Introducing a newcomer to a resident cat can be challenging, especially when the new addition isn't another cat.

Creating a ‘blended family’ will require planning, patience, space and careful guidance on your part.

It’s important to have an understanding of the different animals you’re introducing and their natural behaviours. For instance, its instinct for some animals to chase smaller species – so an already confident cat is more likely to be comfortable with a docile dog, rather than a timid cat and an excitable dog. If the dog is too small, however, it might be the cat that is the troublemaker!

Before introducing the soon-to-be-friends, create a safe place for your cat away from the new family pet, in every room that forms part of their territory. You can use a baby gate, a cat door or simply the top of a bookcase.

Take time to slowly familiarise each to the other’s smell and then monitor short visits, repeating to gradually give each more freedom. You could even try some food treats as rewards for good behaviour.