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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Introducing a new cat to the resident cat

"SIERRA.....are you on the dining-room table again?"
"Oh crap!"

"NO, I'm not"


Although she doesn't fool me and does like to sprawl out on my tables,  Sierra is a GOOD cat. She is clean about herself and the litter-box, eats everything in her bowl (never a crumb left) and mostly, she lives quite happily with any cat that happens by. I feel she is just a very confident little gal.
You cannot say this for every cat.
This time of year adoptions are very slow at animal shelters.
The Lanark Animal Shelter in Smiths Falls, Ont. These cats have playrooms.

Mostly because people are busy and travelling or entertaining company and do not have time to integrate a cat into their household.
Come September,  the adoptions will go up and many people will be wondering how to introduce a new cat to the resident cat.
Here are a few tips from someone who really does believe that baby-steps need to be taken.
First, put the new cat in a room of its' own.
Give your resident cat time to get used to something being on the other side of the door.
Then rub down each cat with a sock. Be sure to rub around the cheeks where the scent glands are.
Put the opposite sock with the cats to watch the reaction of each cat.
Once they stop hissing (or they may not) from smelling the sock then switch rooms. Put the new cat in the room that the resident cat was in and the resident cat goes into the room where the new cat came out of. Let them roam around a bit getting used to each other's scent.

Think of it this way. If a person was to arrive at your home that you had never met would you feel more comfortable knowing something about this person before they arrive? Wouldn't you have lots of questions? Once being informed about this person would you not feel more comfortable once you meet? It is the same for the animals.

Before introducing them have on hand some treats and toys. There most likely will be some hissing so be prepared for that. Give the resident cat more attention and keep your eyes on that one mostly. If it looks like there will be an attack you should immediately put the new cat back into its' room and wait for another day to try this. This could take awhile so take your time with it. It could be up to a month or so before the cats can be left in a room unsupervised or you might be lucky and they like each other immediately. Remember....baby steps.

hugs, Deb

11 comments:

  1. Good tips here and I love the 3 all snuggled up together! ;D

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  2. This is usually what we do, but Sylvester wanted O-U-T from the get go--and he sauntered out of his room on day one, and never looked back! What a good guy.
    The photo of all three just melted me...like a kitty centipede!

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  3. Lots of good advice there I think and lots I hadnt heard of like the sock trick.. Hugs GJ xx

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  4. thanks for the link...so nice of you....

    i love all the kittys...love that picture of them all together on the couch....and you saw my dande...on the dining table too !!!

    :-)

    what a beautiful grand daughter...just adorable

    kary, teddy and all the kittys at farmhouse kitchen
    xx

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  5. Love the photo of the three cats sleeping, all curled up. And a very Happy Birthday to Kane this month!!!

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  6. Now that's a trio of true pals there! Emily is still in the guest room...
    Brenda

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  7. Love the pic of them all asleep in a row! Great tips for bringing in a new cat.

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  8. Your pictures and your advice are so..... good!
    I only wish every kitty had a loving home!!'

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  9. Haha ~ well ~ what's a good meal without a little kitty hair in it!! ;)

    Everyone looks so cozy in that last photo ~ too cute Deb!
    xo Catherine

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  10. Love my cats, too. I have to say, you could be related to my neighbor - however, sadly, she passed away recently. Her name was Lorraine and she is from Canada. She was the primary care-giver in her home, too - far too young at 61 years. She always looked after our cats when we were away and grew to enjoy them so much, she went to the shelter and adopted two for herself and handicapped husband.
    Joy!
    Miss Kathy

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  11. Very excellent advice! I love the sock idea! I have kept cats for many years and have always heard that you rub the face of the "home" cat and then quick rub the face of the new cat, thus transferring scent. But the sock idea is a pre introduction. Very nice!
    I didn't realize that was a photo of Lanark Shelter. I thought some lucky cats folks had made them a cool play area.
    I love your blog! It's so full of heart and good common sense. And as
    my Gran used to say "Common sense....it's not so common".

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