little kitten up for adoption at the local pet store. You may be hesitant to add any new members to the family because you don’t know how to introduce your new pets to your current pets. It doesn’t have to be hard! Here are some simple steps to follow!
1. First and most importantly, take the kitten to your vet for a thorough exam to ensure he is completely healthy and does not have any illnesses that could be passed on to your pets at home. Getting everyone sick is not a good way to start out!
2. After your kitten has been given a clean bill of health, he’s ready to go home and meet the household. If your kitten is a little timid and scared, you may want to give him a day or two to adjust to the house on his own, meaning give him a room all to himself with plenty of toys, different places to sleep, food, water and a litter box. Keep him isolated from the rest of your pets until he seems more comfortable and less scared. Once he is more adjusted and a little more confident, bring your current cat and your new cat to a large room such as the kitchen, living room or large bedroom. You want to be sure there is enough room for them to “get away” if they need to but not completely leave the area.
3. Do not force your cats to meet each other. Simply allow them to roam around the room and investigate one another as they wish. Forcing one another to be close together could cause a fight or ill feelings right off the bat. Let them meet each other once they feel comfortable and only intervene if it seems one of them could be in danger.
4. Do not leave your kitten unsupervised until you are 100% sure your new cats have accepted him into the family. It only takes a quick second for a fight to break out and someone to be hurt.
5. Try not to overwhelm your kitten. If you have more than one cat, introduce the kitten to just one at a time. Allow him to meet one cat one day and the other the next day. This will help him to feel more secure and confident than meeting two cats much larger than him at once.
6. Don’t ignore your current cats. Cats, as you well know, are very particular and do not like to be ignored. Make it a point to spend at least 15 minutes per day for the first two weeks alone with your current cat to reassure him that he is not being replaced and has nothing to worry about with the new addition. This will help your current feline residents to accept the new one even faster.
7. Be patient! Some cats take awhile to adjust to something new in the house. It may take a day, it may take a few months – just be patient and let the cats do their own thing. They have a language only they can understand and a method that only makes sense to them!