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Introducing a New Cat Into Your Home – Memphis Pet Health

Posted 10.03.13 by Dr. Wooden

Humans and dogs are “pack” animals where cats are territoriality independent; knowing this is important when introducing a new cat into your home.

When adopting a new cat, it is important to create its own space/environment. The room that you select should have its own food bowl, water bowl, and litter box. Normally, there should be a litter box for every cat in the home plus one, and each litter box should be in each cats’ own territory.

Cat trees and safe cat toys are a must! Make sure that electrical cords, thread, needles, paper clips, and rubber bands are removed as the cat could swallow something harmful. Cats think “vertically” and “horizontally”.

They need places to climb on like cat trees and furniture near windows. Cats like to look out of windows during the day; actually about 40% of the time. Planting butterfly gardens or having bird feeders outside the window creates an enriching environment for those indoor kitties!

The success of introducing cats is dependent on the temperament of those involved. The more enriching the environment, the easier it is to introduce two cats. If you are experiencing aggression… stop, and involve your veterinarian. If you know or suspect that the existing cat or dog will be aggressive toward your new cat, you should seek professional behavior advice prior to the introduction.

 Introductions should be slow, controlled, and positive! When introducing two cats, introductions are best made while eating or playing. Diffusers may also be helpful.

With kittens, it is important to provide activities that involve play, exploration, scratching, and predation.

Remember that the litter box needs to change as the cat grows. The box should be 1.5 times the length of the cat and 6” from touching any fur. Most cats prefer an uncovered box without a liner. Clumping, clay litter is preferred over 80% of the time. However, do not let young cats eat clumping litter for it can cause an intestinal obstruction. A key difference between kittens and adult cats is that the adult cat requires more “personal space” so respect this during the introduction!

Most importantly, have patience and have fun, cats can get along and be a wonderful addition to your home.

If you have questions or concerns about your new feline friend give us a call at any of our five locations throughout Memphis!

 

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