If you have an adult cat, they probably won’t like a furry new the addition to the family. If you think your existing cat wants a companion you’re probably wrong. Cats are usually solitary animals. Instead of ending up with pets to keep each other company, you might have two bored, misbehaving pets. But if you do have the time, finances and patience to take on a second pet, there are some considerations.
Cats and kittens
If you are considering introducing a kitten to the household, what happens will depend on personality. If your existing cat is pretty chilled and friendly, he or she might not have a problem with a kitten. But if your cat is nervy or aloof, she or he might take some considerable time to get used to the kitten. It’s best to choose a kitten of the opposite sex to your existing cat.
How to introduce a kitten
Choose a quiet time of the day. Bringing a kitten home will mean that your cat’s territory is being invaded and it’s quite a big deal. Keep their feeding stations separate, and keep the animals separated from each other for a couple of days. Let them smell items belonging to each other. Introduce briefly to check the adult cat’s reaction. Keep them together for longer periods each day. Eventually, they will come to some sort of kitty understanding.
Cats and puppies
A puppy is another story! Although an adult cat might find a new kitten irritating, they’re the same species and at least have a common communication system. This is not so for puppies, who ‘speak a foreign language’. Some dogs instinctively chase cats. When looking for a puppy, make sure you don’t adopt a breed that has a high prey drive, like terriers.
How to introduce a puppy
Keep them apart for a couple of days. Let them sniff items that belong to each other. When you decide to formally introduce them, put on your puppy’s lead and collar or harness for control. Make the introduction in a place that will allow your cat to jump to a higher area like a shelf. The cat will probably hiss and run away. Keep the puppy calm and tell him ‘no!’ if he moves to chase the cat. It might take months for them to tolerate or at least ignore each other.