Introducing the New Kitten to Your Other Pets
Although some kittens may show fear and defensive postures toward other pets in the home, most young kittens are playful and inquisitive around other animals. Therefore, it is often the existing pets that can pose more of a problem.
There are different techniques on how to introduce them to each other, but most importantly be patient. There will be hissing at first and it might seem like they will never get along, but with a slow, careful introduction you’ll increase their chances of being best friends.
- Make sure you keep the cats separate at first. Keep the new cat in a spare room with everything it needs. You can leave the room ajar, so the cats can smell each other and perhaps paw to each other, but can’t interact more than that.
- You can try feeding the cats in close proximity to each other, so they learn to associate the smell and sound of each other with a positive experience. Doling out treats near the door is also a good idea.
- You could also try switching the cats around after a few days, so again they can get used to the smells.
- As well as having the cats eat near each other, you could also play with each cat near the door to reinforce positive association.
Face to Face Interaction
If everything is going well with the earlier stages, and your cats aren’t hissing or growling at the door at each other, visually introducing the cats. Installing a screen door or even a high baby gate.
Continue feeding, playing with and giving the cats treats within view of the other cats, but don’t force it! If they don’t seem completely comfortable (not eating their food in front of each other) try moving the dishes back, if their comfortably eating, you can try moving the dishes closer.
Don’t worry if the cats completely ignore each other or hiss a bit and then walk away, It will take some time for your cats to learn that the other is a friend and not a foe. Let them take things at their own pace.
Introducing the New Kitten to Your Dog
Make sure the interactions are controlled, gradual, supervised, and always positive. Begin by placing your new kitten in a carrier, that it will not provoke the dog or make the dog feel defensive. Using a leash to control your dog, use favored rewards and training commands to encourage your dog to sit or stay calmly in the presence of the kitten.
Dogs that are not well trained to settle on command may need their training reviewed and improved upon before introduction to any new pet.
If the dog is prevented from rough play and chasing, the kitten should quickly learn its limits with the dog, including how to avoid confrontation by climbing or hiding. Initially it would be best to keep a dog and a kitten separated unless supervised by an adult. If there is still the possibility of aggression or injury after the cautious initial introductions, then a behavior consultation would be advisable.