Cats are one of those animals that seem to find their way into our lives,whether we want them or not. There is no such thing as ‘just a cat,’ and if someone feels that way about any feline, then they should do their best to simply avoid taking on the responsibility of caring for one. But, what makes cats so difficult to handle? It’s usually because people take on more than they can handle and don’t realize it until it’s too late and another litter has been created without their knowledge.
Cats will always be cats:
Independent, loving, loyal (to an extent), friendly with strangers (if socialized properly), cuddly when they want to be cuddly, clean obsessives (most of them) and the epitome of gracefulness.
Cats are also territorial, but in a way that people can understand. They mark their territory with smell, rather than leaving it open to interpretation like dogs do (think about all of those times you’ve seen your dog lift its leg on something). Cats leave us to interpret their territory markings through the use of urine. To put it simply, cats urinate out side their litter box because they think that there is too much stuff crammed into one spot. If there is not enough room in the litter box for a cat to turn around comfortably, then he or she will most likely pee on a nearby wall as a way of marking space as ‘theirs.’
The best thing to do is to introduce a new kitten or a young cat slowly into the home, so that it has a chance to claim its own territory. If you have an older cat already in your household, then you need to slowly introduce the newcomer by putting them together for short periods of time under safe conditions.
It’s best not to let them physically see each other just yet, but leave the room open so that they can smell the scent of another feline being in their presence. Once they have been doing this for three days, then you can allow them brief moments of visual contact – keeping both cats securely leashed until everyone is sure of one another’s intentions. The leash method works wonders on keeping peace between two cats who don’t know each other too well.
To say that cats are creatures of habit is an understatement, and you should take this into account when deciding to bring in a new cat or kitten.
The older cat will not like the addition of something new in his territory, because he already has well established boundaries within your home (in other words, he knows where the food bowl is located). The best thing to do when bringing in a new kitten or young cat into the home is to provide it with its own area to eat and drink (away from the older cat’s eating area), bedding area (again, away) and litter box (ideally near where they are eating). This way, both felines have their own ‘territory’ to claim as their own, and the introduction is much easier.
Cats are creatures of habit
Remember that you can’t let one cat up on furniture, while allowing another to sleep on the floor. Cats are creatures of habit and this means that they need consistency when it comes to their living conditions. If you let one cat do something different than what the other does, then both will become unhappy with each other (and probably with you). If your new kitten or young cat is anxious about using its litter box for some reason (maybe it’s located near food or water), then try moving it closer to these distractions – but not too close! If you bring home a brand new kitten or young cat into your household, remember that there needs to be an adjustment period where everyone gets used to each other’s scent and habits.
This is a slow process, but it will be well worth the effort you put into it when you have cats that not only co-exist with one another, but eventually become friends as well. This can take anywhere from a week to a month or more, depending on how patient you are and how much time you want to devote to the process of introducing a new cat/kitten into your household. The most important thing you can do for this little feline is to make sure he/she feels at home in its new environment!
The most effective way to introduce two cats who don’t already know each other is by using something called “scent swapping.” Put both cats in two separate, but side-by-side, carriers for a few hours. Then switch the cats to their new homes and watch them sniff each other out! It’s always best to introduce two cats by using scents since smells are how they identify each other.