When Pets Don't Get Along

When the Claws Come Out: Introducing New Pets to One Another

“I love my space human. Wherever I crawl, it’s my space and mine alone. Leave me be. Intruders – be gone!” —  your special cat

For many folks, having just one pet is not enough. As animal lovers, we bask in the joy, love, and exuberance that only animals can provide and often welcome new four-legged members into our family with open arms. But what happens when our furry companions don’t quite get along?

“I had a female feline that got along fantastically with all her cat housemates, except for one. My dominate female would stalk, hunt, and aggressively take down her submissive “sister.” I tried everything including keeping the two permanently separated; however, in a small home this wasn’t fair to either cat. Fortunately, my mother had recently lost her beloved dog and was willing to give my little girl a loving, safe home where I could still see her on a regular basis. Unfortunately, not everyone in this situation is so lucky.” — Sandie

Sometimes during the pet introduction process, veteran pets can feel threatened by a new addition to the family, while other times, one pet is dominating or even bullying the other. This can be heartbreaking to a responsible pet parent, and even forces pet owners to return animals to the shelter or find them other homes.

Although dogs can be a culprit in this social game, due to their highly territorial nature, cats seem to be the bigger proponent when it comes to taking a dislike to their fellow housemates. In fact, according to the Animal Rescue Site, two percent of all felines relinquished to a shelter are because there was an animal-on-animal conflict. While this may not sound like a lot, out of 100 cats that means two of them will be deemed as incompatible with other animals which can drastically reduce the animal’s chance of being readopted.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to make pet introductions easier, safer, and give them a higher success rate. The key? Taking one’s time and expanding territorial presence via smell to include the new occupant.

Celebrity “Cat Daddy” Jackson Galaxy shares his process for introducing two felines, as well as discusses the best method for cat to cat introductions.

“The first thing folks do wrong is they go, ‘I’m just gonna bring my cat into a room with this new cat and let ’em work it out.’ How many times have I heard ‘Let ’em work it out.’

And how many times do they not ‘work it out.'” – Jackson Galaxy

By making the introduction slowly, and by being careful to maintain the veteran cat’s territorial perception, multiple cat households can lower their risk for behavioral issues, as well as avoid having to return a pet to the shelter — something KirinGie.Me wants to help pet owners prevent!

But what about introducing multiple dogs? Or cats and dogs? The ASPCA has a list of steps adopters should follow when introducing your dog to a new dog and Jackson Galaxy talks about Introducing dogs and cats, with one key component being bringing your companion with you while you search for your new one, as well as an introduction on neutral territory.  

If you follow these steps, you might just save an animal’s life!

Even introducing non-furry or atypical companions to one another can be a nerve-wracking process for pet parents, especially if the two co-inhabitants are not of the same species. However, if the thousands of too cute photos and videos of “unlikely friends” are any indication, animals of all kinds are highly open to new acquaintances regardless of species, though it can be a timely process. For many young families, for instance, a rat or rodent of some kind is often a fantastic starter pet for younger children, but much like their larger counterparts, should still be introduced to veteran members of the family for best results.

With the digital age upon us it may seem “easy” to rehome a pet if an introduction doesn’t go well; however, posting advertisements for free or inexpensive animals can oftentimes attract people that are only out to make a fast buck. These type of folks pose as legitimate pet owners only to turn around and sell your furbaby as bait for dog fighting rings or to research labs for experimentation.

Most people do not want to make the devastating decision to rehome their beloved companion when pet rivalry occurs, but many times are simply left with no other alternatives, especially with an animal who just can’t get along with one of their housemates.

When situations like these happen, as responsible pet owners, placing pets in the homes of caring, compassionate families who will ensure pets live out their lives healthy, happy and in great care, rather than abandoned, in shelters, or euthanized is what really matters. This is where KirinGie.Me is most valuable to pet lovers and animals.

KirinGie.Me’s unique pet profiles will help pet owners connect with other community animal lovers who can come to the rescue if the need ever comes up. The rest of the time,  it’s a great way to brag on your fur, feathered, or scaly baby – by showing off your pet’s best moments! Be an advocate for your pet today.

Is KirinGie.Me in your community yet?

If not, pre-register today to let us know you want our program in your neighborhood. Be the voice pets need. Together we can protect them. There is no cost or obligation to join.

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