How to accustom a cat to another cat? – i.e. socialization with isolation
Once we have one cat or dog, we sometimes decide to adopt another one or more members of our household. Then we start to wonder what it’s like, is it possible to simply introduce a new dog or cat to an existing household member? Today I would like to explain how to accustom a cat to another cat or a dog to another dog, i.e. the so-called socialization with isolation.
Second cat in the house
It is worth noting that the process of introducing animals should always be carried out, even if they do not show hostility towards other animals. Before starting socialization with isolation, the ground and appropriate equipment must be prepared.
- A small room where we will keep our new household member
- Providing a litter box
- Like a litter box, you also need litter. It’s best if it’s the same gravel it had before arriving at its new home
- Two bowls, one for food, the other for water
- Food, it is worth feeding him what he was fed before coming home
- Lair – after all, he has to rest somewhere 😉
- In the case of a cat, a scratching post
- Toys and “hiding” places where he can calmly get used to the new place. Remember that any change of this type causes stress.
Proper socialization with isolation
We are introducing a new animal, but we have not introduced it to the resident yet. We lock him in a previously prepared room and leave him to get used to the new situation and the new place.
We provide him with the entire previously prepared assortment. It is important that it is placed around 4 corners in a given room. Once the animal has settled down a bit, we can bring it a treat and then leave it alone with food.
If we brought a blanket or other thing with our pet, it is worth leaving it in a given room so that the pet has a familiar smell close to it.
In the next stage, we have to ask our little ones for help :). We do not allow direct contact yet, but we introduce the resident to the room where the new family member is staying, and the new arrival to the other rooms in the house. All this to get them used to new smells. It is important to have contact with the animal regularly and every day so that it can get used to us.
Smell is a very important sense in animals, so isolation socialization is mainly based on this sense. A good way to accustom the resident and the new pet is to transfer the scent by stroking one and then the other, and so on.
We try to repeat these activities every day. One thing that cats and dogs love is food. A good option to help animals get to know each other is to place bowls on either side of the door. Thanks to this, the animals will not see each other, but they will feel it and automatically associate the smell with something positive. At first, we place the bowls a little further away, and over time we move them closer and closer to the door.
Especially in cats, a carrier is very helpful in isolation socialization. The first stage is carried out by moving the new cat in a carrier covered with a blanket to the apartment. Thanks to this, we allow the resident to become even more accustomed to the smell of the new arrival. In this situation, it is worth playing with the resident or giving him various delicacies so that he associates the new smell with something pleasant. The second stage of getting cats used to each other using a carrier is exactly the same, but the new cat is no longer covered with a blanket. Both phases should last on average about a week each. Once the animals tolerate each other more, we can introduce feeding the animals close to each other, i.e. the new cat’s bowl in the carrier, the resident cat’s bowl close to the carrier.
Before we start feeding our cats close to each other, it is worth knowing what healthy cat nutrition looks like. You will read this in the article “How to feed a cat? – cat diet
After all this, we can slowly move on to letting the cat out to other rooms in the house. We do it by locking the resident in one room and allowing the new cat to explore our apartment. Then we let the resident out so that he can get acquainted with the area marked by the new cat. A sign whether we can allow animals to come into direct contact is when they do not hiss or growl. We allow animals to visit us, but we constantly monitor the situation and observe their behavior. It may be helpful to place bowls of treats on opposite sides
When getting to know animals directly, we must be calm and patient, we allow the animals to calmly contact each other, we simply observe the development of the situation and keep an eye on it.
After the first such action, we lock the new animal in its isolation place and repeat the activities from that day for some time.
In the next stage, we simply observe how the animals behave, whether they are friendly towards each other and whether we can allow them to meet each other freely.
What is important is the fact that the process of introducing animals to each other is a long-term process. How long it will last depends on the temperament of the animals, sometimes a few days is enough and sometimes it has to last several weeks. Let’s remember to be patient and calm, rushing is not recommended. Socialization with isolation is a very important process in the lives of our pets, and when properly carried out, it has a positive impact on their health and behavior.