Ask the Experts… Nov-Dec 2014

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Dr KG Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He is working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.
 

Snowy

Q: I have got a cat who is six years old. We recently brought another kitten who was abandoned. The problem is my old cat does not like the new kitten and gets angry. Please help. 

– Shyamla, Nasik
Dr KG Umesh: The process of introducing a new cat may take several weeks. Older cats may need a quiet space away from kittens for an extended period of time. For the first few weeks, make sure that they have separate food and water bowls, and their own sleeping places and litter trays. This allows each cat to gradually adjust to the scent and sounds of the other cat. Do crate training with him and allow the older cat to approach. Feeding both cats at the same time can reduce stress as well. Following this, allow cats to walk around and sniff each other. As cats start to exhibit curiosity about each other, reward friendly behaviour with treats and praise. Each cat needs that one-on-one time with you and it helps avoid the older cat being jealous of the kitten. When both cats are with you pay attention to both. Reward good behaviour with soothing words and gentle stroking. Pheromonal products may ease the introduction, but should be used in conjunction with gradual introduction.

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