You go through all the motions of adoption – from processing the paperwork to buying new pet stuff. However, the most difficult task still lies ahead and that is introducing your new pet to your resident pack.

We hope that our pets would have a harmonious relationship – and, sometimes, they do. But it is also completely possible that they’ll not be at ease with one another. While we may not be able to control how they’ll respond to each other, we can make the process easier and stress-free for both of them.

Introducing a cat to another cat

Confinement

Prepare a separate area or room for her to stay and make sure she has her own food bowl, litter, and scratching post inside the room. During feeding time, place the food bowls of both pets on the other side of the door to let them associate the other’s scent with something pleasurable (like eating). Do not put the food bowls too close to each other, though. Start at a farther distance and slowly inch the bowl closer until they become accustomed to the other’s presence. Eventually, you can try propping the door open a bit and work your way gently until they don’t need a divider between them

Swapping

Familiarize them with each other’s scent by swapping their stuff. For example, you can rub a towel on the new cat and then place it underneath the food bowl of the resident cat.

Switching Places

Once the new cat eases into her room, allow her to explore the rest of your house freely while keeping the resident cat confined to the newcomer’s room. This way, they become used to each other’s scent without meeting. It will also allow the new cat to familiarize herself with her surroundings.

Introducing a cat to a dog

You have to be very careful on this one because dogs, can potentially harm your cat. If your dog doesn’t know any commands yet like “sit” or “stay,” it would be a good time to start training him.

Once you bring your cat home, you can follow the steps above for a smooth introduction between your pets. When you finally decide to put them in a room together, you have to make sure that these interactions are short and supervised. You may try to admonish your dog if he tries to chase the cat, but you must also reward him for good behavior – for example, when he stays put the entire time, or when he comes when called.

You have to be extra vigilant if you’re bringing home a kitten. Keep her separated from the dog until she is fully grown. Even then, do not leave her alone with the dog until you are certain they won’t hurt each other.

Introducing a dog to another dog

Neutral Grounds

Dogs are territorial creatures so introductions need to be done on neutral ground.  Keep their interactions short and sweet. Prolonged sniffing could lead to aggressive behavior. Gradually increase their time together until they become comfortable.

Rewards

You have to ensure that their interactions are always pleasant and positive. Reward them with treats if they manage to stay calm or follow commands. If they start exhibiting aggressive behavior, do not punish them. Instead, distract them with a sound or with a toy.

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