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List: Posted: 08/03/11
Whether you adopt your new cat from an animal shelter or buy him or her from a cat breeder, introducing a new cat to other pets can be a difficult process. Pets are naturally territorial, and some pets are certainly more aggressive than others. How do you introduce a new cat to your other animals safely? What should you expect?
Let Your Pets Adapt at Their Own Pace
First, you need to accept that you cannot force your pets to get along. Chances are good that your new cat will not be immediately accepted, and in some cases, might never be completely welcomed. You also need to ensure that your new cat has a similar personality and age to your current pets. For example, older animals you have had all their lives will likely not appreciate a kitten.
Keep Them Separated at First
One of the things that you need to do to begin with is to keep your new cat in a separate room with food, water, and a litter box. This allows your new cat a chance to become accustomed to its new home, but also gives your other pets a chance to get used to the new animal's scent. Remove your new pet from the room once a day and let your existing pets into the room to sniff at the 'new smell.' After a week of this they will know your new pet by its smell and may be excited to meet him or her.
Introduce the New Scent
You might also swap pet beds after a day or so, as this will help both the new cat and your other animals become accustomed to each other's smells. Scent is one of the most important things for animals of all kinds, and a strange scent in 'their' home will cause a lot of stress at first.
Take it Slow
Take it slow when you introduce your new cat to your other pets. Give them time to get acclimated to each other. Mutual sniffing and hissing are not necessarily a bad sign, and is natural as both seek to establish dominance.
Let Them Escape if Need Be
Finally, make sure that all of your cats have somewhere they can escape to when they need to be alone. Don't leave them alone together before you are sure that they both accept and get on with each other.
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