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Tips For Integrating New Pets At Home

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Tips for integrating new pets into the home

It’s been nearly three months since we adopted our black cat, Marlowe, and Joe, our flame-point Siamese cat, was adopted just over a month ago. Since then, we’ve done everything we can to make sure our three pets (including our seven-year-old rescue dog) get along well. Fortunately, we had very few problems, and there were only a few minor scuffles to speak of. I think this is all thanks to some tips I picked up while researching how to introduce new pets to each other safely, so I thought I’d offer advice that has actually worked for us.

Tips for integrating new pets into the home

When we adopted Marlo, we had our own dog, as well as an older cat named Jenny. Once we brought Marlo home from the shelter, we tucked her away in her own room so she could get used to us and a little part of the house. After a few days, she was acting settled, so we introduced her to Jenny by first letting them claw each other under the door, and then through supervised face-to-face interactions. Finally, we allow the dog to have the same step-by-step introduction to the cat. It went very easily, I think, because our cat and older dog had a calm and patient demeanor throughout the process. We lost Jenny to kidney disease just a few weeks after adopting Marlo, but she got along well with the cat during that time, and Marlo cuddled our dog often. They were best buds!

Then, we suddenly had the unexpected opportunity to adopt a second cat, and we had to start over with the gradual introductions. You can read Joe’s adoption story here (and also learn more about Jenny’s goodbye), but the whole situation was fraught with anxiety from all angles. We had just adopted this special needs cat who had been through so much in his short life, and then we found out that Gene’s disease was fatal. We had to say goodbye to our beloved older girl, and then deal with that grief while trying to settle down to another new kitten…it was a lot, but somehow we made it through, as you can see in the photos in today’s post. .

Tips for integrating new pets into the home

Marlo and Joe are best friends now, but they weren’t exactly “friends, friends” at first. As with Marlowe, we had Joe stay in his isolated room so he could adjust in peace. Unfortunately, this little guy suffered from severe separation anxiety, which meant he was constantly screaming and howling while being confined alone. I was quite determined to make sure he and Marlowe could be friends, so I kept them apart for almost three full days.

It should be noted that John and I took turns spending a lot of quality time with Joe in his room, so he was rarely alone during this transition period.

Anyway, the kittens hissed and hit each other under the door for hours during those first days, and I really thought it was going to be hopeless, but the only thing that worked for us was feeding them treats together on opposite sides of the door. . I was waiting until Marlo was as close to the door as possible without hissing at Joe. I then gave Marlo a treat on her side of the door, and threw a treat under the door for Joe. I did this over and over again, while I coaxed Marlowe to the door and Joe. Eventually, they were quietly eating dessert just a few inches from the door. I did this a few times throughout the last day, and then I started to notice that the banging under the door later after therapy time became more “playful” than “aggressive.” That’s it When I knew they were ready to work face to face.

Tips for integrating new pets into the home

John and I supervised their first formal meeting, and it went as we expected—angrily thumping and hissing—but we took things slowly, and kept feeding them treats together until they learned to trust each other. It seemed like a miracle when, just one day after being introduced in person, I found them playing together in the hallways of our house. The next day they were cuddling and caring for each other, and have been inseparable since.

As for our dog, she did a great job with the kittens. She is very patient and never accuses them. Marlo isn’t exactly cuddly with the dog now that she’s older, but Joe is positive obsessed with the dog. Joe is going through a biting phase, so we’ve heard our puppy bark a warning to the cats a few times when Joe’s cuddling turned into biting, but so far there haven’t been any major fights between any Of our three pets.

Tips for integrating new pets into the home

I can’t help but think this little trio of fur babies was meant to be. We had lost Jenny unexpectedly, and our older cat Tonks in much the same way only a month before that. This summer has left us sad, but kittens have helped us refocus on the good things in life. I think we’re finally on the other side of a really tough summer. We hope your fall season is happy and full of laughter! Please leave your pet-incorporation tips in the comments because I know we can learn a lot from each other, and be sure to check out this whole post I wrote about learning how to cat-proof your home.

Tips for integrating new pets into the home

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