Feb 14, 2010 · 1:00 PM
This location is shown only to members
Years ago, a television commercial for a shampoo company, playing off the fear of "unsightly dandruff," began with the clever line "You only get one chance to make a first impression!" Nothing could be more applicable to this session's topic of introducing your cat/kitten(s) into a new permanent (or even temporary) living environment. Cats are far more sensitive to their surroundings than you and I, and thus we must anticipate the outcome of any actions to which we subject them. Like most of us, cats (older ones especially) favor the stability of routine and predictability. Surprises are risky and only good when they're deemed so by the cat.
This process of acclimating begins as soon as the rescue organization person steps into your home to deliver your new companion(s). Those initial 30 minutes of "first impression" time are crucial to your cat's future. Opening the carrier door in the middle of the living room floor when it's surrounded by excited children, two house-cats, plus the grandparents and your favorite neighbor – strongly communicates to the new arrival the urge to make a dash for the sofa, under which she will then cower in fear for the next 6 weeks! Like most of us, cats need anchor points in their life to feel totally secure, and it's up to us to provide them.
In the first hour of this session of Feline-Human Relations, we will discuss proper procedures for introducing your cat/kitten(s) into a new environment, introducing them to small children (and adults with childish behaviors), to other cats in your house, the dog, and your gerbil. Birds... well, there you're on your own.
In the second hour, we will address specific questions and situations that individuals are experiencing and have brought to this group for advice and, where possible, resolution.
PLEASE NOTE: Much of the information presented in Feline-Human Relations 101 is widely accepted and practiced throughout the feline rescue community. Other recommendations are derived from the experience and knowledge of the instructor. However, in neither case are guarantees stated or implied that these methods will work 100% of the time.