Meeting New Pets

Pets enjoy each other’s company. A pet with a playmate can get more exercise, stimulation and companionship. But sometimes it takes a while for them to realize the wonderful advantages they’re about to enjoy.

If you have other cats or a dog living with you, it is best to keep the new cat confined in the “safe” room for a few days while your established pets get used to her smell, and vice versa. When you bring cats together for the first time, it would be best to choose a day when you can be around the house, encouraging friendly behavior with praise and affection. Remember, your established pets can experience jealousy and other complex emotions. Be careful not to neglect your old friends in your excitement over the new cat. Nothing will irritate them more than seeing all the hugs and attention that they are used to getting being lavished on another cat. Tip the scales of treats and praise in favor of the resident pets.

A dog meeting a new cat should always be leashed. Supervise the encounter, and watch your dog for signs of aggressive behavior towards the cat. Curiosity is normal, but a dog that lunges at a cat is not safe to be off–leash with the cat. If your dog gets on well with the cat, but the cat shows you that she’s feeling threatened during this experience, let her retreat to her “safe” room until she’s willing to try again.