Introducing A New Cat: How To Turn Bye Felicia Into Hello Felicia

introducing a new catLast month my husband and I went on an RV trip to Natural Falls State Park.  We invited friends along and decided there wasn’t enough room to take one of the dogs.  About thirty minutes after getting set up a grey and white long hair cat come up to our campsite.  She was very friendly and stayed around the entire weekend.  There were no homes in the area, and she had no collar or identification, so we decided to bring her back to Guthrie.  This week I will discuss introducing a new cat to your household. 

We decided to name the new cat, Felicia.  Felicia was not afraid of dogs.  In fact, she stood her ground with the camper’s dog next door.  It was apparent that she had been surviving on her own with her natural hunting skills.  We decided that introducing a new cat in the clinic would be a good idea since Sylvie just turned 15 years old.  If things did work out, we had a backup plan for rehoming her.

The key to introducing a new cat into your home is going slow and don’t force your other pets to like the new pet.  I don’t recommend introducing the new cat to the other pets for at least seven to ten days.  It’s common to have some hissing or growling in the beginning.  When hissing and growling does occur, it’s best to ignore the bad behavior and reward any good behavior when the pets are near each other.

The first few days, we restricted Felicia to one of the cat condos in the clinic.  Then we restricted her to my office for another week.  She was much happier in a larger area where she had access to a window and some fresh air.  We then started allowing Felicia to roam out of the office and into the cat boarding area but still locking her in the office at night.

When introducing a new cat, never allow the pets to meet without a person supervising each pet.  The next step was introducing Felicia to Sylvie.  We already knew that Sylvie wasn’t going to care as she loves everyone and everything.  I sat in a chair in the reception area with Felicia in my lap while Danni sat in a chair across the room with Sylvie in her lap.  We did this several times moving closer to each other until we were sitting side by side.

After two weeks we began allowing Felicia to roam the entire clinic during the day but continued to confine her to the office at night.  When she and Sylvie passed by each other, Felicia would hiss, and then they would both go their separate ways.  Over the next week, staff members would hold her in the reception area when other dogs and cats came in to see how she was going to do with other strange animals.

I’m happy to say that Felicia has been with us for six weeks and she is now free to roam the clinic unattended.  Introducing a new cat to the clinic went very smooth because we took our time and monitored her interaction with other pets.  We hope you will stop by to say “Hello Felicia” and of course pet Sylvie

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