One of the most important events in the life of any newly adopted cat/kitten is the introduction to the environment in which he is expected to grow and thrive. A large part of that process concerns meeting other house-mates, both human and animal.
As an old television commercial once stated, You only get one chance to make a first impression. Nowhere is that truth seen more importantly than upon the sensitive nature of a cat. Regrettably, even many well-meaning rescue organizations and animal shelters get this wrong – giving adopters either inaccurate instructions, or omitting any discussion of the topic at all!
The key point in any introduction must always be to view the situation through the eyes of the cat.
As predators, cats are acutely aware of their surroundings at all times. Their senses alert to every nuance. We all know that cats are capable of forming life-long bonds of friendship; not only with humans, but especially with other cats, and even with dogs. Such relationships begin with a proper introduction and then must be patiently cultivated over time. Trust, it is said, is built one brick at a time. Birds, mice, hamsters, and reptiles often require more extensive conditioning to maintain a safe environment for all, simply because these animals are normally regarded by the cat as prey. Yet, even these can successfully be acclimated into the living arrangements of a cat with enough caution, patience, and persistence.
In this session of Feline-Human Relations 101, we will examine the various living environments to which cats are most likely and often exposed. The focus will be on the proper methods of introducing them to other sentient beings – both human and animal – in such a manner that no one is harmed, either physically or emotionally, in the process.
During the second hour in accordance with our meeting format, time will be available to address any questions or situations related to cats 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.