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Dr. Rosie DVM

New Pets:

  • Introducing a new pet into the household can cause stress for resident cats.
  • Allow for a slow and supervised introduction, providing separate spaces for each pet initially.

Introducing a New Cat:

  1. Preparation: Set up a room for the new cat with all necessary items (food, water, litter box, scratching post, perch, and toys). This room will serve as the new cat's safe space.
  2. Isolation Period: Keep the new cat in her room for at least one week to acclimate. Allow the cats to get familiar with each other's scent by swapping towels they've laid on.
  3. Feeding Time: Start feeding both cats on opposite sides of a closed door to associate positive experiences (food) with each other's scent.
  4. Visual Contact: Gradually introduce visual contact by opening the door a crack, allowing the cats to see each other but not interact directly. If they hiss or become aggressive, close the door and try again later.
  5. Face-to-Face Meeting: When the cats are calm during visual contact, open the door and let them meet under supervision. Watch for signs of aggression or fear and intervene if necessary.
  6. Gradual Integration: Increase the time the cats spend together slowly until they are comfortable with each other. Always provide the new cat with a safe retreat space if needed.

Introducing a New Dog:

  1. Prepare Your Home: Before bringing the new dog home, ensure your cat has a safe place to retreat.
  2. Initial Confinement: Confine the new dog to one or two rooms using baby gates to allow the cat to investigate at her own pace.
  3. Controlled Meetings: Introduce the dog to the cat on a lead, walking him around the room calmly. Correct any inappropriate behavior from the dog and reward calm behavior from both animals.
  4. Positive Association: Give special treats and praise to both animals when they are near each other to create a positive association.
  5. Monitoring Progress: Repeat these controlled meetings until both animals are calm and relaxed around each other.
  6. Gradual Integration: Once the animals are comfortable, allow the dog more access to the house, but always supervise their interactions to ensure safety.

Remember, each animal is different, so the introduction process may vary. Patience and consistency are key to a successful introduction.

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