Since the Abilene Animal Shelter has been way over capacity, I volunteered to "foster" a couple of cats and a kitten "temporarily." Well, the adorable little felines won my heart over, and now I'm no longer fostering. Instead, I adopted all three of them.

If you're thinking about adopting a cat, dog, kitten, or puppy from our Abilene Animal Shelter or one of the surrounding shelters, here are some easy-to-follow steps on how to introduce your new pet to your other fur babies.

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1. I'm The Boss And I Love You

First off, you're going to need a little patience and remember that you're in charge and the one with the brains. The cats and or dogs do not rule, you do. Make sure you always use a "calm and soothing" voice and tell your fur babies "I love you" they know and understand that phrase well.

2. Go Away. There's Nothing To See Here

For the first week or so keep the newcomer away from your other pets. If it's a cat it'll need its own 'private' litterbox that's not accessible to the others. The new cat will also need its own bed and food bowl for the first two to three weeks. Keep all other pets away. The meet and greet is coming.

3. Look But Do Not Touch

This is when you start the introduction process through a screen door or a baby gate and keep some treats handy for both the dogs and cats. Whoever plays nice gets a treat. It's like a reception at a wedding party, everyone's nervous but willing to participate if the hors d'oeuvres are good. Repeat often.

4 . Meet The Boss

This is when you start being more strict. Do not allow hissing, snarling, barking or growling. When it happens, put an end to it right away and remove the violator. Shower the others with treats and words of love. The guilty party will begin changing.

5. Welcome To The New 'Tribe'

This is when the dog/puppy is no longer chasing or sniffing the cat. The other felines are no longer hissing. Let them have some unsupervised alone time. Make whatever adjustments and enjoy your new fur-baby family member.

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