Before You Bring Your Cat Home:
7.) Mixing cats and other pets: Cats are territorial animals. Therefore, they will mingle better with each other at a young age and increasingly become less open for the idea as they grow older. If you have other pets, especially cats consider this before bringing in a new kitten or cat into the home. Let new cats stay in a room or enclosed space for them to get used to the new house, then gradually let them explore the house when the family leaves for the day. Once cats get acclimated to your home, they will be running around and enjoying your space like they’ve always lived there.
Cats are, by nature, highly territorial, which means that having a place to call their own is extremely important to their emotional well-being. Your new cat is already in a state of stress from having been in a shelter or being given up for adoption, and being brought to a strange new home only increases that stress. Your goal is to help make your new cat feel comfortable as quickly as possible. When you bring your new cat home, confine it to a single room for at least the first few days — with food and litter, of course! Although this may seem cruel by human standards, it is actually a great kindness to allow your cat to claim ownership of a small new territory at it’s own pace and without competition. Some shy cats may hide under the bed for as long as a week; others will be ready to come out into the house and go exploring after just a day. The important thing is to let the cat emerge whenever it feels ready. You should spend as much time as possible in the room with the cat, but you should never try to force it out of hiding. The cat will let you know when it’s ready to begin exploring more of the house. Be sure to leave fresh food and water out at all times, and check that it is being consumed. Even stressed cats like to eat, so no food for 24 hours or more is possibly a sign of illness and warrants a trip to the vet.
Before bringing a new pet into your heart and home, ask yourself, "Why do I want another pet?" Two pets are not necessarily just as easy or just as much work as one. Another pet will require time, energy, expense and patience. Many people who do not have enough time for one pet think that two will be better because they will keep each other company. If you think a second pet will help alleviate loneliness, boredom or behavior problems with your resident pet, think again. If you don't have time to spend with one cat, you surely will not have time to spend with two. Many cat owners end up with two bored and misbehaving pets instead of one. Furthermore, a second pet will not necessarily provide your cat with the companionship you have in mind. Bring the cat home in a carrier. Your new cat may be scared and intimidated by the new situation. Then again, maybe he’ll be out happily exploring the house on the first day.To prevent bringing home disease with your new cat make sure your resident cat is vaccinated. Vaccinate and check the newcomer for feline leukemia, upper respiratory infections and parasites. Ask your veterinarian for further advice about the prevention of disease transmission.
Health isn't a major concern with dogs since few diseases can be passed between cats and dogs. Still, have your newcomer's health checked by your veterinarian before bringing him home.
Put the cat's litterbox in an area where your new dog can't get into it. Keep the cat's food out of the dog's reach, too. Cats and dogs have very different dietary needs and they should not be allowed to share food or they risk getting sick.
Before bringing your new pet home, give your resident cat a crash course in housetraining. Even if there have been no mistakes in the house for years, the introduction of a stranger may cause a temporary breakdown. If you're bringing home another cat, buy a couple of extra litterboxes. They can be extremely private property to a cat and a new cat can be leery about using another cat's box. Once the cats become friends, they will probably share their boxes with no problem.
It is especially important to prepare your cat for the arrival of a newcomer in other ways too. Spend lots of time concentrating on, rewarding and praising her good behavior. When the new pet arrives, most owners make such a big fuss over the newcomer that the resident cat feels neglected and ignored. You should be doing just the opposite. Most of your attention should be given to your resident cat. She's the one who is going to feel that her territory is being invaded. She may react by urine marking, acting aggressive or being destructive. Some cats get so upset over a newcomer that they pack their bags and leave, and may never come back. Make absolutely sure that your cat feels secure with you and her home territory before, during and after the newcomer's arrival. Some cats can be dropped into the middle of a new home and adapt just fine, with everything working out between the kitties. However, such an approach can also end in disaster, injuries or a failed adoption. Before bringing your new cat home, we recommend that you: