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Published: Feb 13, 2012

When couples decide to move in together, it is typically a joyful time. However, there are certain precautions pet owners should take before moving their furry companion in with their partner's pet.

Animal lovers may rejoice about the opportunity to give their cat or dog a new "sibling" by way of this type of move, but many couples who move in together with pets find that the living situation is not as peaceful as they had hoped, The Associated Press reports.

Valerie Tynes, a veterinarian and behaviorist in Sweetwater, Texas, told the news outlet that the socialization levels of the animals are the most important thing to keep in mind.

"A cat or a dog that has not spent much, if any, time around other dogs and-or cats during their adolescence will be much less likely to ever get along well with other animals," she told the news source.

Some animals simply will never get along, and cats can be particularly hostile toward each other. Fighting can cause injury and potentially cat illness

VCA Animal Hospitals reports that when two house cats are not getting along, a desensitization and counter-conditioning program is the best way to ease the tension or to introduce a cat into a new household. Owners should begin by confining the "new" cat to a separate room or portion of the home with its own pet supplies to give them each their own space. Eventually the cats can be put together in training activities in which they get rewarded, such as feeding. With food or treat rewards they will likely be more focused on the food than each other. They may also start to associate the other's presence with good things, such as food. 

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