Allow Your Cat To Establish A Hierarchy
Cats need to have order and a new member in the home must know where it ranks. Your older cat may have a period of time when it tries to establish a hierarchy with the new kitten. Your older cat may hiss and swat at the kitten when the newcomer does something unfavorable. This is completely normal and as long as it is just hissing and swatting, do your best to not interfere. Your older cat is establishing its role as the dominant cat in the household and the kitten is being taught where its boundaries as the new cat are.
Introducing Your Cat To A New Cat
Free-ranging and feral cats lead complex and busy lives. They maintain far larger territories than most people realize, and these territories often contain a variety of environments, such as forests, farmlands, urban gardens and yards. Within these territories, cats explore, hunt and scavenge for food alone. They only occasionally interact with other cats. They dont live in groups or even pairs, and they dont seek out contact with other cats. In fact, they actively avoid it. Considering this natural behavior of cats, it isnt surprising that it can be very difficult to introduce a new cat into an established cats territory, even when that territory is your home.
If youre bringing a new cat into your home, be patient. The introduction must be gradual. Following the initial introduction, it can take a very long time for a relationship to grow. It takes most cats eight to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. Although some cats certainly become close friends, others never do. Many cats who dont become buddies learn to avoid each other, but some cats fight when introduced and continue to do so until one of the cats must be re-homed.
What Is A Scratching Post And Why Is It Important
Scratching posts do provide an opportunity for play but they are also very necessary since scratching is an important behavior for cats and one that needs to have an acceptable outlet within the home. Probably the most important features of a scratching post are its height, its stability, and its surface texture. Tall posts allow cats to scratch at full stretch and the surface material needs to offer a good purchase for the claws. Wooden scratching facilities can help to transfer scratching behavior into an outdoor context. If your cat is destined for an indoor life you need to avoid future confusion by ensuring that the material on the scratch post does not resemble any of your household furnishings.
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Problems And Proofing Behavior
Don’t give up if the first encounters are not positive. Older cats can take time to acclimate to a younger cat. A common mistake is to rush the socialization between cats and then getting mad or frustrated when it doesn’t work out. Keep calm and work in increments to bring the cats together. Try timing your interactions and slowly increasing the amount of time together. If your older cat is especially aggressive toward the new kitten, speak with your vet or a behavior specialist for tips.
When And How Should I End A Play Session With My Cat
When you play with your cat, mimic hunting behavior and, in the end, let your pet make the kill. Simply slow down the action and let the prey get tired so that the cat can catch it. Then, leave your cat with its capture.
If your cat loses interest in the game before that, dont pressure it to continue; however, keep in mind that cats often lose interest in a toy, so try a different one before giving up. Once the play session is over, put all toys away so your cat doesnt lose interest. When a toy disappears, it remains appealing.
As mentioned earlier, another reason to keep toys away is to avoid accidents. Make sure your cat doesnt have unsupervised access to strings, tinsel, plastic bags, rubber bands, milk jug rings, paper clips, and anything else that could be ingested and cause serious issues and even surgery.
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How To Train Your Cat To Do Incredible Things
From fetch to high-five, cats are capable of some pretty incredible tricks, just like dogs! Learn how to train a cat to do amazing things.
Growing up, I was literally obsessed with animals. I spent endless hours nurturing any and all abandoned and feral cats who wandered near my home. Those cats taught me many invaluable life lessons, such as that trust is earned and bonds must be strengthened with food and fun.
As for cat training? My infatuation began when I was 7 years old before anyone had informed me cats were untrainable and couldnt learn like dogs do. As far as the cats were concerned, my ignorance was their bliss. To those cats, I was simply their animated Pez dispenser and in return for my rewards, they responded to simple directions like coming when I called out Come kitties, whacking me with their paws when I said High Five, and rolling over when I said Belly up!
Today I still apply many of the lessons learned at the paws of this first pride as I virtually coach new kitten parents and worried cat lovers on how best to relate, rehabilitate, and raise their cats. I help people understand what came naturally to my innocent mind: Cats love people who relate to and have fun with them, and learning is a two-way street.;
Games To Play With Your Cat
There are a number of toys and games specific for cats on the market. It is not always easy to know which is the right one to choose for your pet. There are toys especially designed for kittens, intelligence based toys, treat dispensing toys and even homemade toys we make ourselves. There is also the unknown factor of cats having their own favorite toy for reasons we’ll never quite know.
As we mentioned above, the games you play need to be those which motivate them. The ones which do this the best are are those which emit noises or even the classic ‘fishing rod’ toy where a lure is attached to a rod with a string. We can play hide and seek with our cat, even leaving little treats in hiding places for them to get to. There are many different possibilities and it all depends on what your cat responds to. For some great ideas to explore with your furry pal, here are 10 games to entertain your cat.
A good game session does not need to be especially long. You should take short breaks and it is important to be relatively calm so as not to overexcite or overexert your kitty. This is for your safety as much as the cat as some cats will not know just how sharp and unpleasant their teeth and claws are for you. This is especially important with kittens who are just starting to know their limits.
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Encouraging Social Play Between Cats
Cats are more likely to indulge in social play with each other if the environment is conducive to doing so safely. If observed, cats enjoy the opportunity to play in environments where there are obstacles and varying levels to give camouflage, hiding opportunities and the chance to access high places for timeout. It appears that the opportunity to break the stare in social play fighting diffuses tension and avoids the arousal from escalating to agonistic levels, inappropriate for play. Areas indoors that are designated for play, therefore, should contain some or all of the following to get the maximum benefits:
- Cardboard boxes with entry/exit holes
- Furniture at various heights
- Cat activity centres
All objects should be positioned in such a way that each cat can move around it and approach from any angle.
Why Should I Play With My Cat
Playing with your cat is very important for several reasons. It not only helps your cat release built-up energy, but it also prevents undesirable habits, such as picking fights with other pets or scratching the sofa.
Moving also helps your cat maintain a healthy weight and keeps muscles and joints strong, which can help a cat live longer. On top of this, playing keeps the animals;mind active and alert. Cats are intelligent creatures and need mental stimulation.
Games help lower stress levels, too for cats and humans. So while playing can help you recharge, it also helps stressed cats wind down. Dont forget that stressed cats often develop behavioral problems such as urine spraying.
Cats are more;likely to exhibit unwanted behaviors when they arent exerting themselves during playtime, explains Jolene Pelmear, who’s helped make cats more adoptable at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
While health problems should always be ruled out by a vet, many of the common cat-owner complaints can be fixed by regular, active playtimes and an enriched environment, Pelmear points out.
Games can also help socialize kittens and shy cats. They build confidence in timid cats, so if you have a timid kitty, let it capture the toy often throughout your play sessions.
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Supplies You Need To Train A Cat
- Treats: Rewards should be small and soft so your cat can eat quickly without filling up. You could try using store-bought, freeze-dried treats, meat-based baby food, or homemade tuna-paste delivered on a tiny spoon.;
- Treat Cups: Put treats in a cup, shake it, and reward your cat. Viola, youve got a treat cup! You can buy one online or make one out of any container you have lying around the house .;;
- Target Wand: A target wand is used as a pointer to guide your cat into positions or locations. You can buy a target wand or make one out of a chopstick or the end of a utensil covered in cloth affixed with a rubber band.;
- Sound Marker: Many cat trainers are fond of, as it helps cats identify the exact behavior you will reward through perfect timing and a noticeable sound. You dont have to buy a clicker to use the clicker training method. A ballpoint pen or simply the click of your tongue is an equally effective sound marker when paired with a high-value treat.;
Put Something You Brought In From Outside On The Floor
Indoor cats crave novel experiences, and they read the outside world when they sniff something new. After sniffing may come some rubbing , and the cat is also likely to sit on the object, if possible. These behaviors are part of the cats efforts to incorporate the novel object into her territory. If you crumple up a piece of junk mail, even better youre adding some auditory fun. Cats often locate their prey first by hearing it scurry through the grass, and the sound of crumpled paper on the floor is a good approximation that will stimulate the cat to chase and hunt. Often this can turn into a game of knock-hockey with the crumpled paper; you should definitely join in.
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He’s Attacking Your Ankles
Your cat’s wild ancestors spent large portions of their days hunting for food-and old habits die hard. “Even though our cats are very domesticated, they still have wild instincts,” says Wilbourn. “In the wild, cats aren’t served food, and they’re all born with the desire to hunt.”
A cat who can’t entertain his inner predator will find somethingto hunt, whether it’s your ankles or your dog or a toy. To appeal to his wild side, stock up on feather toys that look and move like birds. Playing keep-away is fun, but be sure to let your cat catch his “prey” once in awhile.
How To Play With Your Cat Without Toys
Some people tend to think that, just because they enjoy sleeping a lot, cats aren’t active animals. However, if you have a pet cat, you’ll know that this simply isn’t true and, to the contrary, they can actually be quite playful. However, many people don’t know how to play with their cat without sustaining any injuries caused by accidental scratching. If you want to have a fun time with your pet without being scratched, keep reading this OneHowTo article on how to play with your cat without toys correctly.
Playing with your cat is very important for bonding, physical exercise and, therefore, boosting health and well-being. This is particularly important if you have a a neutered cat as they tend to become lethargic and gain weight. If you don’t want to spend too much money on toys, here are some homemade alternatives!
Cats are natural hunters, so games which encourages them to catch pray are their favorite. One of the most famous is the ball of yarn or any other thread- see if your cat enjoys it.
Buy lint-free, strong yarn, making sure that your cat’s claws do not become stuck. Loosen a little of the yarn, keeping the end in your hand. Place it on the floor and move back and forth, inviting your cat to chase after it. It will love this game!
Though you can simply use object like yarn, we’d also like to give you some DIY ideas with things you will probably have at home.
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When My Cat Was A Kitten I Played With Her Every Day But Surely As An Adult These Playtimes Are No Longer Necessary
It is a common misconception that cats only play when they are kittens, when in fact adult cats also benefit from regular playtimes and playful interaction with their owners. As they get older, their play may alter, but the drive to chase, pounce, and kill remains throughout the cats life and games that allow for these behaviors are always popular.
Three Different Types Of Play
There are basically three ways to play when it comes to how to play with a cat: interactive play with a human, interactive play with another cat and self-play. Both interactive play with a person and self-play are important.
Cats are smart. Theyre not as interested in playing with a mouse toy theyve killed 20 times. You need to constantly rotate toys, revolving in new ones.
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Create Positive Alternatives To Bad Behavior
If you have an ankle-attacking cat, keep an interactive toy with you at all times. As soon as you see body language that indicates shes hunting your legs, distract her with the interactive toy. Do this consistently and your cat will learn to exercise her prey drive on her toy rather than your feet. If your cat is a door darter, get her attention with her favorite toy and then toss it in the opposite direction as youre about to leave.
When done on a regular basis, cat play is far and away the best tool for bonding, socializing and training. If youve got a cat thats acting up, give it a try; youll be surprised by how well play therapy for cats works.
Thumbnail:;Photography by Xseon;/ Shutterstock.
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Fabulous Tricks Your Cats Can Learn
Initially, choose tricks your cat already does naturally. Something as simple as Scratch the Post, once rewarded, can be conditioned into a habit that will save your draperies and furnishings. Other natural behaviors include rolling onto her back, climbing into a bag or box, or jumping onto the counter. You can lure your cat into some of these behaviors with catnip, treats, and toys.;
When your cat performs the behavior, click and reward them. Once they notice the connection between the behavior and the reward, cue the behavior with a word or signal. Its as simple and fun as that!;
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When Should I Play With My Cat
You should always tailor play sessions to your cats personality, age and daily rhythm. For example, if your cat wakes you up at night, make time to play before you head to bed. Indoor cats build up energy, which has to be spent, so play for 15-20 minutes in the evening and youll both get better sleep.
If your cat runs to find the noisiest toys, the second your head hits the pillow, start playing with Fluffy before bed-time and dont stop actively engaging him until hes ready to settle down!;Pelmear advises.
You could also try giving your pet a catnip toy at bedtime some cats love self-play before they settle in for the night. Other cats enjoy playing before eating. This copies the natural behavior of cats: the first hunt, then eat. However, if you notice that your cat gets energetic and bouncy after it eats, use this time for a game.;
On the other hand, if your cat is most excited when you come home after work, use this period to bond and incorporate a 15-minute play session in your routine. You can make that a nice ritual that will strengthen your bond.
So try a different approach and see what works best for you and your furry playmate. Consider playing with your cat regularly and making it a ritual.
He’s Packing On The Pounds
If your cat is tipping the scales, he may require more playtime and fewer snacks. Many cat owners substitute food for play, creating unhealthy habits. “If your cat is annoying you, it’s much easier to just put food down than to play,” says Wilbourn. “Then, when the cat wants attention, he starts going to the food dish instead of you-it’s instant gratification.”
First things first: Consult with your veterinarian to devise an appropriate diet for your overweight kitty, and to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Then, introduce more interactive play into your cat’s day. Feline foodies may especially enjoy treat-dispensing toys and puzzles. Not only do they incorporate a little exercise into mealtime, but they force cats to eat slowly instead of gobbling down dinner.
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