Unlike dogs, cats don’t always need companionship from other cats or pets to be happy. As long as they have the love of their humans, a warm place to sleep, a full food dish, and lots of attention, they will be fine. But there still may come a time when you need to introduce them to another animal. It is important to follow some tips when the time comes for these introductions. If you aren’t careful, your cat may end up terrified of other cats or dogs, or worse, you could end up with injured pets.
How to Introduce Two Cats
This can be one of the hardest introductions you do. Adult cats are territorial, set in their ways, and often adverse to change. If they’ve been your only cat or pet for a long time, bringing a new animal into their home can be challenging. It’s important to be patient and take your time letting them get to know each other safely.
It is best to put the new cat in a room where you can still interact with them, but they aren’t immediately in your other cat’s territory. They should be quarantined for at least two weeks just in case they have some kind of health issue anyway. The cats can meet each other under the door of the room, and talk at each other from a safe distance. Once the quarantine is over, slowly start bringing the new cat out to get used to your home and meet your older cat. Supervise all interactions at first. There may be some hissing, growling, or loud meows during the introduction phase. If it progresses into physical fighting you should take the new cat back to their safe room and try again a different day.
Some cats will like each other. Others will just tolerate one another. And some will never really get along but can share space as long as they aren’t forced to interact too closely. It is important to take the time to let your cats figure out what works best for them.
How to Introduce a Kitten to a Cat
This often goes much better than introducing two adult cats to each other. Kittens are curious, brave, playful, and used to being submissive. They will usually be respectful of your older cat’s boundaries and follow their lead. You should introduce them slowly, and give the older cat the opportunity to discipline the kitten when needed. You should also supervise any time they spend together, as a large cat can injure a kitten by accident during playtime if it gets too rough.
How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog
It is very important to be patient and take as much time as necessary to introduce your cat to a dog. Dogs can be over-excited to meet a new animal, whereas cats find this kind of excitement terrifying. Make sure all meet-ups are supervised until you are sure that the cat and dog can get along. Some dogs have a high prey drive and will see cats as something to chase, attack, or even kill. If you see any signs of this, you may need to consider keeping your dog and cat separate all of the time.
Similar to putting a kitten with an adult cat, it can be quite a bit easier to have peaceful introductions with a kitten and a grown dog. Kittens who have been socialized tend to be braver than older cats that have lived with only their family for a period of time. One of the most important things to remember when letting an adult dog meet a kitten is that kittens are small and can be injured easily by a large dog who doesn’t know any better, or a small dog that plays to rough.
How to Introduce a Puppy to a Cat
Puppies are often very excited to meet new people and new animals. This means they may act overly energetic when meeting your adult cat. Their need to lick, paw at, bark at, or play with the cat may cause some issues. Your cat may not appreciate such over-active greetings, and hiss, growl, smack, or run and hide. It is very important that you calm the puppy down before bringing the cat in to meet them. Keep the puppy on a harness/leash the whole time so they can’t jump on the cat suddenly. Supervise all interactions between the puppy and the cat until it feels like they have figured out their relationship.