Helping your young and adult cats get along in your household
July 2, 2012
Your cat probably has the run of your household and knows that he or she is the object of your affection, which is why it can be difficult for your pet to get used to a younger and nimbler new companion. If you've recently decided to adopt a cat from a New York animal shelter, even the most even-keeled felines may not take too kindly to a spritely new friend. This also holds true for the young feline, whose unique brand of mischief may not be akin to your older feline's tastes. Finding harmony is important to improve both of their quality of lives, so use these tips to help speed the transition.
1. A slow introduction. When you first bring your younger cat home, the current tenant may not take too quickly to another roommate. According to WVCats.com, the new cat should be kept in a quiet room for a few days with bedding, a litter box and a few toys. Before actual introductions, start by letting each feline smell linens or towels that he or she has sat on, so they can get used to each other's scents. Gradually, you can start to have short visits in the same room, and then eventually build up to true cohabitation.
2. Increased playtime. Since most older cats would much rather take a nap than play most of the time, you'll have to ensure that you're meeting the needs of both animals, reports CatChannel.com. Aim to play two times per day and opt for the morning and evening, as these are the times of day when your young feline will have the most energy. Use interactive and stimulating toys that can simulate a hunt, such as products with feathers or plush mice at the end of a pole. After a bit of exercise, feed your cat a good meal and he or she will most likely join the older cat in some relaxation time.
3. Interactive furniture. Since the arrival of a younger cat will mark major changes in your older cat's domain, you may want to give the aging pet a few new hiding spots to escape the other feline's higher activity level. Cat trees are always a great option that will give you older feline a place to nap throughout day, and these furnishings can feature separate compartments that your cats can call their own. Window perches and other shelving units can also be quick additions that will give both pets a view to the outdoors.