Sunday, November 25, 2007

How To Introduce A New Cat To Your Other Cats

If you have one or more cats and are thinking of adding a new feline to the family, it is natural to be concerned if all will go well. The other cats might not like the newcomer in their territory. The newcomer might not get along with your cats. What if one of them will be permanently stuck under the bed? What if the fur will fly?

Introducing a new cat takes time and patience. In general, cats love routine. Change is something they'd rather avoid, thank you very much. They know where they stand with everything staying exactly as it is. A newcomer changes that routine and the dynamics in the household.

That doesn't mean that it can't be done. There are many examples of great feline friendships having been created this way. With a few tactics, there's a good chance that everything will go just fine.

When the new feline arrives, it is best to keep him in a separate room, and keep the door closed. Provide food, water and a litter box and allow your new friend to adjust to his new home and to you. It is recommended to also provide a scratch post, and some toys are always helpful. Spend time with him, allow him to learn to trust you.

The other cats will know there is a newcomer and will become familiar with his scent. They can interact through chattering with the other, but do keep them separate, preferably for the first week.

Your cats might not be overjoyed with you for bringing this new cat into the house. You may be ignored, there may be some growling at the door and some general annoyance. This will pass.

After about a week, allow your cats to familiarize themselves with the other's scent in a more direct way. Experts recommend using the same brush to groom each of the cats and treating them, so that they associate the smell with a positive experience.

When it's time for the face-to-face introduction, it is recommended to place the newcomer in his carrier. This way they can meet the other but everyone is safe. Observe how they interact. A bit of fluffing of the tail and hissing is natural, but if it looks like there will be aggression, it is best to repeat this process a few times.

If all seems to go well, you can open the carrier and allow the cats to meet the other properly. Do keep a close eye on them and see how everything goes. Sometimes you might notice one cat ignoring the other, or some growling to keep the other in his place. The cats will need to sort who goes where on the social ladder.

If there is aggression and the relationships do not smooth out over the span of a few weeks, it is best to start the introduction all over again. It's not something that can be rushed, and you will need to monitor the interactions and dynamics for a good while.

In general, though, your new friend should start to settle in slowly but surely. And once they all get to know the other, you'll be able to enjoy their team antics.

This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pets.

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