This weeks weekly wag is about cats. Cats have a harder time adjusting to a new environment than dogs. (Even if something is changed to a cat already adjusted to household it affects them). The following info goes for a kitten or an adult cat. Hopefully it is an adopted cat.
The first 24 hours the cat should have his/her own space, whether it is a room or a special place in the house away from all other pets. Have a food and water dish, litter box, toys and bed. Preferably something they can get into like a cat house. A cardboard box and blanket will work. Cats love to ‘”get away” from it all. (Kittens will play with about any household item, no need to buy out the store).
Introduce the new cat to the other pets, dogs and cats, slowly by letting them smell each other. Observe how the cat and other pets interact. The other pets will be curious at this new creature in their domain. After 24 hours let the cat and other pets interact for brief periods, allowing the new cat to be able to get back to their “space” when needed.
After your new cat has adjusted to your household she/he should always have a “space” that is just for them, even if it is only their own bed. The general rule is have one litter box for every cat and one extra. Use your own judgement on this. Some cats already in the house will start spraying (urinating) throughout the house to mark their territory when an addition comes.
My rescued kitten, Rey, was brought home at 8 weeks and now 8 months old. She has now integrated so well, she thinks she is part dog. She comes and sits for treats when the dogs get theirs. She wants to eat everyone’s food, washes my little Shih Tzu and rubs against my Golden Retriever. Rey is sitting with me now at the computer, her favorite place! Her editing is horrible!