Animal Clinic Cat Counseling
Are you having behavior issues with your cat or kitten and don’t know what to do? Are you trying to introduce a new pet, or are you having trouble with kitty interactions within your multi-cat family? If you really love your pets and want to make your relationship work, we now have a certified cat behavior counselor. Our goal is to help you understand and solve your kitty behavior problems so you can live in harmony with your furry friends.
Please call or e-mail with your questions. We will get back to you as soon as possible. The only cost is your time and it may just improve your understanding and interaction with your four-legged best friend forever!
We are proud to be a Gold Level participant of the GuideStar non-profit directory! For more detailed information about our organization, please check us out at GuideStar.org!
Introducing a New Feline Companion
The key to success is to make a gradual introduction to your resident cat. An incoming cat needs to get used to both the new territory and the sight and smell of the resident cat. Each step listed below will take approximately one week. Only proceed to the next step when the cats are doing well with the current one. If a problem develops, go back and spend more time on the previous step. Although this gradual introduction method will take extra time and effort on your part it will greatly increase your chance of success in developing a friendly if not loving relationship between your cats!
1. Exchange of Smells. Keep the new cat separated from the resident cat. A small room is best which will serve as the cat’s safe room. Give the new cat a blanket or pillow that the resident cat has laid on and something that has the new cat’s smell should be given to the resident cat. Exchange the bedding daily so both cats can become familiar with the other cat’s scent.
2. Supervised Exploration. Keep the resident cat in a separate room while letting the new cat investigate other parts of your home. Keep some doors closed in a large home so the new cat isn’t overwhelmed. Expand the area of exploration as the new cat becomes comfortable.
3. Visual Introductions without Physical Contact. Open the door slightly and let the cats see each other from a comfortable distance as you offer them a meal or treat. Gradually decrease the distance between the food bowls and open the door a little more. You can also use a baby gate across the doorway to keep the cats physically separated.
4. Physical Introductions While Supervised. Let the cats meet each other. Have a couple of toys or treats handy to help the cats associate one another with something positive. Keep the sessions short and always end on a positive note. Stay calm as the cats can sense your anxiety.
5. Physical Introductions with Less Supervision. Continue the physical introduction period while you are in the house but don’t constantly monitor their interactions. Go about your normal routine while checking in on them.
6. Solo Physical Introductions. In this final stage the cats are at least tolerating each other well. Begin to leave the cats home alone for short periods of time. Gradually increase the home alone time.