A silver lining of CoVid-19 has been the record number of pets being adopted from shelters! There have been so many stories of shelters being empty for the first time since they opened their doors, it is absolutely heart warming during a very trying time.
However... with all of these pets being in new homes, there are bound to be some teething issues.
Let's take a look at cats...
For those of you who think you can not train a cat... well we tend to feel perhaps we need to try a little harder!. Whether it’s a new kitten or an older cat that you’re introducing into your household, training should begin as soon as you bring your feline friend home.
Here are our top tips:
1. Be patient - cats are intelligent, keep training sessions to less than 2–3 minutes and use rewards such as praise and food such as cooked chicken or small amounts of something like 'Applaws' puree treats. Start by training your cat to come when he's called or sit for a treat, you can then move on to even training your cat to be examination ready for your next visit to the vet.
2. Cats like company - they are social creatures and need companionship. Pick your kitten up from early on to help him understand that he is safe in your arms. Cats also need to feel comfortable with other cats, so the earlier you can begin socialising your cat with others the better. Kittens often like a playmate and two kittens together are usually good for each other. However, cat's are like people in that not all personalities get along.. no matter how hard you try.
3. Provide natural stimulation such as a scratching post - this is a normal behaviour used for communication. Place it where the cat will use it, usually a prominent area or in front of where the cat has already started to scratch (such as the corner of the couch!) The internet has thousands of different scratching ideas, get googling! (And send us your photos of your inventive scratching posts, we'd love too see them!)
4. Better behaviour is in the air - pheromones are used in the annual kingdom to communicate. They are released between members of the same species in different situations.
There are now products available both for dogs and cats that contain a synthetic version of the pheromones used to reduce stress and produce a feeling of security.
We are able to provide you with these products - Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs.
Indications for use in cats include: inappropriate urine marking, scratching the furniture, reduced desire to interact or play, moving house with your cat, introduction of a new family member (pet or baby), or traveling with your cat.
Adaptil helps to reassure and comfort dogs so that they can cope with changes in their environment - such as re-homing, car travel and during fireworks. It can also help reduce fear or prevent fear, anxiety and stress-related signs in puppies and adult dogs.
If you think Feliway or Adaptil could be useful in your home, give us a call so we can talk about what's happening with your pet/s and we will work out the best may to manage the situation be it with pheromones or simply some advice on managing the situation.