Introducing… A New Cat!

Adopting another pet is always exciting and fun; pets and kids get a playmate and a lucky animal gets a new home. However, your existing pets might not see it that way at first. Introducing your new addition to the furry family is extremely important – first impressions are everything, right?

Fostering Feline Friendship
If you already have a cat, introducing another one can be tricky, as cats are generally solitary animals. Creating plenty of hidey-holes for your cats can ensure privacy. Each feline should have separate food and water bowls, bed, and litter box. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year for co-existing cats to warm up to each other; unless either is displaying overt aggression – hissing, flattened ears, puffed-up fur, etc. – then they’re perfectly fine.

Creating Cat-Canine Companionship
Dogs are generally more curious than territorial; however, they may treat the cat as one of its own, resulting in chasing or roughhousing. Unless your dog is a smaller breed, dogs are capable of serious injuring cats during rough play or responding to feline aggression. It’s important to be able to control your dog during the meet-and-greet with your new cat; practice basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “down” for a few weeks before.

Steps to Success

  1. Keep your new cat confined to a small, closed-off area for up to a week. Place both animals’ food and water on their respective sides near the door; this allows them to link eating with the other’s scent, creating a positive association.
  2. After a few days, confine your existing pet to the other’s room and allow the new addition to explore the house.
  3. Repeat this process a few times; gradual introduction is key with felines. Exchanging items like blankets between the animals’ rooms can also allow them to acclimate to the other’s scent.
  4. Create a barrier that allows your pets to look but not touch. Two baby gates on top of each other or a screen door provides just the thing. Repeat several times.
  5. If no overtly aggressive signs from either animal have emerged, then it’s time for them to meet. Make sure your existing pet is occupied elsewhere, then open the door and allow your new cat to venture out. The pair’s meeting should not be staged, but accidental.

In most cases, introducing a new cat is no big deal. Your pre-existing pets may feel neglected, so ensure that you give them plenty of attention and love as well! The responsible pet parent can handily juggle multiple pets, be they cat or canine. Keeping eating and sleeping areas separate is essential, whether you have a cat and dog, or a pair of cats; this can help ease the issue of territorial aggression, which can arise with cats. Keep in mind the gender and age of your existing cat when looking to adopt – a younger animal of the opposite gender is usually the best choice.

© 2014, Copyright 2014 Aon Singapore Pte Ltd Co Reg No.198301525W. All Rights Reserved.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. It should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this article is made available on an “as is” basis, without any warranty of any kind, express or implied, including as to accuracy, completeness or otherwise at the time of initial publication or thereafter. To the extent permitted by law, Aon disclaims any responsibility or liability to any person or organization for any loss or damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content whatsoever. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way or by any means, including photocopying or recording, without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the copyright holder.

Happy Tails Insurance is underwritten by MSIG Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd and arranged by Aon Singapore Pte Ltd.

About Happy Tails

Underwritten by MSIG Singapore and arranged by Aon Singapore, Happy Tails pet insurance protects your hard earned savings from the costs of unexpected medical treatment required to keep your dog or cat healthy.

Happy Tails is the first standalone online pet insurance in Singapore with annual coverage of up to $12,500. We cover the big bills from surgical treatments, specified hereditary and congenital conditions, cancer and chemotherapy and more.

At Happy Tails, we want to make pet insurance readily accessible, thus it can be purchased directly from your mobile phones! Like you, your furry friend can be covered too! Protect them with Happy Tails today!
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