How to Socialize an Adult Cat


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How do I bond with my adult cat?

It can be difficult to invite a new adult cat into your home. If you are adopting an older cat, you may not be sure exactly what type of treatment that cat underwent from its previous owners.

If you mix cat-loving households, several cats will have to find a "pecking order" and decide whether their new roommates are friends or competitors. Fortunately, most adult cats can figure out how to live together, and many become friends over time.

What to expect when socializing cats

It is normal for the cat to suspect something new. In fact, a cat will automatically keep a safe distance from anyone with whom it has not had a positive experience.

Kittens, up to around 7 weeks of age, are usually quite open to new people and experiences, but after that, a cat needs time and patience to learn to accept change.

Have patience

Some cats (just like humans) are simply born less sociable than others. Some kittens are perfectly happy to be around people, but they prefer not to be touched, picked up, or handled.

This means that no matter what you do, you could end up with a cat that will never sit on your lap.

If your cat is new to your home, begin to interact slowly. If there are other cats in the house, introduce them gradually, giving new and older pets options to easily move closer or farther away.

Let the cat come closer

If your cat runs when you move (usually a sign of anxiety), find a place to stay and invite it to come closer to you.

Offer treats

Use the treats/foods you like and make it worth being around. Start by throwing treats some distance away so you know they're coming from you, but it shouldn't be too close.

Over time, something this simple can make you get closer and more willing to interact.

Think about stress

It is stressful to be in a new situation with new people and new relationships. In some cases, a new cat may be the target of aggression from resident cats, making it difficult for the novice to show affection to their human owners. Stress can also affect your cat's appetite, mood, and sleep patterns.

If you can identify and eliminate the stressor, or change the behavior of the other, more aggressive cat, you may be able to persuade the newcomer to relax and feel more at home.

Problems and verification

Fear and antisocial behavior in cats can be due to many different factors.

Even healthy cats can be shy when they find themselves in a new environment or when faced with new animals that will share their space. When cats are not feeling well, their instinct is to find a quiet, hidden corner and stay away from humans and other animals.

An established cat may urinate outside of the litter box to "mark" his territory when a newcomer arrives. If so, you may want to provide separate litter boxes for each cat. It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but if it makes cats happy, it will be worth it.

If your pet hasn't been to the vet recently or is displaying unusually antisocial behavior, it's a good idea to make sure there aren't any underlying health issues that need to be addressed.

You will know that your socialization efforts have been successful if your cats are not hissing or growling. Some cats may calm down and groom themselves like old friends, but be realistic with your expectations. As long as the fur doesn't fly, consider it a win.

Common mistakes

When trying to socialize a new cat in an existing environment, some well-intentioned owners go too far in one direction; whether it's congratulating and pampering the newcomer, or treating the established cat with children's gloves, worrying about how they'll get along with the new cat.

It is not easy to find the balance, but if you have a jealous cat, it is very likely that you neglect it in favor of the other. While you have to work to help the new cat acclimatize, be sure to set aside some alone time with your current feline roommate. Maybe he's offering a special treat or brushing his fur while praising him.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about How to Introduce Cats

Source: Jackson Galaxy

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