Deer Run Animal Hospital

308 E. US Hwy 30
Schererville, IN 46375

(219)864-7180

deerrunanimalhospital.com

FELINE INTRODUCTIONS

or... Can't We All Just Get Along?

eVetSites Photo

When blending or adding new cats into a multi-cat home, environmental enrichment techniques can be of great benefit.  



Check out the Deer Run Animal Hospital web page on

Feline Environmental Indoor Enrichment

for lots of ideas to try to help keep your kitties living in peace and harmony.


It will be important to make resources plentiful for your feline family.  This means lots of litter boxes, feeding stations, hiding and refuge spaces, cat trees, and cat toys for stimulation.


Pheromone Therapy with Feliway can really help smooth the addition of a new housemate. Cat noses are much more sensitive than ours.  Cats have the ability to communicate via scent.  The Feliway Pheromone communicates to cats in their own language and sends a message of a friendly greeting. Here is the link to Deer Run Animal Hospital's Feliway webpage with tips on how to get the most benefit from Feliway. Feliway is available at Deer Run, just ask our staff!

There is new Pheromone Product, FELIWAY MULTICAT.  It contains an appeasing pheromone similar to the pheromone released from the mammary glands of the nursing mother cat to give her kittens a sense of safety and security.  Watch this video from Cat Caregivers who participated in this new treatment to help multi-cat homes live in harmony.  This is a great product to use when you are introducing a new cat to your home! This exciting new tool to calm stressed cat housemates is now available at Deer Run, just ask our staff for more information!!


 


As knowledge about the normal behavior of cats and their social behavior has increased over the past decades. 


  • Many beliefs about aggressive behaviors between cats, its causes and management, have changed. 
  • Failure to understand what will promote friendly, amicable behavior and what will promote aggressive behavior can lead to various behavior problems; including aggression
       and conflict over resources such as food, resting sites and litter boxes.
  • Understanding the natural social organization, relationships and communication of the cat and how this impacts on cats is essential if we are to better manage cats,
       especially those that live in multi-cat households. 

The following article will help you learn about Fear Aggression Communication Body Language and Social Relationships in Cats


Resolving-Social-Conflict-Between-Familiar-Cats


Before you add a new cat to your multi-cat home be sure you have read the  10 Commandments of Multicat Household Managment.pdf


Introducing Cats from Patricia McConnell, Phd, CAAB,  a professor at the University of Wisconsin 


Humane Societies often have fabulous handouts on cat behavior.  Below you will find links to some helpful handouts from some of our favorite Humane Societies on the topic of cat to cat introductions.


From The Denver Dumb Friends League Shelter, a nice article on introducing cats.
Introducing Your New Cat to Your Resident Cat 




The links below are to handouts on cat Introductions from The Best Friends Society


Introducing a New Cat


Helping Cats to Get Along


Aggression Toward Other Cats


Introducing a Cat and a Dog


Preventing Your Dog From Chasing Your Cat




The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) provides this informative free webinar on


It Takes Two! Successful Dog & Cat Interactions Webinar
 
(Give this webinar a few moments to download)



From the United Kingdom's Association of Pet Behavior Counsellors and Dr Sarah Millsopp Ph.D. B.Sc.


Introducing Cats and Dogs



These following handouts come from the San Francisco ASPCA


Introducing Dogs & Cats


Cat to Cat Introductions


Introducing a Cat to a New Home



From The Maddie's Shelter Care Program


Bringing Your New Cat Home



 Veterinary Behavior Specialist, Dr. Lisa Radosta offers some great advice in her handout on how to introduce a new kitten to your older cats. But first she asks us to consider...

Does Your Cat Want a New Friend?


New Kitten, Big Trouble  


What about re-introducing cats after one takes a trip to the vet?




Another great veterinarian who enjoys behavior practice offers this helpful handout on how to introduce cats.  


Introducing Cats By Dr. Sally Foote



If you have a shy cat in hiding, consider the use of Cat Tunnels



This link is to a blog by a great Veterinary Behaviorist, Dr Sophia Yin.  She describes what to do when there is cat fighting in the home.


Fighting Between Cats Leaves Family Frazzled 



Food Toys are a great method of environmental enrichment and can be very helpful for young cats with a strong prey drive to direct their normal and natural prey drive toward food toys and not other housemates (feline & human).  



Here is the link to
Deer Run's Feline Food Toy web page



Initially we recommend you keep cats separated for safety.  Usually the new cat is in a room behind a closed door while the long term resident house cat(s) are allowed to roam and sniff at the door.  Later on you can swap the situation to allow all cats to smell and explore the other cats territory.

 

You may eventually progress to using a barrier that increases visualization.  This can start by using a latch that only lets the door open a crack.  Later a screen door can be a great barrier for long or short term separation and safety Here is a link that gives you instructions on how do this without ruining your door frame:


Directions on how to use screen doors for simple cat barriers