06 October 2008

Tips for bringing home a new cat - How to bring a kitten home

http://www.howdini.com/howdini-video-7586745.html Tips for bringing home a new cat - How to bring a kitten home It's true that cats are pretty self-sufficient, but ...

I'm Ron Corning for howdini dot-com and

we are here to show you exactly how to roll out the welcome mat for your new cat a new member of your family dr. Katherine Miller is here she is an animal behaviorist with the ASPCA good to have you here as always so the litter box housebreaking a cat is something you need to be very mindful of what's the very first step well the very first step when you bring your cat home is to keep it confined in just one room it's going to be it's safe room it's going to feel a little overwhelmed it's not going to know where the litter box is and you want to keep it as error-free as possible make sure it sees the litter box at all times so one room bed food and water but in the litter box and that way the cat can always find a box and knows exactly where to go now eventually over time can you move that litter box and will they follow yes but you want to take it as a slow transition so as your cat becomes more comfortable in your home over the course of a week maybe even two weeks if it's a nervous cat you're going to give it gradually more and more access to the rest of the house so that it again doesn't feel overwhelmed and doesn't ever feel like

it's lost and as you give the cat more access to the house you can also start to gradually move that litter box into the area that you want to keep it in permanently just a few inches a day it might be a little bit of an inconvenience at first but it's a lot less inconvenience than having a cat that doesn't use its litter box in terms of bringing home an older cat is it different if you're bringing home a cat who's already been litter box trained versus a kitten it can be a bit different when you bring an older cat home because they might have already developed a preference for a certain type of cat litter so if your cat that you just brought home isn't using the box try a different type of cat litter cats tend to prefer very fine-grained litter scratching and clawing is also an issue with any cat what specifically do people need to keep in mind about that well cats need to scratch it's just part of their natural behavior it feels good it helps stretch their muscles but it also leaves an important message behind that leaves an odor behind that only cats can smell it's a scent mark it also leaves a visual mark so it's very

important to cats it's important to let them express that behavior but you want to encourage it on a scratching post Orab scratching pad and not your drapes or your carpet so the thing to do is to choose the post maybe even a different couple types of posts because some cats prefer to claw up here and some on a flat surface so give them a couple options put it in a prominent spot if it already started scratching in one spot take that as a clue it likes that area move the scratching post there encourage your cat to use the post by sprinkling some catnip on it playing with a little dangly type toy around it and when the cat pounces on the toy its claws will start to get stuck in the scratching post and they'll start to realize oh I could scratch here that feels good when it comes for example to making sure that a cat doesn't jump on the furniture what steps can you take and there are steps you can take correct cats will repeat behaviors that are rewarded so if they go up on the countertop and they got a little snack up there you left food out your dinner plates after dinner they're going to be more likely to want to jump

up there again and try to hit the jackpot so take that into consideration keep your countertops clean and furniture that you really want to protect you can put some things on that don't feel good for cats to walk on aluminum foil just a big strip of aluminum foil the cats don't like that crinkly feel or just simple wire cooling racks like the kind you use to cool your cookies after you bake them cats don't want to walk on that wire so you can protect your antique sofa when you're not home by just putting those things right on the on the chair and the seat cushions and they won't want to jump up there all right dr. Kathryn Miller thank you and I'm Ron Corning for howdini dot-com you