Members get our updates on rescue alerts, league events, special offers and more.
- Friends, Fireworks & Our Four Legged Friends - Ensure Your Pet has Safe Fun this July 4th!
MORE IN: Cats & Dogs • Health
Introducing Your Cat to Other Pets
If you have another pet in the household, make sure you make the initial introductions a calm experience. Only introduce the pets when your cat is well acclimated, and comfortable with you and your environment. The first step to take is to let the pets smell each other from behind closed doors. It is normal for your cat/s to hiss or growl at each other upon initial introductions. Neither animal knows the other and they will need time to adjust to living with another animal. Another way to get them acquainted is to get the cats' scents on two separate towels and give them to your cats. This will allow them to get used to the cat without having to deal with a face-to-face encounter just yet.
When you feel both you and the pets are ready for a face-to-face introduction, be sure to provide a calming and quiet environment. First introductions should always be closely supervised. Keep a close eye on their behaviors and body language. Offer treats when friendly behavior is exhibited.
If the meeting is not going well do not stress out. If the pets need to be separated, try your best not to pick them up, this may make the meeting more stressful for them. Try throwing a towel or large blanket over them to break them apart. Always remember to have patience with them, and you can try again the next day. Go slowly and keep in mind that the pets may never be best friends. Allow them to familiarize themselves with each other at their own paces. You will know when it is time to let them have free roam of the house unsupervised.
When introducing your new cat to a dog, be sure your dog is always on a leash and that the cat has an escape route if he/she gets frightened. Take things slow and utilize the techniques offered above.
Browse our extensive expert advice: