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Animal World Building Relationships Between Pets By Cathy Unruh HE is young, frisky and super-

Nationally Recognized Animal

charged. She’s older, slower, Advocate and Best Selling accustomed to her independAuthor of “Taming Me: Memoir ence and own particular pace. He rushes to her eagerly, expectof a Clever Island Cat ing an enthusiastic welcome. But she arches her back, raises her fur, hisses and swats. He yelps, tucks his tail between his legs and cowers, slouching slowly away. His new human looks on in dismay: what can she do to overcome this disastrous introduction? This scene plays out regularly in homes as pet owners happily walk a new animal companion across the threshold and the pet or pets already in residence take exception to the intrusion on their turf. But it doesn’t have to unfold this way – especially if humans do our homework. To help build harmonious relationships between pets, first know and understand • If either animal displays aggression or the personality of the animal who already true abhorrence of this new creature, you resides in your home. A mature dog not may want to separate them and grow the prone to chasing may well welcome a cat relationship more slowly. Confine the new as a companion whereas a rambunctious pet to a room with a baby gate or in an runner after every moving object may view ample crate. Let the animals get to know her as a toy. A well-socialized cat who each other with this safety barrier between loves to interact with others may greet a them, then begin open playtime together, puppy with curiosity and play behavior, with supervision. Immediately interrupt any while an aloof cat given to solitude may negative behaviors by redirection or sepfeel intimidated and infringed upon. With aration. Reward any positive interaction the recognition that each animal is different, with love and praise. Gradually increase and that some homes already have multhe amount of time that the animals tiple pets when a new animal is brought spend together. in, here are some general guidelines: And, remember, when it comes to sen-

• Consider a new companion who is younger and smaller than your current pet. This reduces the chances that the new resident will be seen as a threat. • Create a calm, comfortable environment for the introduction. Have some of your current pet’s favorite playthings or treats on hand. Ensure that the new animal is somewhat tired out so that the initial meet and greet will not be overly energetic. • Reinforce any positive reactions on either animal’s part with words of praise and pats of affection. • Stay with the animals as much as possible during the initial phase of the relationship, but let them set the pace and work out the parameters themselves, just as long as they are being peaceful.

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tient beings with individual personalities, there are no absolute rules. That cantankerous aging dog may think a new kitten batting his snout is more fun than a walk in the park. The pair of cats who have ruled the rug for years may think the giant German Shepherd rescue is their own personal bodyguard brought in to serve them. Almost any combination of animals can work, given the appropriate space, time, and encouragement. l Veteran TV Journalist Host of “Up Close with Cathy Unruh” is a Member of the Cat Writer’s Association and the Florida Writer’s Association. Cathy helps people who are considering bringing a cat and a dog into the same household and teaches pet owners how to become aware of their pets interests and instincts which are key for both pets to get along.

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Beverly Hills Times Magazine - The Secrete State  

The Beverly Hills Times Magazine is a door-to-door, monthly publication catering to an upscale clientele. We offer readers an up close and i...

Beverly Hills Times Magazine - The Secrete State  

The Beverly Hills Times Magazine is a door-to-door, monthly publication catering to an upscale clientele. We offer readers an up close and i...