Have you been considering getting a second kitty? If so, you have a purrfect chance: November 19th is Get Your Pet A Pal Day! Of course, your resident cat may not be thrilled to find herself with a new roommate. A Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on introducing Fluffy and Mittens below.
Keep ‘Em Separated
At first, set your new feline buddy up in a quiet back room, so she has a safe place to get her bearings. Provide all the kitty necessities: food, toys, treats, bedding, and a litterbox. Don’t leave her alone in the dark! Turn a light and radio on for her, or bring in a computer and play some programs for cats.
A trip to the vet is definitely in order. Don’t introduce Fluffy and Mittens until your vet gives the all-clear. Both kitties should be caught up on vaccines and parasite control. Ideally, they should both be fixed as well.
Paws For Thought
It probably won’t take your resident feline long to realize that there’s another kitty in town. Fluffy may sniff around Mittens’ door, and perhaps play pawsies with her. That’s fine. Wait until both cats seem to have accepted each other’s scents. Feed them both near Mittens’ door: this will help them form positive impressions about each other.
Next, swap the furballs around. This will give Mittens a chance to explore, so she won’t be as scared by not knowing what’s outside the door. Fluffy, on the other paw, will become more familiar with Mittens’ scent. Switch back and forth a few times. Your resident cat shouldn’t spend too much time in ‘lockup’ however; you don’t want her blaming Mittens for her being grounded.
This is a big deal! First impressions are very important to kitties. It’s normal to see some hissing, fluffing, and even a slap or two. However, they shouldn’t actually fight. If they do, separate them again and try another day.
The Road To Friendship
Although Fluffy and Mittens may never become besties, they should learn to live together. It may take a while for them to warm up to each other. Offer them toys and treats together, and indulge them with dual play sessions. Be patient, and don’t play favorites! These things take time.
Do you have questions about cat care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!