Adding A Pet When You Already Have One: Friend Or Foe?
People without pets will often surprise you with the assumptions they make. For example, they often seem to think that pets don’t have much individuality.
If you’ve met one cat, you’ve met them all. Dogs are cute, but aren’t they a little bit slavish? Assumptions like that can only come from someone who hasn’t lived with pets and seen their idiosyncrasies.
It is recognizing these character traits that separates good pet owners from people who see a pet as an accessory. It is also by knowing these characteristics that we can judge what our pets will like, and what will spook them. And the latter of those is often what we wonder about when we look at getting another pet.
Your cat has brought you so much joy; you’d like to get another. Or, as much of a cat person as you are, you’d also like a dog. But, you reasonably ask yourself, how will they get along? Will your current pet feel threatened, left out, afraid? These are questions you need to answer when you’re looking at adding to your menagerie.
Another Pet Of The Same Kind
If you already have one cat, adding another can lead to some strains. The first thing to consider is your existing cat’s personality. Is he or she clingy? Adding a second cat can cause tension if they are. Even if they are easy-going, there can be initial difficulties.
It’s the same for dogs. They are pack animals, sure, but they also have an “alpha-beta” structure. Suddenly being concerned that they have competition can cause a dog to feel disturbed.
The short answer is that it is hard to know how a pet will act initially when you bring another one home. Of course you need to bestow the same love on them you did before the newbie arrived. Also, you may need to add a little “extra love” in the early days, to reassure them.
Will A Cat And A Dog Fight, Like … Well, You Know
It’s surprising how many people think that getting a dog when you have a cat or vice versa, is something you can’t do. In truth, the trope about cats and dogs not getting on is entirely dependent on the cat and the dog. Some dogs do see cats as something to chase. Some dogs also see the garbage truck as something to chase, so go figure. The two can get along just fine.
Indeed, as numerous YouTube videos demonstrate, the idea that a dog will always bully a cat is often completely the wrong way around.
Adding An Even Stranger Pet
You can be confident that with enough love and encouragement, your cats and dogs will get along. But what if you add a different animal to the mix?
For example, if you get pet foxes, will that be okay with your existing pets? Will your new pet acclimatize to those that are already there?
The only answer is doing your research in advance. We can say that certain pets – foxes included – can be difficult around other animals. They may take time to warm to them, and may just want to do their own thing. Other animals, like birds, are unlikely ever to socialize with your furry friends – but also unlikely to fight with them.
When it comes right down to it, the key thing is that you allow animals to have their space. When they want to be social, they will. But it’s the kind of thing you can’t force, and you need to be fair and equal with them so no one feels left out.