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---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

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Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

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Introducing a new cat to your resident cats

If done badly, cat introductions can plague you for years

MetPet.com Staff Writer

Thinking of bringing a new cat or kitten into a household with a resident cat or cats?  It can be a smooth transition or a surprisingly difficult one.  Some cats won't ever tolerate another cat in the house while others will welcome new friends with enthusiasm.  Unlike dogs that can take behavioral cues from their pack leader (hopefully you and not one of them), cats are generally independent and solitary.  Even though cats can live collectively where there is a food source, there is no equivalent social structure to the pack. 

Here are some good tips and reasonable precautions to make your household as peaceful as possible.  Even though it seems simple to bring in a new cat and let him work it out with the residents, this can be misleading.  A slower, more cautious introduction can help avoid the fighting, marking and other stress problems which can take months or years to sort out. 

Before you start! 
Make sure that all of the cats (new and resident) are healthy, clean and have all their tests and shots from your vet.  A well-meaning friend or neighbor can offer you a stray cat or kitten that is "hot."  It can have anything from FeLV/FIV to fleas and other parasites even though it appears to be perfectly healthy.  To be sure, always wash your hands after handling the new cat and before handling your own.  A little precaution up front can save you serious problems and big vet bills in the future. 

First, be as attentive as you can with the resident cat.  If he's happy and secure, then he'll be more responsive to company.   Play as much as you can with him in the days before the arrival.  Then, here are some basic things to set up. 

1. If possible, get something like bedding or a towel with the smell of the new cat.  Leave it around on the floor a few days for your existing cat to get used to.
2. A small, little-used room like a bathroom or guest room that can serve as quarters for your new cat. 
3. A new, open litter box (i.e. one with the top off unless you're sure your new cat is used to a covered box) with clumping litter for the new cat.  If possible, bring home some of his old (used) litter and add it to the new box so there's no question what it's for.
4. Water and food bowls for the new cat.
5. Bedding for the new cat and a cardboard box or furniture for him to hide under.
6. Furniture, shelving or (even better) a tall cat tree in the house so that cats can separate themselves from each other vertically. 

Second, have a friend or neighbor actually bring the new cat (in a carrier) into your house.  If this is not possible, place your resident cat into a separate room and bring the new cat in.  Cats can resent you (either their property, their owner or their parent depending on your point-of-view) bringing in an interloper.  It's best not to seem involved and have the new cat magically appear.

Leave the new cat in his room with the door shut for a few days.  Your resident cat will be curious and may even try to peek or feel underneath the door.  If all seems "cool" after a few days, crack open the door.   Place heavy furniture on both sides so the cats can't get at each other.  The crack should be small enough so paws and claws can't get through. If neither cat has been spraying or caterwauling, there's a good chance that they will get along.

Third, it's time to try a meeting.   Now is a good time to trim the tips off of both cat's claws.  If they fight, they won't cause as much damage to each other.  When the resident cat isn't looking, open the door.  Let both cats wander the house while you watch.  If one cat hisses at the other, don't worry.  Hissing is like telling the other cat to slow down and back off a bit.  Growling and a tail swishing like a whip is not good.  If that happens, keep close watch. 

If you're worried about a fight, place the new cat in its carrier and let the resident cat come over to see.  If everything is all right, open the carrier.  Some people keep a spray bottle or squirt pistol filled with water just in case there's a fight.  You won't want to break up any cat fight with your bare hands.  You can also place a large cardboard box over one cat while you remove the other one.

Initially ignore the new cat and lavish attention on the resident cat.  Let the cats make friends first and then you can bond with the new one.  Sometimes a resident cat will "think" that it has discovered this stranger and will "introduce" him to you!  That would be the best possible situation. 

Fourth, create stress-free and headache-free long-term living arrangements.  It's best to keep the litter boxes and food bowls separate for a few weeks.  If the cats are snuggling with and grooming each other, you can bring the boxes and dishes closer together.  Multi-cat households generally do better with more than one litter box and set of food bowls but maybe your cats will fall in love and want to share everything!

 
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