Imagine what it is like for you as a person, when you go into a new environment and are stressing as to what it is going to be like despite knowing your circumstances.
We cannot stress enough that it is important for you to try to see your home through the eyes of the new kitten or adult cat.
Now try to imagine how stressful it must be for a kitten taken from its mother and siblings, or an adult cat who doesn’t know what’s happening and why they no longer see the human parents with whom they spent years going into a new environment and being the outsider.
Dogs (and other cats) don’t always take kindly to having another come into their home and you will be going through a feline to feline introduction process in conjunction with introducing the new kitty to its forever home.
Important Information to have on hand
- Is the new kitten or adult cat used to dogs?
- Are your dogs used to kittens and/or adult cats?
- Is your dog known to chase and/or attack cats? (If this is the case you should not be bringing a kitten or adult cat into the home.)
Cats feel more secure at a height where they can survey their surroundings and stay out of reach of animals which can’t climb, such as Dogs.
Place bedding, food and water bowls, and toys at a height. Cat furniture is a good option for this.
Allow the dog to sniff the new cat through the door and also exchange items with the cat and dog scents on them so each can get used to the other.
Arranging the Big Meet
Initially introduce the dogs one at a time if you have more than one dog starting with the most senior and/or least boisterous dog.
There is likely to be yowling, hissing and growling initially from the cat but this will ease off. Don’t let this worry you, just be patient and gentle.
Ensure that all the doors and windows in the house are closed securely.
Under no circumstances should the cat feel fear, threatened or vulnerable.
THE BIG MEET
Sit on the bed with the cat in its carrier next to you so that it feels comfortable with you as it will tense and may become fearful when the dog is brought into the room.
Have someone, preferably a family member known to the dog, place your companion on a leash and bring him/her into the room slowly. At no time yell at the dog or talk sharply as this will create an air of tension and scare the cat.
And talk. Talk gently and reassuringly all the time so that both animals know that they are ok. Ignore any hissing as this is the cat warning the dog not to get too close.
After a while move closer and closer.
Repeat a few times a day and for a few days until the kitten or adult cat and dogs are used to each other.
WARNING – WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO OUT
Do not leave the cat/s and dog/s on their own without supervision until you are totally confident that they are comfortable with each other. And when you are ready to do so, ensure that all the doors and windows in the house are closed securely and that any employees are aware of these new arrangements until the new cat/s has been acclimatised to their new environment.
We wish you many years of joy with your companions.
- Introducing your New Cat to the Resident Cats at http://scratzme.com/blog/introducing-cat-resident-dogs
- Introducing your Cat to His/Her New Home at http://scratzme.com/blog/introducing-cat-hisher-home
- Keeping Pets in Sectional Title Schemes at http://scratzme.com/blog/keeping-pets-sectional-title-schemes