Make New Friends, but Keep the Old

…one is silver, and the other’s gold.

Thinking of adding a new cat to your family?  Great!  Although getting a new pet is a super exciting event for everyone, your current pets may not agree (at first).  Here are some ideas for incorporating a new kitten into your feline-loving family:

  • Introduce your new kitten to one family member at a time.  It’s best not to let the new little one feel overwhelmed with lots of simultaneously petting (from your family) and hissing (from your other cat).  Baby steps.
  • Don’t leave the two cats alone unattended at first!  This will only lead to disaster and a trip to the veterinarian (who would love to see you, but prefers that your cat visits the clinic in one piece).  Keep a close eye on them for the first few days while the dust settles.  This is especially important in cases of “little tiny baby kitten meets great big old cat”.
  • Allow the cats to spend time together in short increments at first.  10-15 minutes of getting-to-know-you time is enough.  Wait a while and repeat.  Slowly increase the amount of time they are spending together until you are comfortable enough to leave them unattended.
  • Try to stay as relaxed as possible.  Remember that cats are naturally territorial, but you’ll get over the hump.  Before you know it, they will be getting along just fine.

catfriends

Safety for both pets and owners should always be at the front of your mind in any situation, including at times when introducing animals to one another.  If you find yourself in the situation of a kitty-scuffle, avoid putting your hands (or any other body part) between them.  Have a squirt bottle filled with water if you are worried that you will need to break up a spat, but never try to get in the middle of the action.

With a little time and lots of patience, you’ll forget what like was like before you got this new kitten… and so will your “great big old cat”.

kittyfriends

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