Guide to Introducing a New Pet

Introducing a new pet to your current pet family can be a wonderful exhilarating experience for you and your pet, as you both gain a new pet friend. However, the transition isn’t always an easy experience. Before making a decision to add to your pet family, you should not just consider your own feelings but those of your current pets. You may want to adopt a new puppy, but how will the two cats in your home already, feel about it? 

Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to share my home with a wide variety of animals (human included), and this calls for an occasional household introduction. I have had mixed results and, no introduction, no matter how well planned can be perfect. This is an area where I could not follow my own advice no matter how well I knew the rules of introducing a new pet. The Humane Society has great advice I try to follow here (Humane Society). 

I have mentioned the number of pets I own, but I acquired them one at a time. Though I was once down to one cat, Opus, and my boyfriend also had one, Matches, when we decided to join households. I thought I knew everything then about introducing a new pet. I knew to put them in a quiet room, and allow them to get used to each other, however Matches had other plans. She met me at the door and when she realized I was bringing in a cat, she climbed me like a tree! 

Soon the hissing ended and I didn’t think twice when I added our dog Lucy, and then Linus. Though I had my hands full again when we brought home a puppy to be a “friend” for Lucy, and she was thoroughly disgusted by the idea. There was the constant whining for attention, growling, all the while trying to keep up with puppy training. Though I wouldn’t give up either for the world, I’ve learned that getting a new pet solely to be a “friend” for your other pet doesn’t always work out. Lucy has learned to like Linus a bit, the jealousy for attention still overwhelms her.  Linus is extremely dependent on Lucy, and also has a jealousy problem. 

Two pets I’ve introduced, as of late have been cats. Pixel, is a kitten whom I rescued from an abandoned house. She is a tiny girl, and has grown into her position has baby of the house. She was a handful to introduce to so many pets at once and clearly did not want to stayin quarantine. I do recommend a temporary quarantine in a small-enclosed room for the new pet to have time to adjust to the sounds and routines of the household. Your current pets will be fully aware that there is a new addition and will be curious. Allow them to take a peak and visually see the animal, get out some of their emotions before allowing them to be near each other.  Take it slow, and have limited supervised time together while increasing it incrementally. 

Ok, so I know what I’m “supposed” to do. I’m still working it out with the last cat, Spot, who is currently taken up permanent residence behind my washing machine. I will have to let you know how that goes, Spot is a whole other story. 

I would love to hear your pet introduction stores and see what techniques you have tried. Comment below and share your experiences!