Here at the ASPCA we often chat about how two cats are better than one. However, for a solo kitty who is accustomed to being king or queen of your castle, er, house, introducing a new feline friend to your home can be a bit stressful.
If you decide to bring a second cat into your home, proceed slowly and with patience. It takes most cats 8 to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. By following these three steps, you can make sure that the transition goes smoothly:
Making the introduction: Allow the cats to smell and hear each other, without any visual or physical contact just yet. Give each cat his or her own food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, and bed on separate sides of a door in your home. After a few days, switch the cats’ locations so they can check out each other’s scents. Try playing with the cats near the door. They might even reach under the door to play “paws” with each other!
Seeing eye-to-eye: After a week or so, assuming neither cat has shown signs of aggression (hissing, growling, etc.), let the cats meet each other face-to-face. You might want to put a baby gate or screen door between them. Set each cat down a few feet away from the barrier. When the cats notice each other, call out their names and toss them some tasty treats. Over the next few days, continue to offer treats, meals and playtime close to the barrier.
Together at last:Supervise your cats’ initial interactions very carefully. Allow them to spend time together when things are low-stress, such as after strenuous play. Keep a spray bottle on hand in case they begin to fight. As the cats become more familiar with each other, allow them to gradually spend more and more time together.
Valentine’s Day is just days away—and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t planning to spend at least part of it with the furry loves of our lives. If you’re looking for an excuse to spend some time with your pets on February 14, here are a few ways you can put some four-legged fun into the holiday:
• Take a romantic stroll. Getting active with your pets is a great way to strengthen your bond. Healthy adult dogs, for example, need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day, so show your pet how much you love her by taking her on a jaunt through the park at sunset.
At the ASPCA, we see many feline victims of High Rise Syndrome each year, but perhaps none so lucky as three-year-old Pereque, who miraculously survived a fall from a five-story apartment building window right onto a spiked fence.
After his fall, Pereque’s pet parent rushed him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where he underwent surgery with ASPCA Director of Surgery Dr. J’mai Gayle that same day.
Pereque sustained only non-life threatening injuries—in fact, he didn’t even have a broken bone! Fortunately for Pereque, the spikes on the fence just missed his femoral artery, and all of his major organs were unharmed.
ASPCA Veterinarian Dr. Laura Niestat also treated Pereque during his stay at AAH and released him to his pet parent three days later.
“I believe he ultimately did quite well,” Dr. Gayle says.
We’re so glad we were able to treat this resilient kitty when he needed us most!
For more information about our emergency veterinary care services, please visit the ASPCA Animal Hospital online.
Happy new year from all of us here at the ASPCA! As you set your resolutions for 2013, don’t forget to consider ways to improve your pet’s wellbeing, too. Providing a little bit of extra grooming or playtime for your pet can go a long way. We suggest you start by making a few simple resolutions that will keep your furry friends healthy and happy from January to December.
Here are some easy ways to get started:
Exercise time! Before you rush to join a gym, consider ways to incorporate your pet into your new workout routine. Healthy adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day—jogging, swimming and playing at the dog park are all great options. Engage your cat with rousing play sessions of chase and fetch with furry toys, small balls or toy mice.
Battle the bulge. Humans aren’t the only ones who might need to cut back on excess food after the holidays. This year, vow to lay off those table scraps and consider switching your cat or dog to a well-balanced, high-quality pet food.
Schedule a check-up. Give your veterinarian the chance to notice any developing illnesses by scheduling regular check-ups for your pet. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make an appointment today!
IDs, please! Get an updated look by outfitting all of your animal companions—even indoor pets—with an ID tag. Implanted microchips are also a smart option.
After weeks of gift shopping, cookie baking and house decorating, it’s finally time to celebrate! From all of us here at the ASPCA, we’d like to send warm holiday wishes to you and your pets.
As you’re making your last-minute holiday to-do list and checking it twice, please don’t forget to consider your pets’ safety in the hustle and bustle of the season.
Keep these potential hazards in mind when getting your home ready for holiday gatherings:
Mind the greenery. Christmas trees, holly and mistletoe present various dangers to your pets. Make sure your Christmas tree is securely anchored so it doesn’t tip, fall and injure your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Holly and mistletoe can also cause illnesses in pets if ingested.
Hide the leftovers. Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends.
Be careful with your cocktails. Don’t leave alcoholic beverages unattended where your pets might try to drink them—alcohol can cause serious illness in pets.
Use candles and lights with care. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. Also, when decorating with electric or battery-powered lights, consider that wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to your pet’s mouth and esophagus.
As your pets celebrate the holidays with your family this year, try to keep their routines as close to normal as possible. If you plan to have guests in your home, it’s a good idea to keep your pets in a quiet, calm room with plenty of water and places to snuggle.