Tag Archives: kittens

Introducing your cat to a new cat

If you are reading this, chances are you already own a fur baby and now you are thinking of getting a new one added to your family.  Cats are very territorial in the sense that they like to know they are the kings and queens of their home so by introducing a new member will make them feel less in control and they would then in turn treat the other cat with hostility.

There are some rare cases where you will find a cat to be friendly and welcoming to a next feline, but like i said, very RARELY.

I have had an instance where one of my cats that i owned a while back would go wandering for days and one day he returned with a friend.  He was very happy and loving towards his new friend and i ended up keeping that cat as well (didn’t really have a choice in the matter, because he kept coming back lol), he was a very sweet, adorable animal.  It took him a while before he got accustomed to me though but he eventually did and he became part of the family. I name him “Squatter”.

In the not so rare cases, there would be cat fights, so to avoid that from happening there are steps you should take from the beginning.  It’s better to be prepared and have a happy introduction.

SEPARATE ROOMS

Your existing kitty will already have access to the whole house because it’s his house, but for an introduction to take place, you will need for these two kitties to be separated for a while.  They are going to need their own space to be comfortable in, so make sure to have a separate room for when the new kitty arrives. Don’t let the two cats see each other as yet.  In this room you are going to have to fully equip it with a water bowl, feeding bowl and a litter box.  Your new kitty has to get accustomed to his new space so put a few toys in there for him as well.



THE INTRODUCTION

Even though your current kitty hasn’t seen the new kitty as yet doesn’t mean he doesn’t know that he is there.  Cats do sense these things.  After a few days when you think your new cat is comfortable enough, the introduction part has to take place.  This has to be done in a completely different space, where either of them are not using as a room to sleep in.  This way neither of them will feel like their space is being invaded.

Make sure the room or space you choose to do the introduction, is safe for you and for the cats.  You have to be prepared for any attacks or bites on you and on your furniture.  The room therefore needs to be spacious with easy exit routes so that they wouldn’t feel confined.  Let your current kitty into the room first, let him be comfortable and then introduce the new kitty to him.  What you can do, if there is someone else with you when you are doing this, let them sort of distract one of the kitties by playing games with him or just by patting and stroking him to make him calm.  Have treats on hand so they will associate the whole interaction as something positive.


HOW TO MAKE THE CATS GET ALONG

Truth be told there is no way to make this happen.  Cats are cats, they each have their own unique personality and only they can decide whether or not they want to be friends, playmates, caring siblings or just rivals.  You can’t force them to like each other, all you can do is just give them their space and only time will tell.  Also, you will need to give your new cat time to be able to adjust to you (his new owner), his surroundings and his new feline companion.

What you can do is:

TREAT ALL CATS EQUAL

We all know cats to be the jealous type, some show it distinctively while others just keep to themselves.  This is not good for anybody, you need to treat each cat the same, give them both the same amount of attention, love and support.  By doing this neither of them will feel neglected or have the need to fight for their owner’s love.  Let them have the same type and amount of food and toys.

You have a new cat in your home so you also have to make this one comfortable in his surroundings, your current kitty is already comfortable so now you just need to give them time to adjust and get accustom to each other and all the changes around them.

USE OF PHEROMONES

You may opt to use a cat calmer if you think it is needed.  There are a few on the market you can choose from that are made from all-natural ingredients and are quite safe to use.


WHAT NOT TO DO

If you are taking advice from others, they might tell you to do the whole introduction in an unknown territory for both cats.  They will say that having both cats in a different atmosphere will help them to adjust together at the same time.  Being in a different space will be overwhelming for both cats when it comes to the different sights, smells and sounds.  This in turn will make them quite timid and not open to each other.

Leaving personal belongings hanging around the area where your cats are going to be can be a cause for concern.  If these objects are fragile and/or have some sentimental value then you would want to keep these items away.  These cats may have an array of mixed emotions in their new environment and may cause them to be quite destructive by jumping on surfaces.

There you have it, a complete guide on how to go about introducing your cat to a new cat and how to make sure they get along in the  process as well.  Patience is the KEY word here if you don’t get the results you expected, both cats need time to get used to each other.

Do Follow:

Caring for your cats

 

Cats and Babies? What are the benefits?

Many questions arise when it comes to having a new born baby in the home.  What should you do with your cat?  Is it safe for your cat to be around your baby?  Well in this article you will be able to feel a little more at ease to know some of the benefits of having a cat around your new born baby.  Recent studies have shown that cats actually help babies lower their risk of having the cold and sniffles during the first year of the baby’s life.

 

How is this possible?

Researchers have found that cats (pets in general) help boost kids’ immune system.  Yes! Surprisingly all that cat dander and germs you try so aimlessly to get rid of from your cat is actually good for your baby and kids.  All the exposure to these things help to develop your children’s immune systems which will lead to better health.

In a Report in the Journal Paediatrics, a case was done where they found that babies who grew up in a home with a pet were less likely to get sick than children who were in pet-free homes.  Previous research also linked the presence of pets with a lower risk of allergies in babies.

 

Other benefits include:

  1. Cats help kids build friendships. Having a cat will help your child to be kind and loving and will also help them learn to share and give, this in turn will be a trait they will carry with them in building friendships with other children.  It will also make it easier for the shyest of kids to feel more comfortable talking with other children who also own cats.
  2. They help build confidence. Owning a cat will help your child to build the confidence in applying for that position in his/her favorite sport for e.g.  Playing games at home with their cat will show them that there is no need to have any fear and for them to feel more comfortable when it comes to the big game.  Cats do like to play games like football and table tennis by hitting the ball around.
  3. They teach kids Responsibility. Having a cat is a big responsibility and by having your kids help you care for them will actually make them responsible children.  So the next time you have to give your cat a bath, let your kids help.  Other things they can help with are:
  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Changing the water in the water bowls and
  • Having the litter box cleaned.

By having them do these things will not only help them to be responsible but will also teach them how to maintain a regular schedule.  Cats are creatures of habit so they will learn the specific times in which they will want to be fed, to play and when they just want to sleep.

  1. More Exercise. Cats and pets on the whole, make kids exercise more and not be a couch potato.  Cats love to jump, climb and run around, playing different games so this will keep your kids busy and they will also learn a few yoga moves by trying to imitate a cat who likes to stretch and put themselves in all sorts of positions.
  2. They can make your child smarter. A study at the University Bristol have found that cats are not only smarter than dogs but also their owners are smarter as well!  Why aren’t we surprised by this, it was always known but now it’s proven.  Your child will be spending a lot of time not only caring for these precious animals but also finding ways to outwit their sly ways, inventing games to keep them occupied and keeping them out of harm’s way and trouble.
  3. Empathy.  Children with cats grow a special bond with them and this bond teaches them how to be caring and loving at an early age.  If a child is kind towards her pet she will automatically practice these feelings in different places like schools, in sports etc. and will most likely grow up to be a very respectable individual.
  4. They help kids read better. Cats are loving, caring felines who are non-judgemental and a good listener.  Kids who spend time reading to their cats aloud feel more comfortable and confident and will make reading a more enjoyable experience especially for the ones who have a harder time at understanding all these letters on a page.

So there you have it! If you already own a cat and have children then you have nothing to worry about, if you have kids and don’t have a pet then I hope that the above mentioned ways will help you realise how good it is to own a cat!

Here are some pretty awesome gift ideas that your kids will love




Travelling with your cat

Travelling With your Cat

If you are an outdoor person or someone who likes to travel for leisure or even workwise, you may not think of carrying your cat with you but sometimes we may not be as fortunate to have a cat-sitter and then there are some of us who consider our cats to be part of the family and will not want to leave them out!!  If you are thinking about travelling with your cat, it is possible and here you will find a few tips on how to go about doing it.

Choosing an Airline

If you are travelling by air your first step would be choosing an airline that will allow you to travel with your pet.  Once that is done then you will have to find out that specific airline’s pet policies, restrictions and so forth.  Pets are allowed to travel on a commercial airline as checked baggage cargo, as manifest cargo or in-cabin.  In-cabin is the best option for you and your pet, this way you will be able to keep an eye on them throughout the flight.  This option allows for you to stow the carrier under your seat.

The carrier in which is to be used will be specific by the airline, size may vary so make sure to find out the correct dimensions.


Checked Baggage cargo or Manifest cargo

Again you will need to find out which airline accepts Checked Baggage cargo.  Most airlines accept Manifest cargo where your cat will be stored in the cargo hole in a special sized crate. This option is mostly used when you are not accompanying your pet.  We will learn more about this in another article.  When you choose your carrier you will then have to get your cat used to going into it.  This is where planning in advance comes in, by training your cat to go into the carrier even when you are not actually going anywhere will make it a lot easier on the actual day of travelling.  Some ways to do this are:

Give them treats when they go into their carrier without a fuss
Put a catnip toy in the carrier so they will be encouraged to go in
Try putting something belonging to you in the carrier so that they will get your scent and feel more comfortable.
If your cat still doesn’t want to go in, the last alternative would be to use a cat calmer on the day of travelling. Cat calmer is a natural relaxer which will keep your cat calm for several hours.  Perfect if you have a long flight.


After choosing your airline and getting your right size carrier the next step would be to find out what is your destination’s requirements for pets.  Where will you be staying? Is it pet friendly? Do they allow pets?  These are questions you need to find answers to, a pet friendly hotel or bed and breakfast or whatever you choose to stay at.  Next, wherever your destination, there will be certain requirements specific to that country.  Documents will be needed which will have information about the health of your pet.  The most serious of health cases in most countries is rabies so most likely your cat will need to be vaccinated.  These documents also known as a Pet Passport which is attainable by any veterinarian will have to be handed over to officials at the airport.  Best way to keep your documents are in a waterproof pouch or case.
Okay! So now we are all set with where we are going and how we are getting there.  The next step would be packing!

What to Pack

Your cat is part of the family so just think of it as packing for an extra member.  You will need the basic essentials like:

Food and water. It’s always better to be prepared.  Choose what is easier and more convenient for you.  You will need to do more research on where you will be staying if there are any nearby pet stores available for you to purchase food there and be sure they have the same pet food your cat eats.  We don’t want to be changing your cat’s diet because there will be a chance that your cat will refuse to eat.  If it’s not available then you will need to pack extra food.  Bottle water is recommended to be used both for you and your pet.  This can be purchased to limit the weight of your baggage.  Food and water bowls is a must.  Try to keep the feeding routine the same as when you are home because cats on the hold just doesn’t like it when things change.
Litter Box. You will need to pack a litter box as well, because your cat will already be used to it.  A folding travel/portable litter box will be ideal and again don’t change the litter to anything other than what he is used to.  This is also perfect to use if your cat needs the toilet at the airport.  Just put some cat litter in a few Ziploc bags, go into the washroom choose a corner, the litter box doesn’t require a lot of space, put the litter in and your cat will be comfortable to go off when he needs to.  Please discard litter into trash and wash the tray out.  Be considerate to other travellers and don’t wash the litter down the sink.Disposable litter pads will also be useful when your cat is in his carrier.  It will keep the carrier fresh and odor free.


Identification Tags. We all need to keep ourselves and our pet safe, so we need to also be prepared.  If for some reason your cat gets lost an identification tag will be very helpful.  Information like your cell phone # or the # at the hotel you will be staying at will be best if someone should find him.


Cat Harness. You will need a harness if you want to do outdoor activities with your cat, remember this is a vacation for everyone so you can’t exclude him and leave him at the hotel!    Also, do more homework on the different restaurants and café’s that are nearby to make sure they will allow pets to enter their institution.


Cat Bed. This is optional, if you don’t want your cat sleeping on the same bed as you and you want to limit the amount of cat hair on the furniture to make cleaning easier, a cat bed would be a good choice.  You may want to get a small cat pad or bed to take up little space because most rooms in hotels and bed/breakfast are small.  If you already have a cat bed at home it will be wise to get a smaller one that is easy to clean.


Toys.  Your cat will need some toys to keep him occupied while you are engaged in other things, or if you want to have some bonding time with your cat.  Just pack one or two, you don’t need a lot.


Medication.  If your cat is taking any medication do remember to pack it.
Extra sheets and towels. This will be needed just in case of any mishaps your cat may have in the hotel room.  Always better to be prepared.  You may want to cover the furniture with the sheets to keep it clean.
A brush. Your cat will need to be groomed during your stay.
How to keep your cat safe and happy.

Travelling with your cat can be a task, but if you prepare in advance and follow the right procedure then things can be easier.  If you are travelling in a car with your cat be sure to not leave your cat locked in the car even if you think it’s for a short period of time.  Always make sure that the temperature in your vehicle is not too cold or hot, if you are feeling comfortable then sure enough they will be too.  Always keep an eye on your cat at all times, there may be others looking at your cat and they may want to snatch him away.

Keep feeding schedules the same as home as I mentioned above.  Once your kitty has the same routine of eating, sleeping and playing, they will adapt better to the surroundings.

Find the nearest veterinary clinic and keep the contact numbers on hand in case of any emergency.

By following these simple steps I hope it will make it easier for you to travel with your feline friend.

Anyone who has travelled with their cat and would like to share pictures and their experiences I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment in the comment box.

Do Follow:

Caring for your cats

 

Getting a Kitten? Here is how to get started

There is nothing better than having a kitten to liven up your home.  These sweet adorable furballs will have you and your guests entertained.  If you have kids they will be the best playmates for them and it will also help your kids learn to take care and build their skills of having the responsibility of another living creature.  If you are wondering how to get started and what you need to be able to take care of your first cat, you have come to the right place.   What you will need to get started:

  • A Special Area in your house
    Your kitten will need their own little area to be in, this will not only be for their comfort and benefit but it will also make cleaning up a lot easier for you.  Wherever you choose to place your kitten, be sure to have a window for enough sunlight to enter and for your kitten to be able to see outside.  A window perch will be perfect if your budget allows for it, here are some recommended products, click images for more detail
  • A Litter Box
    This is a must if you don’t want to have cat poop all over the house!  Your kitten will have to get used to his litter box just like everything else and he will have to learn how to use it.  It may take some time for him to get it right but with a little help from his owners it may be much sooner.  He will find a spot that you will notice he is always using as his poop area, place the litter box in that spot.  If he refuses to use the litter box then you may have to change the type of litter brand.  Cats tend to have their own preference when coming to what they poop in!
    Litter boxes come in various shapes and sizes and there are a lot of options to choose from.
  • Food and Water Bowls
    Yes you need these.  Food and water should be in separate bowls and when choosing the bowls make sure it’s the right size for your kitten or cat.  Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are much preferred over plastic because it is easier to clean and also because the plastic tends to host bacteria and fungi.  It also causes cat acne.    Wash bowls everyday to keep them clean and bacteria free.
  • Bedding
    Cats love to sleep!  When choosing a bed for your cat make sure it’s very soft and comfortable because this is where they will spend most of their time.  Having a bed for your cat doesn’t mean that he will not find other places to sleep, like on top your bed or your couch.  If you want to keep him on his own bed then you will have to choose a bed that he will not want to part with.  There are many options to choose from.
  • Toys, Toys and more Toys 
    Kittens love to play, indoors and out.  If you let your kitten outside they will find lots of things to keep them entertained and will run after nearly everything down to a leaf!  But indoors you would want to have special toys for them not only for you to  bond with your pet but to also help with their development and skills.
    See also article on How to keep your cat occupied while you are at work for more options.
  • Grooming 
    Taking care of your cat and making sure he looks good may take some time but it’s also bonding time for both of you.  Grooming is an essential part to your kitty’s start in having a healthy and happy life.  A few things you will need to get started are:A stainless steel comb
    A bristle brush 
    A flea Comb 
    A nailclipper designed for cats 
  • Scratching Posts/Furniture
    Scratching and clawing on furniture is a cat’s way of stretching his muscles and it’s their way of claiming territory, in other words there is no way to prevent them from doing it so in order to keep them off your furniture and to start off with a good relationship with your pet you should invest in a scratching post.   Recommended reading article on how to stop your cat from clawing the furniture will give you some good ideas and tips.
  • Cat Collars and Carriers
    Cat Collars are good for both indoor and outdoor pets.  It’s a safe way of keeping your cat close to you and also it should contain an identification tag.   Cat collars are also a cute way of personalizing their looks.
    A Carrier is a must when you have to travel with your pet.  By no means try to carry your pet to the vet in a vehicle without a carrier!  Nothing is worse than having a scared kitten jumping around in your vehicle.
  • A visit to the vet
    Depending on where you get your new kitten/cat, it’s a good idea to find out when was their last visit to the vet or if it all.  If not then it will be a good idea to carry your kitten for a check-up to make sure everything is good and when they will be needing any vaccinations or for any other health advice.

These are just a few things to get you started in preparing for that big day!  You don’t want to have to be running around like a fish out of water the night you bring your new kitten home to realise that you don’t have one of these items.

Do Follow:

 Allergic to cats?  What can you do….