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.
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 and now going into a new environment as an outsider.
Speak quietly and gently to them as they pick up mood and bonding from your voice. When they bite in play or pull at you for your attention, do not get angry but speak quietly to them as cats seem to understand more when treated gently.
At all times be patient with cats and kittens and let them come to you. Never hit or scream at a cat or kitten.
Cats don’t always take kindly to having another come into their home as they are territorial and you will be introducing a new cat whom they might deem to be an intruder so you will probably witness hissy fits, yowling and anger. However, don’t interfere or scold.
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 a resting place as cats feel more secure if they have height and can look down on others.
Try to ensure that all your cats are microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed and sterilised. (If you have adopted a kitten from a welfare organisation, many will organise the spay and neuter with you; if you have obtained the cat or kitten from other sources, liaise with your vet to determine the age at which they will consider your kitten for sterilisation.)
Come into any of our stores and chat with the staff to find out what calming products we have which will be suitable for your cats. Catnip will also help and can be sprinkled on the scratching post, on the beds or on the floor.
Scent plays an important role in all animals.
Do not let your cats who are already entrenched, in the room with the new kitty for the first couple of days, instead take items from the new cat and the home kids and swap them, so that they start to become acclimatised to each other’s scent.
And let them sniff each other through the door.
On the second or third day allow each resident cat to come into the room and spend some time under your supervision so that the new and each resident cat can suss each other out face-to-face.
𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲/𝗔𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁
Ensure that all the windows and doors are securely closed at home even if it is summer! If you go outside, ensure that your new friend is nowhere near to slip past you.
After a few days let your cat/kitten come out of the room to explore the house at its leisure under supervision.
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 time to time.
If you have dogs ensure that they are outside and also ensure that all the doors and windows in the house are closed securely.
𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗖𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗻
Once you are certain the new cat/kitten is comfortable in the house with the other cats, allow him/her outside under strict supervision for the first 10 to 14 days until you’re sure that the cat knows his/her boundaries.
You already have resident cats, and you know this time and effort is worth it; we at the SAVetshops group wish you many years of joy with all your feline companions.
Please call in at any of our stores to discuss how we can help you keep your companions in optimum condition.