How to Get Cats Acquainted With New Pets

by Pauline Gill, Demand Media
    Cats are territorial and don't like change.

    Cats are territorial and don't like change.

    Cats love their space and they don't like others intruding. Your cats might not welcome new pets with open arms, but they will tolerate them if the meeting is slow and guarded. Use each animal's scent and confinement to ease into the new friendship.

    Items you will need

    • Soft cloths
    • Pet food
    • Pet carrier or crate

    Step 1

    Distribute the scents of the new animals. Before bringing any new pets into your home, wipe them with cloths, and then wipe the cloths on furniture and surfaces. Pet the new animals and then allow your cats to smell your hands. Scent is a powerful communication for cats.

    Step 2

    Switch blankets and pet beds. Put your new pets' beds or blankets in the room your cats sleep in, and take your cats' beds or blankets to the new animals. You can also switch soft cloths. Wipe each animal, and then place the cloths near the bedding and feeding area of the other animals.

    Step 3

    Confine your new pets to different rooms for a few days. This gives them a chance to acquire the cats' scents, and it gives the cats time to get used to new scents in the house.

    Step 4

    Feed the new pets and your cats on opposite sides of a closed door. Eating is a pleasant experience for cats and other animals. Eating with a barrier between them eases them into an activity that they will do together eventually.

    Step 5

    Place the animals in separate crates. Put the crates in a quiet room with no activity. Position the crates so their doors are facing. Allow the animals to smell and see each other while they have the confinement of their dens.

    Step 6

    Withhold food for the cats and the new pets until they are hungry. Place food dishes in the same room. Place them apart so each animal has her own space. Put the cats and the new pets in the room to eat. Watch in case there is an altercation. The room should have a place where the cats can hide if they become scared.

    Tips

    • If you don't have a crate and you are introducing a dog, keep him on a leash and let the cats smell and take their time.
    • Always exude calm reassurance for the animals. If you are nervous, they are nervous.
    • If you are thinking of adding to your family of cats, consider kittens. Cats are less likely to be scared of kittens.

    Warning

    • Never let new animals enter your home without some type of restraint. Dogs will chase cats or want to play with them. Cats need time to explore and get used to the new situation.

    About the Author

    Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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