To speed acceptance of a new cat into your home, after a period of containment in a “safe room,” try feeding any other cats at opposite ends of room. Gradually, over time, move the food bowls closer together. After feeding them side-by-side for a week, the cats should be ready to roam throughout the house freely.
Keep the cat’s food in a location out of the dog’s reach—either up on a counter or ledge or in an area that is barricaded so that the dog cannot enter.
Add a few drops of Bach Original Flower Remedies to each water bowl (note: 4Paws is not affiliated with Bach). Add additional drops as needed when the water is changed or replenished. This is a homeopathic treatment that will not have any affect on those pets that drink the treated water if they are not displaying the targeted behavior. You can purchase Bach Flower Remedies in different “flavors” at Whole Foods Stores and most health food stores.
- “Holly” helps to quell anger
- “Rock Water” works well with overly dominant animals
- “Vine” helps to calm a bully
- “Walnut” helps adjust to change
- “Willow” addresses any feelings of resentment
Create Nap Nooks
Provide plenty of safe, comfortable sleeping/nesting places if you have several pets. Cats especially need their space. They are often not as social as dogs and often prefer isolation at times.
Separate Litter Boxes (to start)
Maintain separate litter boxes (they eventually may share). The general rule is one litter box for each cat.
Make sure litter boxes are placed in quiet, easily accessible locations that do not present opportunities for a cat to be cornered by other pets. While litter boxes should be accessible to the cats, they should be out of reach of any resident dogs.
If Integration Doesn’t Work
Unfortunately, in spite of your best efforts, sometimes the resident pets will not accept the new cat into their home. After a month of working through the techniques listed above, if your pets have not progressed past outward displays of aggression, it is time to consider the possibility that the new cat may not be able to integrate into your family.
If this turns out to be the case, unless you are willing to maintain separate living quarters for warring pets, you may need to find the newcomer a new home. If you originally adopted the cat from 4Paws, pursuant to the Adoption Contract, you are required to return the cat to the organization. We understand that this can sometimes happen, and we will take back your 4Paws cat according to our returns policy.