Pit Bull, Baby Rabbit, Cat in Love. It seems incredible that our pets can be such great friends when they are so different in every way, but this short video proves it is possible for all of your household pets to have a great relationship.
youtube clip: TexasGirly1979
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article source: http://www.humanesociety.org/
Introducing Your New Cat to Other Pets
Wouldn’t it be nice if all it took to introduce a new cat to your resident pet were a brief handshake and a couple of “HELLO, My Name is….” name tags
But, since we’re dealing with cats, not people, it’s just not that simple, so you’ll need to have some realistic expectations.
It is important to recognise and accept that you can’t force your pets to like each other. We don’t have a crystal ball to predict whether or not your pets will be friends, but we do have techniques for you to use to increase your chances of success. Most importantly, choose a cat with a similar personality and activity level. For example, an older cat or dog might not appreciate the antics of a kitten.
You need to move slowly during the introduction process to increase your chances for success. You mustn’t throw your pets together in a sink-or-swim situation and hope they’ll work it out.
The nature of cats
Cats are territorial, and in general they don’t like to share. A cat who’s unhappy about a newcomer may express his displeasure by fighting with the other pet and (peeing on the floor, wall or objects). Cats also dislike change, and a new cat in the house is a huge change. These two character traits mean you could have a tough (but not impassable) road ahead.
Some cats are more social than other cats. For example, an 8-year-old cat who has never been around other animals might never learn to share her territory (and her people) with other pets in the household. But an 8-week-old kitten separated from her mom and littermates for the first time might be glad to have a cat or dog companion.
All of this means that your current pet and your new cat need to be introduced very slowly so they can get used to each other before a face-to-face meeting. Slow introductions help prevent fearful or aggressive behavior from developing. Below are some guidelines to help make the introductions go smoothly.
Be aware that the introduction process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, or even a few months in extreme cases. Be patient.
To allow time for the newcomer to adjust to you and her new situation, keep her in a small room with her litter box, food, water, scratching post, toys and a bed for several days to a week.
- Feed your resident pets and the newcomer on each side of the door to this room, so that they associate something enjoyable (eating!) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door that the animals are too upset by each other’s presence to eat.
- Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pets can eat calmly while standing directly on either side of the door.
- Try to get your pets to interact with a toy. Tie a toy to each end of a string, then place it so there’s a toy on either side of the door. Hopefully, they’ll start batting the toys around and maybe even batting paws.
- Be sure to spend plenty of time with your new kitty in her room, but don’t ignore your resident cat.
Slow and steady wins the race
It’s better to introduce your pets to each other gradually so that neither animal becomes afraid or aggressive. Once the cats are face to face, though, there will be some kinks for them to work out.
If you’re really lucky (and your cats are inclined), they may do some mutual sniffing and grooming, and you’re on your way to success. They may sit and stare at each other. You can provide distraction by dangling toys in front of them at the same time. This may encourage them to play together.
They might sniff each other, hiss, and walk away. That’s to be expected. This may go on for a few days or so, and then you’ll probably find them both sleeping on your bed.
Break it up
If you’re not so lucky, they may be very stressed. Fortunately, they may only posture and make a lot of noise. But, as soon as there are signs of increasing aggression (flattened ears, growling, spitting and crouching) make a loud noise by clapping your hands or throw a pillow nearby to distract them. If the standoff continues, very carefully herd them into separate parts of the house to calm down. This could take up to 24 hours, and the cats may take out their stress on you.