Introducing Your Kitten

To Your Home & To Other Pets

Nancy Lee's note: This is an enclosed and secure room in which I would suggest bonding with your kitten...before letting him or her explore any other rooms in your home. Remember to keep other pets away from this kitten until your kitten is fully ready to be introduced to another pet (see articles below on this Knightwood Ragdolls' website on "How to Introduce Your New Kitten to Your Current Pet").

 Also, by waiting to introduce your kitten to other pets (this includes meeting other people, such as family, friends, etc.), your kitten will bond with YOU and not the others in his or her life.


The following articles are currently available —

        • Introducing Your New Kitten to Your Home

        • The Best Way To Introduce Your New Kitten to Your Pets

                 (written by Jackson Galaxy, the best & most-detailed article)


        • How to Introduce Your New Cat to Other Cats

        • How to Bring Home a New Cat When You Have Other Pets

        • Tips to Introduce a New Cat or Dog to Your Pet Family


Articles will continue to be added

Introducing Your New Kitten to Your Home


These are a few things you can do when you introduce your new cat:


    Being a cat person, you are, of course, worried about how to minimize the stress on your new cat when you bring them home. This is not to be confused with how to introduce cats or a new cat/dog to any cats/dogs that are already in your home.

 When you bring your new feline roommate home, it helps to try and put yourself in their place. Not literally, of course, because I doubt that you’d fit in their carrier. What I mean is to imagine that you have already made yourself at home someplace else. You have your routines, you know where the kitchen is, you know where you sleep, you can find your way to the bathroom and you have even gotten to know the neighbors. You feel safe.

    Then one day some big stranger scoops you up, puts you in a box, takes you somewhere in a vehicle that you don’t understand and puts you in a whole new place (with all new smells, sights, etc.). All of the things you used to know are gone. You have no idea where anything is, and you don’t even know if you’re safe. You’re going to be freaked out, right?

    Well, welcome to the reality of your new kitten. If you think about it this way, you can realize that placing a cat in a new environment is very stressful for them. Idon’t want to unduly alarm you, but it is possible that making the transition too stressful can cause your cat to act up (like peeing and pooping in inappropriate places), make them sick (throwing up, or even problems from not going to the bathroom), or create behavioral problems (like biting and scratching and hiding). The good news is that there are several things you can do to make moving a less stressful transition for your new kitty.

    To reduce your cat’s stress, keep these goals in mind:keep their world small, give them control, keep stimulation to a minimum, make sure they have a place to feel safe and make it easy to find what they need (food, water and a litter box).Each of these goals is important, but let’s review them in order.


These are a few things you can do when you introduce your new cat:


    First: Keep their world small. Having a spare bedroom to explore and learn is a lot less daunting than having a whole house where who knows what might be waiting to pounce on them. Before you bring your new roommate home, set up a room for them.

It should be relatively small, you should be able to close the door, and you need to put a food source, a water source and a litter box in the room. Also: make sure that you can easily maintain the food, water and litter.


    Nancy Lee's note: This is an enclosed and secure room in which I would suggest bonding with your kitten...before letting him or her explore any other rooms in your home. Remember to keep other pets away from this kitten until your kitten is fully ready to be introduced to another pet (see articles below on "How to Introduce Your New Kitten to Your Current Pet").

     Also, by waiting to introduce your kitten to other pets (this includes meeting other people, such as family, friends, etc.), your kitten will bond with YOU and not the

others in his or her life.


    Second: Give your cat control from the moment you bring them in the room. Make sure the door is shut then set their carrier down on the floor, open the door, and move away. Your cat should be able to see you, but you shouldn’t be so close that they feel threatened. Let your cat come out when they feel like it and do not try and pull them out: it’s terrifying for the cat.

    Third: Keep things quiet and relaxed. Let your cat come to you when they are ready. Resist the urge to bring out the cat toys and laser pointers. Cats are curious and, in time, they will come to see who you are. When they do, move gently. Offer your finger for them to sniff and, maybe, claim by rubbing their cheeks on it.

    Fourth: Give them a hidey-hole or a place to retreat and feel safe. It works well to just keep the carrier door open so they can retreat into it if they feel scared. An old blanket formed into a “nest” in the corner works well. If you are in a bedroom your cat will likely scoot under the bed. This is okay. Let them. They won’t be under the bed forever and they feel safe there.

    Finally: Make sure that they know where their food, water, and the litter box is. Let them find these things on their own (don’t pick them up and “introduce” them). Again, it might take time, but your new friend will find what they need and all you have to do is be patient while they do.

     These seem like simple, logical things to do, and they are. Sometimes, though, it’s very difficult to be patient and let your cat adjust. If you can let your cat adjust to things on their own timetable, you’ll be rewarded with a happy, well-adjusted furry friend.










The Best Way To Introduce

Your New Kitten To Your Other Pets

THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF INTRODUCING CATS

by Jackson Galaxy


Note: I’ve added a few notes of my own since I’ve introduced new Ragdolls to our existing Ragdolls…all successfully!


As we all know, cats are intensely territorial beings, and yet, when the subject of introducing two cats has come up through the years, I would constantly hear people advise, “Just put them in a room together and they’ll work it out.”  Does it work sometimes?  Sure, but it’s a ‘cat Russian Roulette.’ Just as often, they might work out who loses an eyeball, but they will not magically work out how to be friends.


Instead, bringing a new cat home can trigger the territorial panic switch in your existing cat, and this often means war.  So, do yourself and your cats a favor, and follow this time-tested, step-by-step recipe to a ’T.’  It will give you your best chance for a smooth integration.


HOW TO INTRODUCE CATS


Step 1: Preparation — Scheduled Meals and Basecamp


Before you bring your new cat home, there are some fundamental steps to accomplish that will give you a significant leg up on the process:


A.  No free-feeding -— Make sure you have switched your existing cat over to a routine of meal feeding, rather than free-feeding her.  This concept is foundational to my approach, and nowhere is it more important than during the introduction process.  Once these scheduled meal times are established, it will set the stage for both your existing cat and your newcomer to experience a shared, ritualistic way of being (they get fed, around the same time, x-number of times per day).  More specifics about this shared meal time in a moment.


Note: I free-feed ONLY at night and feed only canned food during the day.  I put out the kibble only after playing with a kitten (for about 5 to 15 minutes) and just before bedtime.


B. Separate Base Camp (and the mandatory isolation phase) — Base camp is a defined area of your home that is the heart of a cat’s territory.  So first, decide where you’re going to set up base camp for the new cat, so he feels like this space is essentially all his own.  This could be the master or a spare bedroom, an office or even the bathroom when there is no other option (a large bathroom is ideal, especially if it’s immediately next to your master bedroom).  As long as the human scent is strong, it will help the cat establish a sense of home by calming scents.  In addition, here are a few other important elements associated with successful base camp protocol:

    •    'Scent soakers':  Because cats are all about scent, make sure that you have plenty of ‘scent soakers’ in their base camp.  'Scent soakers' are soft items that absorb a cat’s scent, and basically say, “I live here,” and allow for rubbing, scratching or lying in.  Beds, blankets, carpets, cardboard scratchers and scratching posts are all excellent 'scent soakers.'

    •    No Peeking:  One of the hallmarks of this integration method is that the new cat and the resident will not initially lay eyes on each other.  This is non-negotiable.  Ignore this part of the introduction process at your own peril!


Once your new cat demonstrates a notable comfort level in has base camp, it’s time for...

    •    'Site swapping':  This is where each cat gets to explore the other’s territory without ever laying eyes on each other.  This is also an opportunity for key signposts (like cat trees, litter boxes, etc.) to take on a shared scent.  This is crucial to the ‘getting to know you’ process with cats, since so much of their communication is based on scent.


FOLLOW THIS SIMPLE PROCESS FOR HARMONIOUS 'SITE SWAPPING':


1. Carry the newcomer out of his base camp, put him in the bathroom,

    and shut the door.

2. Allow the resident cat to walk into the newcomer’s base camp, then shut that door.

3. Allow the newcomer to explore the rest of the home.

4. Rinse and repeat.


And by the way, your new cat will let you know when he's ready to move out of base camp and explore the other parts of the house.  It could be anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Note: Our Blue-Eyed White Ragdoll, Lacey, took a full month to be ready for this step, however she was 2 ½ years of age when we got her.


    •  The ‘Other Side of the Door’ Feeding Ritual:  This feeding ritual, which is all about creating a positive association between the newcomer and the resident cat, has evolved over the years, but by and large has always worked for me.  What’s involved?  Very simply, mealtime will consist of flat dishes of yummy canned food set up on either side of a closed door.  These dishes of food should start out far enough apart so the cats will walk up, eat and walk away without incident, but close enough that they sense there’s another cat on the other side of the door (maybe about 6' or less away from the door).  From there, we gradually move the dishes closer (try one foot per day or less for those moving distances).


Here's a video with more info:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZrwcoiy_gY


Eventually, this will lead us to...


Step 2: Visual Access

With both cats now acutely aware of the other’s scent, it’s time to let them actually see each other.  The work you’ve done up to this point has resulted in predictable behavior between the two cats and a cordial (or at least tolerant) ‘scent handshake’ at every meal.


It’s a mistake, though, to assume that they will be just as cordial once the visual element is introduced.  Instead, begin at the beginning and reset the ‘challenge line;’  take the feeding line back all the way to where they can see one another and eat with little or no disruption.  And now, do the ‘move-bowls-closer-to-the-door’process all over again, but this time, add the element of increased visual access.


But first, you have a choice to make...


A. Choosing a ’buffer barrier’ — Do you simply crack the base camp door, or set up a pet gate or screen door?  In my experience, the better option is to introduce the cats by either using a pet gate or a screen door.  A pet gate works better than a baby gate because pet gates are high and have a walk-through door in them, so that the human doesn’t have to disassemble the base camp door every time he wants to cross that threshold.


Once you’ve decided on your method, consider...


B. The ‘Raising the Curtain’ technique —Drape a blanket over that gate or use clothespins to hang it from the screen (or, perhaps less effectively, a cracked door).  This gives you a much greater sense of control over the degree of visual access because you can ‘raise the curtain’ gradually over a period of time.  The curtain allows you to start with the absolute bare minimum of visual access.  For many cats, this added layer of security makes all the difference in getting comfortable with their new friend.


Step 3: 'Eat, Play, Love'


The idea here is to get both cats in a room together, without any sort of barrier, along with keeping things as harmonious as possible for increasing segments of time.  Philosophically, this is an extension of the ‘other side of the door’ exercise.


Before, you were just creating a positive association based on food.  Now, as you arrange to have both cats co-exist in a room together, you are going for the ‘whole enchilada’ as a way of facilitating the ultimate positive association: you are looking to create the highest of high-value experiences we humans bring to our cats in the course of a day, in these three things — eat, play, love.


Remember, the worst thing you can do for any kind of ‘in-person’/‘no barriers’ introduction, is to bring both cats into a shared space without giving them something to do.  In that ill-advised scenario, the other cat becomes their ‘something to do,’ and you’ll likely find that the ‘stare down’ soon turns into a ‘throw down.’


Now from time to time you’ll have to end this session early and that’s okay.  When introducing cats during the ‘Eat Play Love’ phase it’s all about reading the room for any warning signs, and being ready to act quickly.  Our cats are so energetically sensitive, and can certainly feel the raised temperature in the room.  So it’s important for you to have a plan in case conflict unfolds, and again it’s okay if it does.


Here’s a checklist to help you feel prepared in case anything happens.

    1.  The 'Unders' and the 'Outs':  Fights usually start with the chase. Chasing very often ends in a room, in a closet, under a bed or under a piece of furniture you never thought was big enough for one cat, let alone two.  You can control the chaos by controlling the space, and that means blocking off the ‘unders’ [beds or couches] and sealing off the ‘outs’ [open doors or passageways].

   2.  Have Your ‘Sight Blockers’ Ready:  A ‘sight blocker’ is used to guide someone out of the room and is something that: (a) the cats can’t see through, (b) is solid enough that you can place it between them and they can’t bust through it, and (c) is high enough that you don’t have to bend down to place it between the two cats.

    3.  ‘Last Resort Removal’ Option:  In the event of a serious lockdown, when you can’t get the cats to budge even with the ‘sight blockers’ down, or if, despite your best efforts, a fight breaks out, a blanket can be a good friend.  Just toss it over one of them, scoop him up, and remove him from the room.

        

A. How it Works — The gist of ‘Eat, Play, Love’(EPL) is pretty simple:

You’re bringing one cat into a room where there’s another cat who is already engaged in a high-value, fully engrossing activity (like chasing a wand toy).  And your challenge is to keep them preoccupied for as long as possible through treats, positive reinforcement, play, and… well… love — without that 'stare down'/'throw down' happening.


I suggest having a partner to assist you in the process:


1.  Start with One Cat: Begin by playing with only one cat in the room at first.  Make sure she is engaged, and keep her moving… either with treats or a toy.


2.  Bring in the Other Cat:  Casually have your partner bring the other cat into the room and immediately engage him.  In a perfect world, you would lead the cat into the space with whatever is their favorite food or toy.


3.  Keep the ‘Rhythm’ Going:  The most important component when you bring the cats together is establishing and maintaining a rhythm of play once they hit the room.  This is where your partner’s help is invaluable, because he or she can work to focus the other cat on the session while you do the same with yours.


4.  End the Session:  The session will end in one of two ways: either the cats will end it, or the humans will.  It goes without saying that you would prefer the latter every time.


B. Final Goal for ‘Eat, Play, Love’ — Once you are secure in’Eat, Play, Love’ —when you can accomplish EPL without having to end it prematurely, and it’s a ritual that has become a part of the everyday cycle.  Congratulations, you are pretty much home free.  From there, you can break down the door/gate barrier for mealtime and end the session by feeding the cats on the side of the room that they occupy.

How to Introduce Your New Cat to Other Cats

by Joanne Anderson

    Cats are like potato chips. It is hard to have just one. There is a right and wrong way to introduce a new cat to your feline residents. Throwing them together while saying, “Fluffy, I would like you to meet your new brother, Felix, who will be sharing your food bowl, litter box and my lap from now on” can create chaos. Cat-to-cat introductions should be gradual and carefully planned so all the cats involved associate initial interactions with pleasantries like treats, attention and play time. First impressions are important to fine tuning household harmony.

    Some kitties find us. We have no choice over the cat that appears on our doorstep and wants to be assimilated into the fold; but when selecting an adult cat from a shelter, it is preferable to choose one who previously lived with other cats or one the staff knows gets along with others.

    At certain breeders homes or shelters some cats have communal cages or possibly a mini-mixer while their cages are being cleaned, so the kennel attendants can recommend Mr. or Ms. Congeniality. You might want to match personalities. An active youngster deserves an energetic buddy whereas a sedate senior would be better alongside another couch potato. If you insist on a kitten and your cat is elderly or grumpy, adopt two, so the kittens have each other to pester. Of course, spayed and neutered cats are much easier to integrate than intact adults.

    No one introduction method is gospel, but many experts suggest that the new cat be a ‘mystery guest,’ housed in a separate, comfy area for at least a week. This way each feline has the time and space to get used to the sounds, smells, and glimpses of each other from a safe distance before meeting face to face.

    Your cats already have their established territories so the newbie’s temporary quarters can be a bedroom or bathroom equipped with litter box, dishes, toys, scratching post and bed. It is best to include a large open carrier or crate, so Felix has a hiding place if he feels stressed while acclimating to his new environment. Close the door behind you, and then go visit your other cats. They will smell the new guy on you. They will also sense him through the door. Give them tantalizing treats so they make a positive connection to eau d’Felix. Then spend quality time with Felix rewarding him with goodies, too.

    Cats have glands in their cheeks that produce pheromones. When a cat rubs its cheek against your leg or furniture, these secretions promote comfort and well being. Pheromones are similar to a glandular pen pal. You can set up a scent exchange by brushing the cats with the same brush, trading blankets or towels or even using synthetic pheromone Feliway® spray or plug-in products which help relieve excitably.

    Then for several days rotate rooms, giving each cat contingent a chance to inspect the lair of the other. This way the newcomer gets to explore the whole house while rubbing his facial calling card on strategic spots. Feed the cats (still separate) tasty wet food in each area. Cats are like me— the way to their heart is through their stomachs.

    Finally visual meet n’greets can be done behind baby gates or opening the door a crack. Another way is bring the newcomer into the room inside a carrier. Let everyone sniff through the bars for a time. Try this for several days, if necessary. As an alternative, folks who frequently foster cats and kittens often set up larger cat exercise pens within the main traffic flow of the home, but their resident cats are usually accustomed to 4-legged visitors.

    If you try this, you can cover the exercise pen with a sheet when the new cat needs security. The exercise pen method lets the new one witness his peers up close. Cardboard boxes with exit holes make safe retreats when all are free together. (If there is significant aggression, separate the cats and start the sequence again, but more slowly.) Play time is a special way to cement a bond. Fishing pole toys allow the new cat to participate in the fun from afar. Other tips include adding drops of Bach Flower Essences (Rescue Remedy) to the water bowl or feeding the cats at opposite ends of the room and gradually moving them closer. Treats may entice the cats to stay near each other.

    The process can take days to weeks to months depending on the cat dynamics. There will probably be some hissing and spitting. If a huge ruckus erupts, distract them; then praise them when it’s calm. Do not rush things. If a cat runs away to hide, do not force close encounters. Even if progress is made, monitor all minglings for the first few weeks. When no one is home, the new cat should stay in his ‘safe room.’

    Your patience may well pay off. Some cats eventually become soul mates. Your cats may never be best buddies; some, like Garbo, rather be alone; others merely tolerate each other. When you think about it, there is nothing wrong with peaceful co-existence, either the feline or the human kind.



HOW TO BRING HOME A NEW CAT WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER PETS

http://catsofeverywhere.com/maine-coon-kitten/introduction-to-cats-how-to-bring-home-a-new-cat-when-you-have-other-pets/

________________________





Tips to Introduce a New Cat or Dog

to Your Pet Family

    If you are a cat or dog owner who has just brought a new animal home, it can sometimes be a rough adjustment on your ‘home’ cat or dog! After all, he or she has been getting all the attention for some time. However, some cats and dogs adjust instantly and love the addition of a new cat/dog and have no trouble at all, while others need some encouragement and training to do so. With a little love and effort, you can have a happy household of cats and dogs.

    If you have the time, it is best to introduce your cats and dogs away from home and let them get to know each other before coming home. That way, the introduction is not as jarring or a surprise. However, all the steps below can be accomplished in your home. This article will focus on dogs although the same idea can be applied to cats.

Start by having separate areas for your cats/dogs

 The best way to introduce new cats or dogs to each other is slowly and with caution. As mentioned above, sometimes it will be love at first sight, while, at other times, it will be a sniffing party and a cautionary meet. Therefore, it is best to have separate areas for your cats/dogs in case they don’t get along. You can use a dog’s or child’s gate to separate them, cat or dog crates or put your cats/dogs in separate rooms. And, make sure that they know, on command, when you say ‘stop’ or ‘leave’ that they will go to their separate areas.

Introduce your cats or dogs in a neutral area where neither cat/dog has been

     If you can introduce your cats or dogs in a spot which hasn’t been occupied by your first (home) cat/dog, this is advantageous as it is common ground. You might need some help with this (another family friend or neighbor) and you should always have both cats/dogs on leashes. You can slowly bring them together and see how they respond to each other. If they seem antagonistic, give them a break and try again later. If they both react well with each other, praise them and give them treats.

    If you are a cat or dog owner who has just brought a new animal home, it can sometimes be a rough adjustment on your ‘home’ cat or dog! After all, he or she has been getting all the attention for some time. However, some cats and dogs adjust instantly and love the addition of a new cat/dog and have no trouble at all, while others need some encouragement and training to do so. With a little love and effort, you can have a happy household of cats and dogs.

    If you have the time, it is best to introduce your cats and dogs away from home and let them get to know each other before coming home. That way, the introduction is not as jarring or a surprise. However, all the steps below can be accomplished in your home. This article will focus on dogs although the same idea can be applied to cats.

 Don’t force your home cat or dog to protect his or her home area. If the cats/dogs meet in a neutral location, they are less likely to view the other as an intruder. Start in a neutral zone such as a neighbor’s fenced in yard or enclosed park that your resident cat/dog has not visited. Each cat/dog should be on a reliable leash and handled by a separate person.

Positive Reinforcement always works best in introducing new dogs

    You want your cats or dogs to have positive experiences with each other right from the start. Let your cats/dogs’ sniff each other and greet each other normally. Give them positive reinforcement through calm verbal affirmations. After letting them play for a while, put both in a ‘sit’ or ‘stay,’ then let them interact again. Finally, take them on walks together, allowing them to sniff each other along the way. Give them both treats at the same time for good behavior.

    Play close attention the both dog’s body posture as you introduce your dogs

 Watch out for your cat’s or dog’s body posture which will show a defensive response. Defensive body posture includes hair standing up the back, teeth-baring, deep growls

and/or a stiff legged gait or a prolonged stare. If a cat or dog goes into these postures, immediately switch into positive reinforcement mode and get your cat/dog to follow your teachings. Let your cats or dogs interact again and shorten the distance between the two.

    Once your cats or dogs seem to be tolerating each other, it’s time to bring them home (or in the same room). Let them run in together, establish their space and you might have to start over with the steps above.

Introducing a puppy to your current home dog or dogs

     As we all know, kittens and puppies are adorable but they are also lots of work and energy (and a bundle of joy). Since kittens/puppies are still learning, they usually wind up bothering adult dogs to no end. Kittens and puppies simply have trouble recognizing that their actions are bothering adult dogs. Most adult cats/dogs with good temperaments will growl or snarl at recklessly playful kittens/puppies in order to set boundaries of acceptable behavior. This is normal and is actually a positive thing. However, never allow a kitten or a puppy and an adult dog to be left alone together, for the safety of both animals. Also give your adult cat or dog plenty of time away from the kitten or puppy, and try to give them some quality time alone with you and your family whenever time permits.

    Always have separate cat and/or dog bowls for your current cat/dog and kitten/puppy. You might even want to feed them separately at the start so they each, especially the kitten or puppy, gets used to eating on his or her own. If you can put a divider up in the kitchen or feed them in separate rooms, it is a good way to start and eventually you can have them eating at the same time.

 If you take the time to introduce a new cat/dog to your home dog/cat, they will usually get along fabulously. Make sure that your home cat or dog gets extra attention so he or she doesn’t feel like he is being replaced. And, if none of the above work and your cats or dogs are not getting along, you should consider hiring a cat or dog trainer.

— petpav.com