Introducing a New Cat to Your Existing Pets

  |     |   Apartment Living

cat and dogBringing your new cat home to your Centennial apartment is an exciting day — but your existing pets may not be as happy with the new arrival as you are.  Other cats could feel like their territory is being invaded, while dogs could scare the new arrival. Smaller pets like birds, fish, and rodents might need some extra precautions to be sure that the kitty doesn't see them as prey. You can bring a new pet into your home successfully, provided you follow these tips from the Humane Society

Adding a New Cat to your Family

Your existing pets have no way of knowing that the new arrival is coming, but you can help prepare them. Make some changes before the new kitty comes home, so your existing pets don't associate unwanted change with the new pet's arrival. Give both the new and current pets extra time to adapt and don't be surprised by some backslides in behavior. 

Make Early Introductions

If possible, bring a blanket from home to the shelter or to the new cat's current home — and vice versa. It will give your existing pets a chance to smell the new arrival and provide your new cat with an idea of what your new home will be like. Even a day or two of this new scent can help. 

Set up a Secure Location

The second bath of your Centennial apartment is an ideal location; add a litter box, food pan, and other items. Cats enjoy small spaces, particularly when they are stressed by a move. Let the existing animals check this space out before you bring your new pet home, so they know what is inside. When you bring the new pet home, keep him in the chosen location for the first few days and slowly make introductions. If the animals are close in species and size, you can move more quickly, since they are unlikely to harm one another. Introducing other pets may take more time and sensitivity. 

Visit and Supervise

Visit the new cat in his temporary spot regularly. You can also swap locations, adding the existing pet to the secure room and allowing the new one to explore. You'll be able to get cues from the animals themselves and follow their lead. Separating them while you will be out and unable to supervise may still be needed, but eventually, they will learn to tolerate and even enjoy one another. The exception would be small animals that could be seen as prey; you should take extra time to secure cages and cat-proof any areas you don't want kitty to enter. 

Take your time and allow the animals to adjust and you'll soon have a happy, cohesive home once again. At the Apartments at Greenwood Plaza, we love pets — and pets love our spacious, light-filled homes. Stop by and see for yourself just how pet-friendly apartment life can be.

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