A Reincarnation Adventure Part 13: What I Learned About Integrating Cats

by | Dec 9, 2012 | Nedda's Animal Family | 0 comments

Starlight chewing my shirt button.

As of now, for all intents and purposes, Starlight has been integrated into our family.  There are still some rough spots, but overall, I have 3 happy cats who appreciate and love each other.

How did this get accomplished?

I’m not sure I can answer this question completely, but the lessons I learned are important for others to consider when adding a new animal family member.

1. Get everyone to buy into the addition in advance.If you bring home a new cat or other animal, and no one is expecting it, you’re going to have a hard time achieving full integration.This means telling your current family about your plans.  This is part of getting the buy-in.  Let those individuals in your current family know why you woudl like to bring the newcomer home and address some of their personal feelings about having another family member.  LET THEM TELL YOU what’s on their mind.  This may take several days, as each one will process in his/her own timing.

2. Introduce them telepathically and get PRIVATE feedback from your current animal family members.  If someone is unhappy about the new addition, make the supreme effort to help that individual understand your motives and also to help that individual heal whatever issue(s) the new addition is bringing up for him/her.  Until everyone agreed (without being brow-beaten into it), don’t do anything.

3. Ask each of your family members to take on responsibility for helping the new family member integrate.Don’t assign tasks.  Instead, ask them to tell you what roles they want to play.  In my case, the two adult felines worked it out between them and told me/showed me who would be doing what.

4. Once the new animal arrives,  check in as often as possible to find out how each of your animal family members is doing as the process of integration unfolds.Get feedback and ask for and take their advice.

5. Make sure each member of the family is ready for changes as the process unfolds. For example, if I had just brought Starlight downstairs because I thought it was necessary and had not asked Violet and Sakhara to help me make the decision and work out the details, there would have been hurt feelings and chaos.  Instead, everyone made the supreme effort to adjust as Starlight was moved right into the middle of their personal space.

6. Support your older family members as they go through the process.This is more than just giving flower essences.  This means taking the time to be with each one and give that individual all the love and attention that s/he normally enjoys.It also means that if an individual wants time alone, you honor that.If an individual needs to be heard, you honor that.  Fully supporting each animal family member helps that individual to make space for the new addion.

7. Patience is essentialYou can let the others know that you are spending time with the new animal.  They’re going to smell it on your clothes anyway.  Be sure to explain what you’re doing with the new animal and why.In my situation, Starlight was really still an infant kitten and needed food and attention on a regular bases – at least every 4 hours at first.  Both my adults cats understood this, but my telling them what I was doing and why showed respect for their feelings and kept them in the loop.So YOU’RE the one who needs to be patient.  Don’t try to rush or hurry anything.

8. Let the older animals take the lead whenever possible.Treat each family member as a sentient (feeling) and sapient (intelligent) adult.  Each animal has his/her own wisdom and perspective, and each of those perspectives is valid.You can’t make two other beings like each other.  You can only support their own way of getting acquainted and learning to accept each other.REMEMBER – some cats are screamers (like Violet) and humans often don’t understand feline sounds.

9. Learn to tune in telepathically to “hear” or “sense” what’s being communicated.  Unless blood is being spilled, STAY OUT OF IT!!  Allow the screaming to take place.  You can help by explaining to each animal the viewpoint of the other by DON’T TAKE SIDES!!  There is no “right” or “wrong” here.  There is only each one feeling his/her way along and getting to know the other.

For me, the challenges were:

ALLOWING my cats to do their own thing and not trying to “fix” anything.  After all, nothing was broken!

I had to learn WHEN and WHERE and HOW to step into a situation

I had to learn WHEN and WHERE and HOW to STAY OUT of a situation.

The calmer and more relaxed I was, the calmer and more relaxed my cats were.

May you have as happy, joyous, and loving family of animals as I am blessed have.


The story continues in:  A Reincarnation Adventure Part 14:  Comparing Starlight and Echo

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