2001-Fri Sep 22 04:18:59 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
As an animal trainer, I frequently work with families who have adopted a cat and are struggling to establish harmony between the new arrival and their current pets. In most of these situations, subtle warning signs, like one animal being disagreeable with the new cat, were overlooked until it became a bigger problem and the owners came to me for help.
Before bringing a new cat into your home, think carefully about how this change will impact everyone in your family — humans and pets alike. In particular, consider your current pets’ personalities and how they are likely to react to a new fur family member, as well as the personality of the new cat and how well she will fit in.
Each of your existing pets may react differently to the arrival of the new cat — for instance, your dog may be overjoyed at his new companion while your cat is completely panicked. But your dog or cat doesn’t have the ability to discuss his concerns about a new cat with you. Fortunately, there are some ways to determine if your existing pets will welcome a newcomer.
Begin with a careful look at each of your current pets’ history. Your pets’ past and current behavior will offer some good clues about how they will fare around a new cat and can also offer insight into what particular pairing has the highest likelihood of success. If your current cat likes the dog but has never really warmed up to other cats, bringing a new cat home may not be a good choice. But if she came to you from a home or shelter where she successfully socialized with other cats, she may do fine with the new arrival.
Proceed with caution if your existing pets have any history of aggression or fear around other animals. If there is any possibility that one of your current animals will view the new cat as a foe rather than a friend or as a prey item, you should reconsider your decision to adopt. No matter how much you may wish for your current pet to be more social, some animals do best with very select playmates or as single pets only.
You will also need to learn as much as you can about the new cat’s personality. Be sure to take into account her history with other animals (particularly the species you already own) and her temperament.
A cat that’s appropriately savvy about other animals is likely to do better in a multi-pet household than a cat with a sensitive personality. Friendly kittens taken in at an early age can also learn to consider dogs as friends if given positive experiences early on and into adulthood. When it comes to cat friendships, litter mates often pair together best, but if both felines are friendly and social, they may be open to one another if introduced properly.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.