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2. INTRODUCTION GUIDELINES

Follow your normal routines (leaving the newcomer some peacefull space, for example from vacuum cleaning) & remain relaxed and happy. Anxiety spreads easily to animals, they will look to you as a dominant presence. It is important to pass on the sense that there is nothing to worry about.

Avoid reassuring pets - this could simply convey a sense that there is something of concern to worry about.

1 • Before arrival - even over a period of weeks - close off an entire room to your pets so that it becomes normal for them. When there is a new body around, they should not feel that it has rudely claimed some of their core territory.

2 • A new cat should then be given that room to settle into 1st.

3 • Spend a little time with your existing pets, try to make the whole experience pleasurable for them so they associate the arrival positively.

4 • Your new addition will get to know you as you bring food, (just one person should do this at first) sit with them on the floor to familiarise them with you. Let them dictate the ammount of contact you have. Other humans can soon replicate this process.

5 • Upon 1st arrival put a thick draft excluder under the door to block new scents. From the outset, perhaps try to think of it as introducing them one sense at a time, ie sound will probably come first, scent second etc.

Once things have settled a bit, you can remove the draft (scent) excluder & allow them to behave as they will - there may be some hissing under the door - don't scold them thay are assesing things.

6 • Existing and new pets will be able to smell each other under doorways, you could drop a treat so they make a positive association with the new scent. They will be able to smell each other on you, stroke them and stroke the newcomer (if s/he is ready) this will mix up group scents, familiarise & associate scents to you.

7 • After some time of settling, you can aid this passive exchange of personal information, by swapping objects that bear scents such as blankets. Place an item or two that smells of your pet in the safe room, & remove an item or two that smells of the newcomer to place them outside of that room for your cat to investigate.

8 • If the room has a glass door, the cats may view each other through this but it is best to block the view to begin with, untill the shock of the new has settled.

9 • Soon, give the newcomer a window seat so s/he may survey their new world especially if there is no glass door. An exterior windowsill (if it is safe & on ground level) could also serve your existing pet, with the purpose of viewing the new arrival from outside.

Again - not immediately, if possible close the curtains to start with so your new pet is not intimidated.

10 • Only once your new addition has settled in & relaxed (usaualy after days - even weeks), and your existing pets have become accustomed to the scent & presence of the newcomer, should they be allowed to meet.

Initial meetings should happen under controlled circumstances, but animals should be allowed to dictate their own social interactions without people & their anxieties interfering. Maintain a healthy distance to allow their personal relationship to emerge.

11 • Any introductions should idealy be made when there are few distractions, a quiet time in the house - preferably over a period of days.

12 • 1st, allow the cats contact on their own terms & only if they choose to. ideally this would be left to happen naturally through a barrier of some kind such as a grill such as in the pictures on this page. This is so they can investigate each other without the risk (or fear) of contact & without any human background anxiety. (don't worry about some hissing, this is bound to happen) This close proximity can be encouraged at mealtimes or with treats.

Never introduce one cat to another via a cat carrier

It is important for them to feel free to be able to beat a quick retreat to safety and escape from danger.

Bunsen behind a partition

Bunsen behind a partition

After the hissing and growling subsided

After the hissing and growling subsided

They met

They met

Things calmed down

Things calmed down

Kato eventually relaxed...

Kato eventually relaxed...

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