Have you recently decided to add a second kitty to your household? Congratulations! We’re always thrilled to see cats going to loving homes. However, your resident pet may not be quite as enthusiastic about the matter as we are. Kitties are capable of forming strong bonds, but they sometimes get off to a rocky start. Here, a Brampton, ON vet discusses introducing Fluffy and Mittens.
Don’t immediately let your new kitty have the run of the house. It’s best to keep your furballs separated at first. If possible, set Fluffy up in a separate room, with food, toys, treats, bedding, and, of course, a litterbox. It probably won’t take your resident cat very long to realize that there’s a new kitty in town. Keep the door closed. Your furballs will be able to get used to each other’s scents, and may start playing ‘pawsies’ under the door. Offer them both treats and toys near the door. This will help them form positive associations with each other.
When both cats have accepted each other’s presence, you can introduce them. Make sure both cats are current on vaccinations and parasite control. Take your new kitty into the living room in her carrier, and let your feline pals get a good look at each other. If they seem fairly calm, let Fluffy out of her carrier, and see how things go. You can expect some hissing and posturing at first. If your cats actually fight, clap your hands. This should startle them and break up the tussle. Separate them again, and try again another day. You should find tensions steadily diminishing as they get used to each other.
Now it’s time for Fluffy and Mittens to become friends, or at least learn to tolerate one another. Playing with your cats together, and giving them toys and treats together, should help soothe tensions. Pay both kitties equal attention. Otherwise, they may get jealous of each other. Also, make sure they have plenty of resources, such as toys, food, and furniture, so they don’t have to compete.
Cats can take a long time to adjust to changes. It may take Fluffy and Mittens a year or more to truly accept one another. Be patient!
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