Introducing a new cat to you family can be quite stressful. However, cats are generally social animals and can enjoy the companion of other pets in the house. Keep in mind, though, that it may take few days or even few weeks, for a new cat, especially a mature one to get used to a new surroundings. Below are some tips for introducing a new cat to your family,;
• Don’t expect a cat and a cat or a cat and a dog or any other pet to ‘work it out.’
Remember that cats are solitary by nature and very territorial creatures, therefore, may require quite some time to adjust to changes in environments and lifestyle. Introducing them too quickly with other cats or letting them ‘work it out’ by fighting will make a new one scare away. So, a gradual introduction is more than important for a long term success. Begin Introduction by confining him with his own litter box, a soft bed, food or water. Spend time with them in their new space, and if he is fearful or tentative, don’t force it out, sit back and let them come to you.
• Introduce to other animals slowly
Once the cat is comfortable with you and the new surrounding, is eating well, let them explore all the places in the house without direct contacts with old cats and other pets. This will make him come into contact with other pets scent. Alternatively, you can exchange his bedding with that of other cats.
• Allow the first encounter
Let the cats sniff to each other but try to monitor the encounter closely by limiting the time they will spend time together. Aggressive and fearful behavior is to be expected, but avoid letting them establish the behavior because it might be difficult to change. If you see signs that the behavior has intensified, separate them again and begin with step one. To break a fight, throw a soft cloth or make a loud noise to separate them.
• Feed your cats near each other
When they display aggressiveness to one another, consider feeding them on either side of a barrier where they can see but cannot reach each other. A mesh child gate may be a good option. You target should always be to make them relate well without forcing it. Feed them, give them a treat and play with them, this way you will be able to associate their time together with happiness and fun.
• Help other family members understand the new cat
When you get the new cat, let your children and other family members understand that they need time and space to settle. They should interact with the new cat, but use your best judgment and make sure this doesn’t scare away the cat. Don’t let kids pull the cat’s tails, ears, or mistreat them at all.
If you have other pets, you should also try to introduce them to one another. This might not be so difficult, but you should do it. Take one pet at a time, but always introduce him to other cats first.
If you have tried all these techniques for two months or more and it’s not working, you may consider finding them a new home. It takes time and patience for a cat to adapt to new environments, but eventually they should. Letting go of a new cat, may be disappointing, but remember, it will be better than living a home with warring pets, and after all, you want your cat to be safe and happy regardless of where they live.