Introducing a new cat or kitten can be very stressful for both you and your new pet. To reduce the tension, make sure to have your home prepared for the new addition to your family. A litter box and food/water dish should be available as soon as your new kitten or cat arrives. And the first thing you should do is show your new pet where they are located. Also you will want to close all doors and windows throughout your home. This will allow your new kitty to gradually learn one room at a time. Allowing your new cat to slowly adapt to their new environment will keep the feline from becoming overwhelmed. It will also help make the transition less stressful.
If you have other animals in your home you need to have the vet check the new cat out before it is allowed into your home. This will let you know your new pet is healthy. It will also give you peace of mind to know the healthy pets you already own won't be at risk for infection, disease or parasite infestation.
Multiple pet households must take time to introduce a new kitten to other animals very gradually. Whether you already own a cat or a dog you can start off this process simply by giving each animal an item that contains the new cat's scent. Then do the same thing for your new pet. Watch how each animal reacts to the scent. Does it seem aggressive or frightened? Watching these reactions will give you an idea of what you might expect when the animals first meet.
After the scent exchange has been completed the second step should be a short introduction. It is important to note that the first several introductions should allow the animals to spend only supervised time with each other. If one of the animals seems particularly aggressive or fearful you may want to put one of them in a carrier to start off. As the animals get more familiar with each other you can gradually diminish its use.
At first there may be some level of aggression, such as growling and hissing, but with time this will diminish. Just remember the animals should only be left unsupervised when you are finally comfortable with the way the animals interact. Leaving the animals unsupervised before they are ready can result in severe injuries and unnecessary vet bills.
During this transition period it is important to spend equal amounts of time playing with each animal. Lavishing to much attention on the new cat or kitten can leave your other animals feeling neglected. This in turn can result in outbursts of jealous rage against your new pet. If you have a multiple cat household you might also consider having two litter boxes to start with. This will help avoid any confusion and often eliminates litter box problems before they even have a chance to start.
Both cats and kittens need time to adjust to a new environment. Having your home prepared to receive a new kitty will go a long way to ensure the animal grows accustomed quickly to its new surroundings. Remember to slowly introduce the cat to one room at a time and that getting your current pets to like the new cat may take some time. Some cats and most kittens are oblivious at first to other animals and tend to think everyone and everything just wants to play. But your 15-year-old dog may look at this a bit differently. If given time the animals will establish their own hierarchy. In most instances every animal, given time, will adjust. Even if your pets don't exactly live in harmony, they will at least be able to live in the same house.
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