Windy Kitty Cat Day
For me and Bill, the Windy Kitty is like heaven on earth. HEAR the conversation, as I talk on WGN Radio about how Windy Kitty takes cats and kittens from the City’s municipal shelter and then adopts them to folks who yearn for another feline in their lives.
As cats are adopted from Windy Kitty, new cats are brought in. I chat just a bit about how to introduce new cats at home.
Never just plop a new cat into the middle of the house and expect them to get along. That’s so unfair the all involved. In nature, cats do live socially in groups called clowders. But when a new cat arrives into an outdoor group, the acclimation period can take weeks or even months. When introducing a new cat into the home – or the Windy Kitty, the secret sauce is a gradual acclimation period. Here are a few basic steps:
- Place the newcomer into a sanctuary room, like a second bedroom or den. In that room there needs to be a litter box, food dish and water dish. None of these things especially close to one another. Another thing the room needs are people, coming in and out to entertain the new cat. If the cat is shy, allow for time – and the cat to come to you. Cats are happiest when they feel safe and in control.
- Plug in a Feliway Classic diffuser. Feliway is a copy of a facial pheromone which will help make the newcomer more comfortable in his/her new environment.
- Take toys and bedding from the sanctuary room of the new cat, and place these items out with the existing cat(s). And similarly take some of their items and place in the room with the newcomer.
- Give this entire process time – the more gradual the better.
- Once you are ready to bring the cats together – do so, at first for very short periods of time – like 30 seconds. And give them a reason to like each other, like tuna, salmon or sardines. They only receive these VERY special treats when the other cat(s) are present. It’s as if someone drops $100 from the sky every time I meet a person. VERY soon, I will grow to really like that person.
- When the cats are brought together, use Feliway Multicat to naturally lower any residual stress.
We also spoke about the death of Koko the gorilla who happened to love cats.