So, you’ve got the house, the partner, and the children. Then the children wanted a pet, so you went with the quintessential puppy to bring home as a surprise one year. There are many reasons why it’s a good idea for children to grow up with a dog – from raising immunity levels to teaching responsibility. But, this year, they’re asking for a cat for Christmas. While it may seem like you’ve got too much on your plate already, you also can see a cat being an excellent addition to the family. Well, here’s a guide to making that cat feel right at home and for it to be as stress-free of an experience for you and your feline friend as possible.
Keep Them Separated Initially
As mentioned above, you may already have taken the plunge into dog ownership, and things are working out swimmingly. No matter how calm and affectionate your dog is, when you bring your new cat home, you want to make sure to keep the animals separated for at least a day or two. While it’s easy to separate many animals with a simple baby gate, remember cats (even kittens) can jump and jump high! So, try designating a safe room for your new cat to reside in for the first several days to get used to the smells and sounds of your house. Once they have, you can move on to step two. And, of course, if that cat is a surprise or a Christmas gift, bring the children into the cat’s room where it feels comfortable.
Provide A Safe Space For Introduction
Especially if your cat is a kitten, but even as an adult, likely the safest space for introduction to small children or other pets is in mama’s arms. So, if your cat will allow it (they all have different temperaments), hold the cat in your arms as the kids come in to “ooh” and “ahh” over your adorable new family member. Additionally, if you’re introducing a dog, try the same technique but don’t hold onto the cat if it feels the need to run away. You want the cat to trust you to let him go while also trusting its animal instincts if need be. After the first several days of being in its room, at this point, your cat can find sofas or beds to hide under if the noise of the house is overwhelming. There are also plenty of cats that end up ruling the roost, so don’t be surprised if they’re right at home with all the beautiful chaos that is your home!
Make Things Easy On Yourself!
While you’ve been focusing on making the cat and everyone else in your home comfortable the first couple of days or weeks, make things easy on yourself by minimizing the responsibilities of taking care of a pet. You need to go to vet appointments and provide playtime for your cat, but you can pare down in other areas. Sign up for delivery services for everything from their food to their toys. You can even purchase specialized litter that shows crystals in cat urine to alert you of any health issues your cat may be developing. Small investments like this pay off in significant ways like time and less worry.
Enjoy The Cuddles
While dogs have boundless energy and, in many ways, are like living hugs, cats bring so much to the table that dogs don’t. Most cats love nothing more than curling up in a small furry ball on your lap or next to your head while you sleep. Cats are quiet and confident companions that require less care than other common household pets, which for many, makes them even more loveable! Not to mention, they are OK to be left alone for your out-of-town weekend trips. So, enjoy the purring and cuddles because they’re priceless!
Cat ownership is not without responsibility, the same as being a parent to humans and dogs alike. But, like all responsibilities, it comes with an excellent reward too! So, congratulations on your new furry family member, and enjoy the ride!