Whether you are bringing home a new cat or bringing another pet into your household with your current cat, it can be a stressful time for everybody. But with the right steps, you can make sure that your pets will get to know each other in a way that is both safe and comfortable for them.
Keep them Separated
Start by preparing a room to keep your new pet in for a while. This room should have the basics, food and water, a litter box or crate for a new puppy, a bed and a couple toys. If your cat is very territorial, then you might have to also quarantine them to a separate part of the house as well.
The Scent Test
After a couple days, you can take an item from your new pet that has their scent on it and introduce that item to your cat. The item can be anything that the pet has touched or you can use a washcloth and wipe it on their scent glands (located on a dog’s paws and on the sides of a cat’s face). Once a day, bring the scent to your cat and let them smell it. Likewise, bring an item that has your current pet’s scent and let your new pet smell it.
The Door Test
When your current cat or dog is not showing signs of aggression in response to the scent, then you can move on to introducing them through the door. Start by allowing your pets to sniff at each other from opposite sides of a closed door. Then, with the help of a friend or family member, have one of you with each of your pets on opposite sides of the door and open the door a crack. Be prepared to hold your pets back, and always keep your dog, and even your cat, on a leash in case they become aggressive.
Take it Slow
Don’t be discouraged if it seems like your pets don’t like each other. It may take several weeks, or even months for them to grow accustomed to each other. If your pets do not respond well to a face to face introduction then go back to separating them and using the scent method until they are ready. When they are ready to be in the same room, remember not to leave them alone with each other until there is absolutely no signs of tension or aggression.
CONTACT CATONSVILLE CAT CLINIC TODAY!
For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!
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