When Laura wrote about Mr. Darcy and Sookie for Ragdoll of the Week, I asked her if she would share with me how she introduced them. So, now, since you have met them both, here is what Laura said about how to introduce cats.
When we first introduced Sookie to Darcy it was a bit of a disaster! I had read all the books which say to keep your new kitten in one room to start with, gradual introduction etc and we started with the best intentions, but i’m afraid impatience got the better of us! For a start Sookie seemed absolutely terrified of her new home and us, so hid for a good day and a half and wouldn’t come out during the day. Then at night when I’d gone to bed she would wail and scratch at the
door until I came down and cradled her. This did not go down well with Darcy who was not used to being shut out of any room in the house, so I’d spend half the night with Sookie and then more time with Darcy because I felt bad for him not getting any attention!
After 2 days Sookie decided she liked us and wanted to play and explore, so everytime i opened the door to check on her she’d dash through. Being so small and light it was hard to stop her! This is how she met first met Darcy. She was the size of my hand, Darcy was bear sized. Yet it was Darcy who was terrified and hissed – i’d never heard Darcy hiss before! The funniest thing (although not so much at the time) was that i then heard a really deep growl, which turned out
to be Sookie. She really does growl like a little guard dog! So we had to put Sookie back in the room which she did not like.
For the next few days we’d let Sookie into the house to explore whilst my hubby or I would play with Darcy in the garden. We also opened the door ajar a few times and let Darcy and Sookie sniff each other. This led to lots more hissing and growling. After 4 days I had a rather pathetic crying session in the garden because the point was to give Darcy a companion, but instead it was making him miserable in his own home. I really wasn’t patient at all and expected them just to get along from the get go which I now realise is not realistic.
As I mentioned, we really did try to follow the proper guidelines for introduction, but in the end i just thought lets just see what happens if we let them get on with it. So we let Sookie out. For a few more days Darcy was very skittish around Sookie and would hiss if she got too close, but Sookie seemed to have taken a shine to him so just kept coming back to try again. I kept encouraging playtime and would use their fishing toys to gradually bring them closer together without them noticing!
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The eureka moment was when they both lay down on either side of a cat toy and started batting the ball back and forth to one another. I managed to record it on my cameraphone and still love watching that video! Now you don’t find one without the other close by and they chase each other all over the house, playfight and take turns to groom one another. It all worked out in the end but I wish I’d been a bit more prepared…mentally!
How did you introduce your cats? Do you have any tips or tricks to share with readers?