New pet parents, hear! Hear!
Bringing home a new kitten or cat is going to be more exciting than you could have imagined. However, it could be a little scary for them. It is going to be an emotional rollercoaster – on one hand, you want to cuddle, and all the cat wants to do is hide from you.
So, new cat guardians, it’s time to avoid the common pitfalls. Let us give you some tips so that you can bond with them sooner and they can settle in better and happier.
1. Don’t give them all the space in the house
Imagine being in a story where you are lost in a giant’s house. Scary, huh? Now imagine how a kitten must feel, overwhelmed by unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. When they go to a new home and have the run of the entire place, it can be very frightening for them.
Set the kitten or cat in a small room with their bed, food, water, toys, and litter box. Give them time and space. Once they are familiar with their small world, they will start exploring the rest of their house on their own.
2. Don’t suffocate them with love
We know, we know, they are too cute to resist. But cats are independent, self sufficient creatures and prefer to make the first approach. When you invade their personal space or cuddle them too much and too often, they will either scratch you and escape or fear all that attention and try to escape. Be patient with them and let them make the first move. Avoid staring at them too much as well; it might be misconstrued as aggression. Just watch them from the corner of your eye.
3. Don’t introduce them to too many pets
If you have other pets, or are going to welcome some guest pets, it is a bad idea to introduce your cat straightaway to them. When you put the new cat in a room with the other pets, it might ruffle a few feathers (and paws). Felines don’t cope so well with change; let them get used to the idea. Instead, go for a slow introduction by mixing their scents. You can use the technique of scent handshakes, which involves stroking one cat and then the other, so they sniff each other remotely. This helps them get acquainted with each other.
4. Don’t ignore cat behaviour needs
So did you think cats just like to eat, sleep, and play? You are wrong. Cats need to display a wide range of natural cat behaviours that scratching, climbing, and even some hunting. If you don’t provide for these needs, your favourite furniture could end up becoming the victim. Get home plenty of scratching posts, and you could also use puzzle feeders to simulate hunting behaviours. Win-win!
5. Don’t assume a false sense of security
Cats remain indoors most of the times, but that doesn’t mean no harm can come to them. They are still bound to fall, or worse, break a leg. What if they swallow something they shouldn’t have and choke? These can all be costly. We are not scaring you, but only letting you know that they need as much attention in terms of being looked after, as any other pet.
Follow these simple guidelines, avoid the mistakes, and have a happy bonding time!