Behavior Issues Affecting Your New CatAdopting A Kitten · What you’ll need · Behavior Issues · Grooming · Related articles
More cats wind up at shelters and humane societies because they have behavior problems than for any other reason. The number one cat behavior problem is inappropriate elimination. This means the cat urinates or defecates outside the litter box. There is a full discussion of Inappropriate Elimination and Spraying in the Behavior Section with steps for changing behavior. Many cats that are eliminating outside the litter box—especially those who eliminate on their caregiver’s bed—are suffering from separation anxiety. There is a full discussion of Separation Anxiety in the Behavior section.
For cat behavior tidbits, check out 50 Cat Health and Behavior Facts.
Dozens of books have been written about cats, and several are reviewed in News Section Book Reviews. Skim the reviews and see if there is a book you’d like to curl up with cradling your new cat.
Helping Your New Cat Adapt To Children
It is never advisable to leave children alone with a cat that has just become a new family member, and—depending upon the nature of your new cat—it may never do well when left with children. On the other hand, your new cat may be an ideal pet for children of all ages. Do not leave newborns, toddlers, and physically handicapped children alone with cats. Instead, enjoy the cat together with these children.
Helping Your New Cat Adjust To Your Home and Other Pets
Allow other pets in the house to smell the new cat before they see it. Carry the new cat’s scent to your other pets on a towel and allow them to sniff it. The first introduction should be through a window or screen so that they can see each other but do not feel threatened. Giving your pets treats while they are separated from but can see the new cat encourages your established pets to associate positive feelings with the new cat.
On the day you allow the new cat to physically interact with the other pets, choose a neutral room to bring them together. Limit exposure to the time you can be with them. Gradually increase the time all your pets spend together, but stay with them. Begin leaving them alone together when you’re confident they interact peacefully. Some new cats do best if they have their own sanctuary to return to. Some cats do best if fed separately. Take your time introducing a new cat because slow introductions have been proven to decrease aggression between pets. It is much more difficult to repair this aggression than it is to prevent it.
|This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.
The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.
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