The Star-Herald

A new family member

The Central Aroostook Humane Society has many beautiful cats in all colors and sizes, and all need a wonderful loving home.   

Many people say, “I have a cat and I don’t think she would want another cat in her territory.” There are a few cats that are hesitant to accept a new furry family member, but there are ways to make it work. Most of us have enough love for more than one animal.  

PetParents.com offers some ways to introduce a kitten to a family with an adult cat.  

It is important to remember the kitten is the subordinate and the adult cat is the dominant one.  Often these encounters go beautifully, but to ensure such here are some steps you may want to take.  

For the first few days put the kitten in a room by itself.  This will give the adult cat a chance to hear the mewing and smell the kitten.  Next, put the kitten in a cage and place it in an area where the cat is and let them look at each other.   There may be some hissing and carrying on, but they are starting to accept each other.  The kitten may puff herself up as this is a natural defense to anything different.  She may be very leery of this huge cat.  Continue to keep the kitten and the cat separate until they seem to accept each other.   This could take some time, but generally it works out.   

When they are allowed to be together, it is important to not forget the older cat and give each equal attention.  

Socializing an adult cat with another adult cat is done a little differently.  Adult cats are very much a product of habit, and they are not too happy about another adult cat moving in and taking over, especially using the same litter box and enjoying his humans’ attention.  It is important that the new cat walk around the room where the current cat spends time and leave his scent.  It is important that the current cat not be there.   After the new cat has left his scent, put him in a secure area and let the other cat walk around and sniff his scent.    

Don’t put them together at first, but hold one on your lap and play with it, and then put it down and do the same with the other cat.   This way both will know by smelling each other that they can trust each other.  

It is important that the cats eat together, and that way they associate eating with good food and happy times.  It is most important that each cat have his own bowl, but the bowls should be close together.  After eating, both cats should be satisfied and content. Hopefully, they will then groom themselves and bond.

Bringing a kitten or cat into a household where a dog rules supreme can be done very successfully by following a few steps.  Before they meet, put the cat in a safe room or in a cage where the dog can get used to her scent.  Don’t be in a rush for them to get together.   Sometimes the dog can be in more danger if the cat lunges at him with her claws.  Never leave the two unsupervised until they are socialized, and you feel comfortable with the situation.  Those pictures we see sometimes of a cat curled up with a dog are really possible.

The Central Aroostook Humane Society is housing so many beautiful cats right now that need homes.   Please visit us and give a kitten or cat a permanent home.  

Remember to be responsible pet owners: spay and neuter.

Carolyn Cheney is a member of the board for the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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