ats are social animals (although sometimes they have a bad way of conveying it). They are like you and me and just like with meeting anyone new, cats can be weary and even scared. When you bring a new Ragdoll kitten into your home, your resident cat or cats will most likely show you in various ways how they feel about the new pet.
Here are some things you can expect from your resident cat if they are not introduced to your new friend in the correct way:
* Stalking the new kitten
* Peeing on the furniture
* Hissing at the new Ragdoll kitten
* Ignoring your advances
* Attacking the new kitten
To keep all of these things from happening, here are some ideas to make the “getting to know” stage between your cats a little easier for them and for you.
Keep your new Ragdoll kitten separate from your resident cat for about a week or two. Upon arrival, you should have a “safe room” designated. The safe room is a sanctuary for your new kitty. You want to keep the door close and make sure it is secure, to keep your kitten from getting out or so that your resident cat can’t just wander in, too.
Inside the safe room, there should be numerous areas where your new kitten can hide. This can help manage his or her shyness with you and with the rest of your family. You also need to have his or her own litter tray, kitty bed and food and water bowls inside the room.
During this isolation stage, your new kitten can get used to the sights, sounds and smells of your home, particularly the safe room. This is also a good time for you to get acquainted with your new kitty. Try to let him or her get used to your smell during play or grooming time. And don’t forget to give him or her lots and lots of kisses.
Another advantage of isolating the new Ragdoll kitten is that it lowers the possibility of spreading any disease it may have to your resident cat. Although you may want to be sure that before you bring home your kitten, it gets a clean bill of health from the vet. Still, let’s not overlook the chance that your kitten might get sick during its first few weeks that is stays with you.
Introducing your resident cat should not be a hurried thing. Introduction of your resident cat to your new Ragdoll kitten requires strategy and most of all, patience. For starters, you can introduce their smell to each other before they actually meet. You can do this by getting a piece of cloth and rubbing the nose and face area of your resident cat on it. Do the same thing with your new Ragdoll kitten. Then swap the two pieces of cloth and give each to the other. Give them both time to be familiar with each other’s smell – you might do this for a few days before they actually meet. Both kitties will know the other one exists in the house, but taking the time for a slow introduction will reap benefits later on.
When you notice that your resident kitty is comfortable with the smell of a new cat, the next step would be letting them get a glimpse at each other – have you and someone that also lives in the home or someone that the cats are familiar with hold the kitten, while you hold your resident cat. Sit about 20 feet apart from one another. If they seem interested but not aggressively interested in each other, then move closer like 10 ft. away. Continue to do this until they can smell each other from a safe distance – a safe distance being that they are not within swatting and hissing range. If they are hissing and growling when you sit 20 feet away from one another, then you might have to try the process over several days until you can eventually move closer.
Also, allow your resident kitty to explore your kitten’s safe room when your kitten is exploring your house. It allows them to get even more aware of each other’s smells without an immediate threat to either one of them.
Once they have smelled each other, it’s time to set up a baby gate or something similar where they can smell each other and see each other, but cannot get to one another. If you do not see aggressive behavior from either one during this step, then it’s time to move to the next step.
Next you want to open the baby gate and let them explore each other.
While there is always excitement in introducing new pets, taking your time with a slow introduction will earn you peace of mind and a happy home in the long run!
Best of luck to you and your kitties.