Cats want the undivided attention and affection of their hooman. This is the reason why they don’t like it when they have to divide the attention with a new pet. If you already own a cat and want to adopt another pet, you should prepare your cat for that and make sure that it gets along well with the new addition to your family. In this post, we will guide you on how to prepare cat for dog or any other pet, whether it’s a cat or a dog.
Be mentally ready
When you are bringing a new pet while having a cat already at your house, make sure that you are ready to handle all the chaos that will happen at your house. Unlike humans, cats find it very difficult to divide love and attention. Bringing a new pet can make your cat aggressive and stressful. So, make sure that you consider the steps below to prepare cat for dog or any other pet.
Keep your pets separate at first
Before you introduce your new pet to your current cat, you have to get both of them medically checked to avoid the transfer of any diseases, viruses, parasites, or bacteria. Keep both of their bodies clean to avoid the growth of ear mites, ticks, or fleas. Keep them in separate rooms and don’t introduce them to each other for the first few days.
Feed them in separate rooms
Now that you have got both of them medically checked, you need to try making them eat their meals on opposite sides of closed doors to avoid any altercation. This is an important thing to do if you want your cat to get accustomed to your new pet. Then, slowly move your pet’s bowl closer to the closed door and check whether the two animals stay calm and composed while having their meal. You have to continue this routine until your pets are comfortable to have their meal right next to the door.
Switch living environments
Before your cat can get accustomed to new pets, you need to make them accustomed to their scent. After the first 2 or 3 days, switch the living environments of your current cat with your new pet. This means that if you have brought a new dog, make the cat sleep in the dog’s bed and make the dog sleep in the cat’s bed. Also, swap both of their blankets as well so that both animals can get accustomed to each other’s scents. You can also swap their towels after bathing them. But before swapping, make sure that the bed and the blankets are safe from all kinds of bacteria or external parasites.
Teach your new pet some basic commands
If your new pet is a dog, then before interacting with your cat, it is important to teach your dog some basic commands and etiquette. Such as ‘sit’ and ‘stand. It is also important to train your dog about littering. Make training sessions motivating for your dogs and make sure that you reward them with treats frequently.
Supervise their interaction
You don’t have to introduce your cat to other pets as soon as you bring the new pet home, as it might make the cat act aggressive. Instead, these animals get accustomed to each other’s scents, it’s time to make them interact with each other briefly under your supervision. Try keeping both animals on a leash or harness to avoid any altercation between them. While your pets are interacting, try rewarding them for their calmness and good behavior through treats. This will keep your pets motivated. However, try not to restrain either pet using your hands as you might end up injuring yourself if any one of them gets aggressive.
Repeat interaction sessions daily
If your first interactive session with your pets goes well, you should repeat these sessions daily in a supervised manner. It is recommended to keep their leash or harness on during these sessions to avoid your pets from getting aggressive with each other. Keep daily face-to-face sessions so that your pets can get comfortable with each other. After multiple face-to-face interactive sessions, you can also start feeding them in the same room. However, before taking that step, make sure that your pets don’t have aggressive behavior towards each other. Keep treating your pets during interactions if they act calmly to keep them motivated.
Let your pets loose
After keeping multiple interactive sessions between your pets, it’s time to let them loose. However, you should only take this step if you are sure that your pets have a friendly attitude towards each other and will not end up fighting. You can let them loose in one room without their harness or leash. But, you might want to let them loose under your supervision, as animals are unpredictable and you don’t know how they will interact even after multiple interactive sessions.
If your new pet is a cat, then till this point, the cats will be accustomed to each other. However, if your new pet is a dog, then you should increase the duration of the above-mentioned processes. The reason behind this is that dogs are more playful, emotional, and energetic than cats, and if your dog chases your cat after getting excited, it might scare your cat and your cat might end up running away from your cat or it can also attack your dog. So make sure that your cat is completely aware and comfortable with your new dog’s personality and habits. If the tension between your pets erupts again, it’s time to start following these steps again from top to bottom.
Cats are unpredictable, and bringing a new sibling for them can go either way for them. They might develop a special bond with the new pet you just brought, or they might never get along. So make sure that you follow all these steps to prepare your cat for a new pet.