Hi! I’m Dr. Mary Stauder at Manchester West Veterinary Hospital.
I wanted to talk today about the new Christmas kittens.
What do we do when we bring them home and Santa delivers them? Well the first thing we do is we take the ribbon off. It’s driving the little one crazy.
And how do you introduce them to the older cats in the house? All of the young kittens certainly have a lot of energy and a lot of stuff going on, so we need to make sure the older cat has time alone. Perhaps the kitten needs to be confined in one area of the house or one room, or it can be shut away with its own food and litter box. And the older cat has a chance to get out and catch their breath, and make sure their favorite areas are still secure.
Also, making sure the older cat has her food and water and litter box unmolested by this little kitten. So it wouldn’t be unusual to have several feeding stations and definitely with two cats, even three litter boxes. Make sure it has plenty of room to play and such.
Also height; make sure your older cat can go up or vertical where the little cat can’t climb just yet.
Mostly, it’s about getting the kitten space.
Some older cats get quite upset when the new cats come home and there are a few tricks. Get the kitten confined letting the older cat feel around and smell under the door. You can even take something as simple as a cotton ball and you rub it on the kitten’s cheeks and chin because you know how cats like to rub on you. Well there’s actually a gland that secretes pheromones – this little thing is wild – and you take the cotton ball that’s been rubbed on the kitten and you rub it down the back of your cat and kind of cross the scent. Then you do the opposite. Take the cotton ball and rub it on your cat’s cheeks and chin and then wipe it on the kitten. And that cross scent will encourage some familiarity to feel more comfortable because cat’s rub on you and mark areas that they’re happy with and comfortable with, so that’s a good way to build sense.
When playing gets a little rough, you can certainly separate out the kitten and send it back to its little house or play area where your cat can get some peace and quiet.
So, it’s a little work. It’s not hard to transition and bring a new little bundle of joy to your house at Christmas.
My name is Dr. Mary Stauder at Manchester West Veterinary Hospital.