Time for A New Addition, Part 7: Home Sweet Home

I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me as I contemplated adopting a pet. I have contemplated space in Part 2, time in Part 3, money in Part 4, type of animal in Part 5, and where to find my new companions in Part 6.

Part of the reason that we want to adopt two is that it is so much easier to bring new pets into the house at the same time. But this is not always possible, so what is the best way to introduce a new animal?

New pets in the home should always get a safe space that is just their own for the first few days. A smaller, quiet room is ideal. Then they should be slowly introduced to the rest of the home. A great way to do this is to put the animal in a crate in a high-traffic area of the house. They can still feel safe, but get used the sights, sounds, smells and rhythms. Doing this over several days for longer times each time is idea.

When there is already an animal in the house, another tip is keeping the two (or more) animals separate for several days, then trading the spaces that they are in. That way they can get used to the smells of the other animal without having to worry if they will get along right away.

For me, cats should stay indoors. But this is a debatable topic. If your cat will be outdoors, it is important to introduce this slowly and only after many weeks or a few months. We have all heard the stories of cats traveling for miles back to former homes. And of course always make sure the outdoor area is safe from cars, other animals, etc.

Many of you may remember our series on Jeta (photo below), a beautiful black kitty adopted from Cats in Tow last year. Phil and his family did a terrific job introducing Jeta to a home that was already occupied by Lucy, an older cat. Phil’s most important ‘trick’: patience, patience and more patience! Jeta’s story can be found here: More Than Good Luck for Jeta, Lucy Meets Jeta, Brave Jeta, Becoming Family, Making Friends, Love in Many Forms, and Playtime.

I am sure you are hoping to here my decision on cat adoption, but I am sorry to say we are still contemplating. But don’t worry, any furry additions to our house will be grounds for a follow up post!

In the meantime, we would love to hear your stories of bringing pets into your homes. How did you decide? If you already had pets, how did the introduction go? Please feel free to post comments below.

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