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.. First impressions last

Initial meetings can define lifetime relationships.

 

Cats react in individual ways toward other personalities. Some will enjoy meeting new personalities, some will be afraid, some aggressive & some won't care at all. Initial introductions can set all future relations between members of a household & they may not forget if it was a negative experience. With this in mind, it is always wise to introduce new members to the household carefully & considerately in order to avoid potential problems (even if they are likely to be welcomed & are friendly).

Cats are extremely territorial & if another cat suddenly appears smack in the middle of a secure territory, there could be trouble. How would you feel if a stranger suddenly appeared in your living room?

Both male & female cats are likely fight off unknown intruders who encroach around their borders in the garden. One appearing uninvited within their home could be very distressing for them. Some people believe that household animals should just be put together & left to sort out their differences from the outset. This has undoubtedly worked in some cases, but it will leave your situation wide open for some serious problems. Cats have been known to leave home entirely after new arrivals have been forced upon them. Kittens & cats can even be killed, if unintentionally, by other family pets.

It is better to be safe, than to be sorry.

Initial meetings could define wether or not elements of your household will require effort & give you headaches, or if your home life will be a harmonious, pleasurable & effortless experience in times to come.

Introductions can be quite nerve-racking.

Your intention may be to get another pet to keep your current cat or dog company. A previous companion may have left a space in your lives. Your remaining companion(s) may be less likely to welcome a newcomer with open paws than you think, precautions would be wise.

For the safety of the existing residents & the newcomers alike, introductions should be carefully supervised until all parties have accepted each other.

The following pages contain guidelines which have been drawn from real situations & experience, they aim to aid pet introductions with the minimum of stress & anxiety for all parties - including yourself.

Please don't use these chapters "Introduction Guidelines" as a rule book, but as a guide & source for consideration. Assess your unique situation & adapt the information to your circumstances with consideration. Some advice may not apply to your situation at all, & the amount of time & effort necessary for successful introductions can vary greatly.

Caution

Most cats will accept a new personality given time, patience & understanding. There is almost always some initial aggression until the threat has been assessed however there are also extremes. Sometimes a newcomer just won't settle or the resident cat(s) will refuse to tolerate an intruder. Perhaps your existing cat(s) are just too territorial or possibly the new arrival although friendly with people, cannot share with other cats (dogs). Just like humans, there could even be an unexplainable personality clash. If there is still no sign of progress after several weeks or longer of following the introduction guide in these pages, there may be little point trying to force them to live together. It could then be time to consider rehoming the newcomer, otherwise all of the pets could become stressed & further behavioural problems could develop . Explain the situation clearly if you do have to return s/he to an animal shelter, so a suitable, happy environment, can be found for them.
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