Hi – today I’d like to address the correct ways in which you should introduce your new cat to your family. Yes – there is a right way. As the newest front office staff employee I have seen such heartbreak when a new animal doesn’t work out – and with a few tweaks to their methods (and a little time) it could have been a purrfect situation!
First of all – you humans are very lucky. a) you have thumbs, and can utilize the computer and internet without an interpreter and b) you can use a search engine to find out tried and true methods for introducing felines to felines, dogs to dogs, or felines to dogs…possibilities are endless!
Cats – well, we hate change. We are a lot like you that way! So the first thing you need to keep in mind when introducing a new cat into the family is to take it slow…let us get used to small areas before you broaden our horizons. Think about what YOU would want if roles were reversed! So if we are to have one human as our main companion, start us off in that room and that room only. We will let you know when we are mentally prepared for seeing other areas of the home.
If you have other felines (or canines) in the home and you want us to bond well, the best thing is to start switching our blankets/bed so that we can get used to what the other smells like. We use scent to get to know each other… so when we are suddenly bombarded with a new animal, new scent, new home it’s a little too much stimulation!
Also – if we feel threatened we can always hide or climb… it’s not us being ‘standoffish’, it is taking ourselves away from the situation until we are able to handle it.
Here are some great links to help you understand how best to introduce your new family member! This is for you as much as it is for the pets – because it is so hard on us to be adopted and then turned back in again!
Introducing cats: http://animal.discovery.com/healthy-pets/cat-health-101/how-to-introduce-a-new-cat-to-an-old-cat.html
Introducing dogs and cats: http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/dog-behavior/introducing-dogs-to-cats.html
Introducing dogs: http://www.petmd.com/dog/training/evr_introducing_a_new_dog_to_a_resident_dog#.UNiBV-RlEfU
Remember – introduction takes time. You can not go into this expecting us to love each other immediately. There are times that might happen… but just don’t go in expecting it. With proper time and introduction, we can all be one, big, happy family!
I wish you a very happy holidays… and that means all holidays! I am an all inclusive sort of cat – especially if it means I get more goodies! (my stocking is hung in the office and looks like it’s full!)