How to introduce your new cat to other cats in the family

Cats ARE like tattoo’s, there should be a well thought out decision before proceeding with purchase, they can be a bit prickly at first when they are “healing” in adjustment, and deserve prominent display in your home…and you always want another after your first.

My few additional suggestions on adding a new cat into your home come from 20 + years of experience with many different cats entering our home at different stages of their lives. My mother has always loved cats and adopted cats from people who could no longer care for them.

Her basic philosophy is ” They will get along…when it comes time to eat they will figure it out.” We did have a few cats that never did get along and on occasion they did scrap in the front yard and needed to be sprayed with the hose, but on a cold Winter night you would be sure to find them curled up on opposite ends of the bed.

Of course this is not my additional suggestions for introducing a new pet to the family.

#1 If at all possible, use a blanket or towel and try to transfer scents between the new and old pet before the adoption day. Both pets will be stressed, the newbie has not yet settled into their new territory, having to state your place in the ranking immediately upon arrival is sure to cause someone to get upset and angry.

#2 My experience is that it always takes 3-7 days for any major change in a household to calm down for the older pet. One of my cats now always hides in the back of a closet, only coming out at night to go to the cat box an refusing to eat meals anywhere else but the doorway. Give them both space and time.

#3 Always give positive praise instead of negative. Getting loud to correct a hiss or growl will only scare them and make them stress out. Talk in a calming voice and always encourage the good behavior. Hopefully they will eventually learn their hierarchy and become fast friends for those two hours of the day they are active and want to play.

#4 It is my personal opinion that breeds of cat really do matter. This is coming as some one who has worked as a veterinary receptionist for almost 3 years.I think the smartest thing one can do is go to their local shelter and adopt two Domestic Short/Medium/or Long-haired cats preferably that have grown up together or are already attached to each other. There are so many of those cats and the usually have the best temperament, the least medical issues and it is always better to get a rescue than a cat that wont be put to sleep because there are too many to take care of. Also many purebred cats have distinctive personalities that may clash with your life style or that of another cats that you would possibly adopt later. Really that is just a suggestion.

I also suggest that you remember that cats are different than other pets. They don’t need your love, they Want your love, when they want it and usually only then. I will also remind you that once you have more than one cat, no matter how many humans live in your home, you are now out- numbered.

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