Introducing A Second Pet
CAT TO CAT
First, rub your resident cat down with a towel and leave it in the new cat’s room. Rub the new cat down with a towel and leave it where the resident cat can find it. Keep doing this for several days. Place a toy under the door and tie it so it won’t slip all the way through. A piece of clothesline tied into a big knot at each end is usually good. Hopefully, the cats will play with each other under the door! When you release the new cat into the house, lock the resident cat into the Bonding Room for an hour or so, so it can really explore the room and get full scent. Do this for at least two days. Then open the door so both cats can come and go. Scent is more important than sight in the first few days. However, when they DO finally meet, there may be growling, posturing, hitting, spitting, etc. This is normal, and unless they are actually KILLING each other and drawing blood, stay out of it. Let them do their own thing and figure out the new pecking order.
CAT TO MULTIPLE CATS
Same as above. However, it may take longer for the pecking order to be re-established.
CAT TO DOG
We try to be careful about the type of dog you own, and we believe you when you say your dog is good with cats. Follow the instructions above, using towels and soothing tones. When you are ready to release the cat into the house, LEASH your dog to a HEAVY piece of furniture. Give him just enough room to stand and move in a semi-circle. Allow the cat to explore the room or run away if he/she wants to. REMEMBER, dogs are bigger, more active, and even though they may not hurt the cat, the cat does not know this. Be prepared for some growling and hissing from the cat at first. The cat may even scratch your dog’s nose. This is almost a rule when introducing the two. Dogs tend to want to sniff and cats tend to not want to be sniffed! Eventually, the two will become friends. It is important that you do not interfere with their introduction. Just stand by in case of an emergency.
GOLDEN RULE REGARDING THE PECKING ORDER
There can be only ONE alpha cat. The cats must figure this out for themselves. When there is a fight, pick up the aggressor and hug and kiss him/her. Ignore the one who just got beaten up (even though you feel sorry for it). Brush the alpha first, feed him first, say hello to him first. This will allow the alpha to reinforce his/her status, and everyone’s life will be easier. This is also true for dogs.