Hello all, and welcome back to the blog!
Last week’s post was our first installation in our featured pet series- so if you want to read about an adorable dog currently up for adoption- go check it out!
Now let’s talk about our topics for the next few weeks… I guess that the cat’s out of the bag, because we're all about kittens!
We all want our pets to feel at home, so it’s natural to want them to have run of the space. Cats are territorial though, so moving to a new home can be overwhelming. We recommend limiting them to a room or two for the first couple of days or weeks. This will help them better adjust, and give you a little more time to kitten proof!
2. Let’s get down and dirty: litter boxes.
Litter boxes are great. No, I mean it. Litter boxes are great, and I love cats for using them, because it simplifies things for everyone. Logistically speaking, litterboxes are pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll go over a couple key things:
Litter boxes should have 1-2 inches of litter, and to help make your kitty comfortable, we suggest putting it somewhere semi-private. Because, you know, that’s a private matter!
If you’re not sure what litter to go for, check out this article: https://www.petfinder.com/cats/bringing-a-cat-home/choose-cat-litter/
3. Nutrition: This is pretty simple, but make sure your new friend has food and water bowls, preferably located away from the litter. Most cats I know can drink out of basically anything (Mine share my dog’s giant water bowl!), but they are small creatures. Especially if adopting a kitten, double check and make sure the dishes you’re using are an appropriate size.
Okay guys, here’s the big one: meeting the family
If there are multiple people in your house or apartment, it’s crucial to go over rules for interacting with your pet. Some topics to keep in mind are: Letting the pet come to you; not chasing them, avoiding getting in their face (this would be overwhelming for anyone- let alone an animal in a new situation!), and being gentle when petting/picking up your new pet- especially relevant if there are younger members of your household.
If there are some youngin’s who will be around your new pet, you may want to consider monitoring the beginning interactions.
5. Kitty Claws: We all face the fear that a new pet could be detrimental to furniture- this doesn’t have to be the case though! Cat’s claws need to worn down, otherwise they can get uncomfortably long and your friend may start using your favorite chair as a scratching post. There’s a simple fix to this though, get an approved scratching place! This could be as simple as some fun cardboard, or you could go all the way with a cat tree with a scratching post. Here’s a fun one with catnip: https://www.amazon.com/Catit-Scratcher-Catnip-Jungle-Stripe-Lounge/dp/B0032G6VVQ/ref=zg_bs_2975247011_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=B0GTGDZ519YPWKEHKGZ6
Or a super fun post with a toy: https://www.amazon.com/Paws-Stuff-Tall-Scratching-Interactive/dp/B07BY385RX/ref=zg_bs_2975247011_9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=B0GTGDZ519YPWKEHKGZ6
6. Sibling Rivalries? We went over introducing family members, but now let’s talk about other pets. We all want our pets to get along, and though it’s a delicate process, it ispossible. And you can do it! Delicate doesn’t necessarily mean hard. First thing’s first: Let your new pet get comfortable in your home. Moving in is overwhelming, so introducing other pets to an already stressful situation is not ideal. Give your new pet a chance to look around and get used to things. This will also give your pet time to get used to the scent of any other animals you may have in your house.
Like with kids (fur-babies, amirite?), introduce them under supervision, and keep them in a controlled environment. If you have a dog, it’s probably ideal that it stays on a leash during the first few meetings. I also recommend keeping feedings separate. Again, cats are territorial, so immediately putting them with another animal may cause feeding anxiety, which we definitely want to avoid.
Make sure you praise good behavior! This isn’t hard because… I mean, we all praise our pets. They’re just too cute not to. However, it is important that they know when they’re doing something right, and praise will reinforce the behaviors you want them to keep up.
7. Safe Spaces: we’ve all seen how much cats love boxes.
Need I say more?
Seriously though, cats love to cozy up, especially in semi-enclosed spaces. Cat carriers are great choices, especially if they’re familiar with one in particularly. Other good options include cat trees with little nooks, or, as shown above, a good ol’ box.
Personally, my boyfriend’s six (6!) cats all love these: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Sheri-Small-Cuddle/dp/B01FOB5I3I/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?hvadid=243374397992&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1021017&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=7940568717547789009&hvtargid=kwd-410350724080&keywords=cuddle+cup+cat+bed&qid=1554149185&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1
Alright Folks, that’s all for this week. Thanks for tuning in! Come back next week for more tips on Cat Care (I’m going to have to trademark this), and comment any questions!
PS, these are articles I found super helpful while writing this week’s feature:
Joy Shanahan is a student at Appalachian State University with a passion for community service. She can be found in the dance studios at ASU or researching helpful animal tips for Lee Shore.