Pet Introductions: Tips for Pet Owners Moving in Together

Author: Lauren Ross

Two Domestic Cat Sleeping

When a couple decides to live together in an apartment, there is a pretty big checklist of things to accomplish before and even after move-in day. From purging dilapidated furniture to donating duplicate kitchen appliances, partners who live together have a big job on their hands in order to blend styles inside their new pad.

For pet owners, a big-ticket item is to successfully introduce their pet to their partner’s pet. The process of a pet-to-pet introduction will take some time as well as patience. Don’t worry if your cat doesn’t seem to be taken to your partner’s dog a first sight – both animals will need some time to build trust for the other.

Below are some simple tips to introducing pets:

Cat to Cat Introductions

Because of their territorial nature, cat introductions will be a gradual process in the new apartment. According to experts at PetFinder, each cat should be kept in an isolation room for a few days so they can become acquainted to their new surroundings and each other. The rooms should be supplied with a litter box, toys, and food/water bowls so the cats are comfortable in their new space. Experts also recommend pet-parents to switch their rooms so they can familiarize themselves with the scent of the other feline.

When they become acclimated, begin feeding and playing with one cat in front of the other to promote positive kitty association. If you and your partner feel like both animals have made significant process through the intro trial, allow them to meet face-to-face through a supervised visit.

Dog to Dog Introductions

Dogs are social animals and tend to demonstrate dominate behavior around other dogs. To control this dominance hierarchy and top-dog conduct, it’s best to have the dog-to-dog introduction on neutral grounds like a park. Experts at ASPCA encourage pet owners to have their dogs leashed when meeting each other. It’s also recommended to give positive reinforcement for good behavior in the form of a treat or pat on the head.

Keep an eye out for each dog’s body language plus any signs of aggression as it may indicate your dog is feeling uncomfortable. After the introduction, you and your partner should take the doggies on a walk so they can continue to observe the other’s habits.

When move-in day comes, keep the pets separated for a while to avoid potential squabbles. Play time should be supervised until pet owners feel both dogs have become pals.

Dog and Cat Introductions

Dog and cat introductions are similar to cat introductions. According to American Humane Association, pet owners should keep the two separated at first until they become familiar with the scent of the other.  When they seem content and are ready to meet face-to-face, try introducing them a good distance apart with the dog on a leash. If aggression or obsession occurs between animals, then continue the trial separation until both seem calm and content around one another. When you’re away from your apartment, you should keep them apart from each other until they become trusting of their animal counterpart.