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  Cat psychology:  
Cats’ Psychological Health (6)

How to Introduce a New Cat

Before taking a new cat home, you should take it to receive physical examination for leukemia (a deadly latent virus). If the newcomer reaches six months old, it should also be examined for AIDS. If this cat is from cattery or animal shelter, then it should be quarantined for a week.

Another problem caused by a new cat is jealousy. Dogs and cats are reluctant to share your love with other pets. So you should show more care and love to the former cat during the transitional period.

Proper introduction to the new cat will reduce conflict and tension. When you first take the new cat home, you should isolate the new cat in another room, and provide her with private food bin, water basin, and litter tray. The old cat will try to know the new partner by sniffing the crack between the door and the frame. If she gets angry after smelling the new cat, the owners should talk with them gently to calm them down. Ideal quarantine time should last for a week. The next step is to put the newcomer in cage, and put the cage in the middle of the room, so the old cats can look at and smell the new friend. If both sides are calm, they you can get the new cat out of cage. Keep your eyes open and see if there is something wrong. If both sides are tranquil, then the introduction is a success.

If you introduce the new cat to dogs, you should keep the dogs chained up beforehand. Maybe the new cat has never seen dogs before and nor have your dogs seen any cats, so it is hard to say what will happen during their first meeting. Most dogs will approach cats out of curiosity, and this will freak the cats out. Do not let dogs and cats meet alone until you are sure that they are used to the existence of each other.

Dogs like to taste cat food and vice verse. They want to know what each other eat. It is not dangerous, but dogs and cats have different nutritional requirements. In particular, cats need more protein than dogs, so cats cannot mainly feed on dog food.

Another point to bear in mind: dogs like to eat shit from cats’ litter tray, so it is good to cover the litter tray or put it out of dogs’ reach. How can gods develop such a habit? Possibly that is because plenty fat and protein in cat food make cats’ shit very attractive in dogs’ eyes.

There is no consensus about the adjustment period. You should keep an eye on the new cat until all the pets feel at ease. Old cats should not be forced to share their water, food or litter tray with the new one, and that is also why the new cat should be quarantined first. In a home with multiple cats, competition for food may lead to excessive obesity and bellicosity. So while the new cat is out of quarantine, each cat should have their private food bin. It is against cats’ nature and will easily lead to fight for cats to eat from the same food bin or in a row of food bins close to each other. 

It is important to keep the litter trays clean. In order to prevent cats from excreting everywhere, you should provide a private litter tray for each cat. Though two cats will take two litter trays, the two litter trays get dirty less easily than a litter tray shared by two cats. Clean litter trays at least once a day.

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