Introducing your New Cat to the Resident Cat/s

Two cats

IMAGINE

Imagine what it is like for you as a person, when you go into a new environment and are stressing as to what it is going to be like despite knowing your circumstances.

New Cat

Now try to imagine how stressful it must be for a kitten taken from its mother and siblings, or an adult cat who doesn’t know what’s happening and why they no longer see the human parents with whom they spent years going into a new environment and being the outsider.

Cats don’t always take kindly to having another come into their home and you will be going through a feline to feline introduction process in conjunction with introducing the new kitty to its forever home.

Scent

Scent plays an important role with all animals.

You will be keeping the new kitty in his/her room initially as per the aforementioned article.

Do not let your cats who are already entrenched into the room with the new kitty for the first few days, instead take items from the new cat and the home kids and swap them, so that that they start to become acclimatised to each other’s scent.

And let them sniff each other through the door.

What can you expect?

There is likely to be yowling, hissing and growling initially but this will ease off. Don’t let this worry you, just be patient and gentle.

Face-to Face

After a few days put the new kitty back in his/her carrier, open the door and let the home kid/s come into the room so they can sniff each other and do this a few times a day until they appear to be accepting each other.

The Big MeetKiara's Empire.jpg.

If you have dogs ensure that they are outside and also ensure that all the doors and windows in the house are closed securely.

Allow the cats the run of the house for a while and assess their acceptance level of each other.

During the process of introducing your new forever kid to the home and property caution is important in terms of escape routes, so the home kids may also have to endure being kept inside the home during this process from to time.

You already have cats, and you know this time and effort are worth it.

We wish you many years of joy with all your feline companions.

 

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Introducing your Cat to His/Her New Home

Nervous catIMAGINE

Imagine what it is like for you as a person, when you go into a new environment and are stressing as to what it is going to be like despite knowing your circumstances.

New Cat

Now try to imagine how stressful it must be for a kitten taken from its mother and siblings, or an adult cat who doesn’t know what’s happening and why they no longer see the human parents with whom they spent years.

Your cat is likely to be intimidated by what’s happening and in all likelihood their adrenalin may be pumping.

Your companion of years

Much will depend on whether or not your cats are bonded to you or their property.

The following applies to both companions who are moving to a new home and new companions who have just been adopted.

WHAT WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

hotel meowiott (1)Prepare a room where your new companion will be kept for a while, provide a water bowl and food bowl, litter tray, as well as some kitty toys and a scratching post.

Ideally you need a scratching post with height and a resting place as cats feel more secure if they have height and can look down on others. Catnip will also help and that can be sprinkled on the scratching post.

Ensure that your new friend is microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed and sterilised. Most vets will sterilise kittens from the age of 8 weeks.

WHAT MUST HAPPEN AT HOME

Ensure that all the windows and doors are securely closed at home even if it is summer! And if you go outside ensure that your new friend is nowhere near and can slip past you.

Never assume that a cat cannot squeeze through a small space and escape. You are wrong, they can.

Ensure that your companion’s new room is ready on the day you go to collect him/her with food, water, litter, toys and scratching post. And ensure that windows are closed tightly no matter how small or high the gap.

Ensure that there is a cat post near the cat’s bed for ease of use. This will also assist your cat in relieving stress.

(It should go without saying but one sometimes forgets to ensure that the door or lid on the pet carrier is secure so that your new companion cannot push their way out. Again do not assume that a cat cannot work their way out of a pet carrier, they can.)

Only use proper cat litter in the litter tray not earth from the garden.

On arriving home close the door (and leave it open), sit quietly, talk gently and let your new friend come out in his/her time.

Do this for a few days until your new friend appears more relaxed and not hiding away any more.

It can also help to introduce the cat to the new home by taking something that is familiar (if available) with your new companion to their new home.

There are several products on the market that assist your cat to calm down and de-stress which work like a air purifier, collar, spray or calming drops that you may add to their drinking water.

Introduction to the rest of the house

If you have dogs and other cats you will need to have introduced them first, and strict rule of thumb, dogs to be outside during the next step.

Again all doors and windows to be closed … tightly …

Open the room door and invite your new cat to come into the rest of the house and explore, and reassure him/her by talking quietly and sitting quietly – NO LOUD BANGS OR NOISES.

Don’t forget to put your companion back in the room and close the door at night or when you want to open the windows and doors in the rest of the house.

Introduction to the garden

If you have dogs and other cats you will need to have introduced them first, and strict rule of thumb, dogs to be inside during the next step.

After two weeks of getting to know the inside of your home take your cat outside only under supervision and introduce him/her to the garden, talking and reassuring your companion.

Some cats also enjoy walks on a harness and lead which are especially good for skittish cats should you be concerned that your cat might get a fright and run off.

Do this for another week to two weeks before allowing your cat to explore the garden on his/her own, but know at all times where your companion is.

WHY SPEND ALL THIS TIME AND EFFORT?

Cats are natural explorers and adventurers and love climbing so you need to go through this process in order that they know all the sights and sounds associated with you, your family, your property and other pets.

It is for your peace of mind and their safety so they don’t get lost.

 

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Hooray for Cat Furniture & Customer Testimonials!!

We often get asked: “How will the cats know that the cat post is for them?” The answer: They just do!

“Shakespeare’s sister” Xara, arrived on Tuesday (last week) and they are getting such joy out of the big cat tree! These gorgeous furkidz definitely know how to have fun and make the most of their gifts!

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Saying Forever Goodbye to your Fur Kids

“Their paw prints will forever be embedded in your heart.” ~ Dave ThorpeSaying goodbye

For an animal lover putting their companion animal to sleep (euthanasia) is one of the hardest decisions they will have to make which might be preceded by a progressing disease or even an accident, bringing with it further guilt and emotional turmoil if one cannot afford the medication or surgery needed.

This is the reality of life. And it brings with it a responsibility to make the right decision for the sake of your companion animal, not that of yourself.

WHAT IF THERE ARE CHILDREN OR TEENAGERS INVOLVED?

Dependent on their age level of comprehension get them involved in the decision. And no matter how young, do not try to shield them from the hurt by not allowing them the opportunity to say goodbye to their friend before the procedure is undertaken or lie to them after.

If necessary collect them from school. It is an opportunity to teach children and teenagers about grief and their emotions. Of all their memories, they will remember your action many years down the line. It is up to you as to whether or not it is positive or negative.

Do not get a replacement companion animal immediately after a loss, wait a while so that the owner/s have time to grieve. Only then, when everyone involved is ready, look for another fur friend, together if applicable.

BEING THERE IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

No matter how horrible you feel or what you feel you cannot face, this is not the time to be selfish – don’t leave your companion animal with the vet or at the welfare and walk away because you can’t face it. How do you think your companion animal feels?

Your loyal and loving companion needs you to be there as they breathe their last, to cradle them, to soothe them and tell them what’s happening, so at their last, they feel the warmth and comfort of the person who they have adored and served.

And don’t forget to ask the vet to overdose as there have been cases of animals which have not had sufficient barbiturate injected waking up with other bodies or en route to the disposal site.

WHAT ABOUT THE DISPOSAL OF YOUR COMPANION’S BODY?

You can consider cremation if it is within your budget or take your companion’s body for burial yourself. However, bear in mind that in South Africa municipalities bury bodies at dumpsites and it is rare that they dig trenches for the bodies and covering them with lime as they should do

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