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It’s easy to introduce a new cat to the family

I am a family member
Karla Kirby

If there are any children living in your house, particularly tiny ones, introduce your brand new cat to them slowly and steadily, using brief intervals of time. Children need to understand that cats are sensitive, living creatures. Show the children how to pick kitty up and hold him/her. Teach them how to tenderly slip one hand under kitty’s chest, while holding the front legs gently but firmly with your fingers as you simultaneously cup the other hand under your cat's hindquarters. Never pick kitty up by the scruff of the neck or by the tail or legs. Children must learn never to pull the cat's tail or ears, squeeze, jab or poke her/him, make loud, aggressive noises or move toward kitty too rapidly.

An excellent way for both children and adults to play with a feline is to get down on the floor at cat-level to make him/her feel more secure. Let children know that even a small child can look like a giant to a cat. Even the gentlest cat may option to scratching or biting to protect her/himself when frightened.

If there are other cats in the house, introduce them to your new cat with concern and watchfulness. An older cat, male or female, will generally accept a new kitten and will in due course help take care of her/him. However, never leave them alone together until you are sure they are buddies.

Begin introducing your kitten by first opening the door to his/her room a mere crack and letting the other cats know a new buddy is there.

After a few days put your new kitten in his/her carrier and let the other felines in the house in the kitten room. Except a little hissing at first but don't be discouraged, it shouldn’t last long.

You can also rub a toy or blanket against your new kitten and show it to the other cats so they can get used to the new scent. Do likewise to the older cats and give the item to the kitten.

With in a week or two everyone should be getting along great, never forget how important it is to be patient

Most family dogs and cats also get along, but this may take a wee bit longer. There may be a fracas or two, but soon they will be playing together. Again, it's wise not to leave them together unsupervised until you know they are pals...

Regardless if you’re other pet is a dog or a cat, remember to show each one extra love and affection so that jealousy won’t get in the way... Never force your older animal to accept your kitten instantaneously. Let kitty choose his/her own pace.