When you see that first sign of doom—usually it’s the moment at which movement stops and the staredown starts—it’s game over: sight blocker down. This is why the old common wisdom of introducing cats by “letting them work it out” is not only a recipe for disaster, but it also feeds the belief that cats are solitary creatures who are better left that way. Be prepared to follow this process to a T, while embracing the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mantra. You may find that to serve the needs of both humans and non-humans in your home, you can move through some of these steps with ease. And, it could fall somewhere between the two. Supervise children, advising them to always … The same goes for toys; you need to be in control of your cat’s head—the rest will follow. All cats need a place where their Mojo can bloom… and this is precisely what we are establishing for your new family member. . When introducing cats during the Eat Play Love phase it’s all about reading the room for any warning signs, and being ready to act quickly. When this exercise is in play (no pun intended), all of these experiences are withheld until they can be broken out as one big feel-good extravaganza (to the best of our abilities, of course). Remember: it’s on you to conduct these exercises without a fight breaking out. Be “Fire Drill” Ready —Sight blockers, penny cans, and blankets should be placed so that no matter where you are in the room, you can quickly access them while you are also allowing the organic process of the two cats comingling to happen. I only use it twice per day on my boy though he had serious anxiety. The Superhighway creates multiple lanes of traffic, with various on and off ramps, using design elements like shelving, cat trees, and window beds, to provide vertical breathing room. One day, bring the newcomer into the room where the resident is playing, then the next day, bring the resident into the room where the newcomer is playing. Do they tend to be more food motivated or love/attention motivated? Base camp is a defined area of your home that is the heart of your cat’s territory. Flattened and taped-up cardboard boxes of the appropriate height have always worked best for me, or you could try a thick piece of foam core. There is actually much more to be found in the chapter that this has been excerpted from in my new book, Total Cat Mojo. Cap off the EPL sequence—no matter if it ends good, bad, or ugly—with dinner. Although it might seem silly at first, write down the exact amount of time that this brief session lasted. love—without that staredown/throwdown happening. Isolate other animals from your new cat during this time. Distraction left unchecked can lead to the dreaded staredown. Survival in the wild means assuming the worst but being malleable enough to accept newcomers. So when you bring a new cat into another cat’s home, it can be a complicated affair, based on two x-factors: Your existing cat’s sense of that security—since a new cat has joined the mix—and the newcomer’s, as they attempt to get comfortable in a completely new environment… with another cat. Knowing when distraction is about to happen means that you have an opportunity to retain control, redirect their attention, or choose to just call it a day. Know Your Feline Participants: Get to know who you’re dealing with. Here is a quick recap of the first four episodes in this series: In this final episode, it’s time for the ship to sail as we set out to get both cats—resident and newcomer—in a room together… without significant incident. Delayed gratification will turn all of these things into a Jackpot party! Here is where we will customize and integrate some key Catification ideas. After a week we decided to give them five minutes together and in that time Oliver was really excited and chased Binx and Binx ran away. If you are dispensing treats, get that bread-crumb trail going; as he is chewing one, you put the next one down where he can see it, so that he is moving toward his next goal as he’s finishing the previous one. Even though this series might seem in depth, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Again, your goal is to end everything on a high note, or at least not a low note. Start with a more respectful distance on either side of the red line, just as you did initially with the door feeding ritual. Cats are, after all, about territory. Here is the step-by-step process for pulling this off: A. Back it up a step. As it is with humans, when it comes to relationships, trust is the bridge that takes us from being acquaintances to being friends. Consult your veterinarian before adding any new product to your pet's care regimen. If the going has already been a little tough during the introduction, having the two cats in the same territory and occupied for just one minute is a win. Galaxy, who is currently caring for seven cats, three dogs, a turtle, a talkative foster rooster, and 2 hens, put out some advice videos on his own to help these cooped up cat owners. So it’s important for you to have a plan in case conflict unfolds, and again it’s ok if it does. What type of players are your resident and newcomer? Not only are we trying to minimize risks, preventing a long-term lack of trust between the cats, but we also try to go slow to ensure a stronger bond of friendship. Have Your Sight Blockers Ready —A Sight Blocker is something that: (a) the cats can’t see through; (b) is solid enough that you can place it between them and they can’t bust through it, and (c) is high enough that you don’t have to bend down to place it between the two cats and your hands are out of the “danger zone” should a fight break out. Chasing very often ends in a room, in a closet, or under a bed or a piece of furniture you never in your wildest nightmares thought was big enough for one cat, let alone two. In essence, it’s cat Russian Roulette; they will actually work it out sometimes, but when it doesn’t work, you are triggering the territorial panic switch in your existing cat… which means war. While there... Jump to. Your investment into this prep time will pay big dividends later. In the end, eating tends to be the easiest path to détente that I know of. Always choose to end the exercise on a high note. Please don’t think that just because I’ve covered every angle, that means that cats are better left living on their own. #1 – Introduce Through a Door “it’s about territorial ownership,” Galaxy says. Beds, blankets, carpets, cardboard scratchers, and scratching posts are all excellent scent soakers. As the superhighway takes care of the sky, tunnels and cocoons help catify the floor… along with litter box placement that prevents ambush and doesn’t create dead ends. Let’s continue to build that bridge! It is easy to use, almost odorless to humans and works almost instantly to calm down an anxious cat! Step Three – Keep the “Rhythm” Going: The most important component when you bring the cats together is establishing and maintaining a rhythm of play once they hit the room. The only way to make sure you’re not going to put your hand into a “trash disposal” of fangs and claws is to make sure there’s not going to be a fight under a bed or couch! It’s a process best served by being patient, empathetic and mindful. What would go beyond really liking something and guarantee engrossment? What kept these continual circles moving while this unspoken frenetic energy, boiling beneath the surface, dictated that, at any moment, a staredown would lead to a full-scale throwdown? As long as the groundwork has been successfully laid, you feel confident leaving them in the same room together for extended periods of time, and don’t hold your breath every time they make eye contact, then the bottom line is, they aren’t foes. A pet gate works better than a baby gate because pet gates are high and have a walk-through door in them, so that the human doesn’t have to disassemble the base camp door every time he wants to cross that threshold. Cat Mojo is largely based around territorial security. You should aim for giving her that extra dose of Mojo that comes from thinking that she is making all of her own decisions. Cat Problem: My Cat Likes It When I Watch. Tomorrow, when you up it by five, ten, or even fifteen seconds, you’ve won that day, too. These three things—eat, play, and love—represent the highest of high-value experiences we humans bring to our cats in the course of a day. No doubt, they can be a nuisance — they’re loud, stinky and often flea-infested. Note: You may not want your master bedroom to be the new cat’s base camp. You will know what they like for play, and you’ll also know when they are about to be turned off. The key is, though, that springing into action contains steps that you’ve thought through enough times—which means your response will be measured, appropriate to the situation itself, and not driven by emotions. After about a week and a half we gave them 5 minutes … Here are three fundamental steps to accomplish that will give you a significant leg up on the process: Make sure you have switched your existing cat over to a routine of meal feeding, rather than free feeding her. Again, first impressions can set the tone for the relationship here, so let’s give them the best chance possible. May 1, 2017 - Explore Fizzion's board "Catification" on Pinterest. B. Just remember that imaginary “red line” in the center of the room. Stay one step ahead of the game. Specifically, here are a few ways we can proactively use Catification to prepare for the newcomer: A. Subdue the Staredown: As you go forward with this exercise and do it multiple times, you’ll know how to best redirect your cats if they start to stare. It is applied two or three times per day. In my experience, bringing a new cat into another cat’s home can either be seen as no big deal, or a huge challenge. With all of the above in mind, we are now ready: Step One – Start with One Cat: Begin by playing with only one cat in the room at first. Step Four – End the Session: The session will end in one of two ways: either the cats will end it, or the humans will. The second one cat stops moving, stares at the other cat, and will not be redirected, you might as well call it a day. and host of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell, shows how cat owners should properly introduce a new cat. Sometimes the biggest successes come in the form of just a few seconds. I believe strongly that, by and large, cats should be with other cats. You will find, very quickly, an acceptable Challenge Line where you can restart the process. If that’s asking too much (meaning either or both cats avoid eating, engage in too much growling, etc), retrace the process back one step from there. Further define that space and block off the Unders. So, think about where potential ambushes could occur, or where a scared cat might burrow away, not to be seen for days on end…and then catify! 2. Ask yourself: if they begin to fight, where will it be most likely to break out and where will it end? Slowly introduce the dog to the cat through scent first, and then visuals second. Every introduction unfolds in its own way, and on its own time. Your endgame here is to create an even fuller immersion into the positive association experience we’ve been working on throughout this entire series. However, introducing through scent first and then visual access is important because it plays into the inherent makeup of cats when it comes to an incursion into their sacred territory. Sworn enemies, engaged in the same activity, separated by a painted line. This ritual has the potential to be Christmas morning every day, with the one caveat being that it happens with a strange cat in the room. Sections of this page. 3. Don’t Sweat the Setbacks—Just Step Back: There’s always a possibility that, despite our best-laid plans, a fight breaks out. Catification teaches us that every square inch of the home can be shared in a positive way. Conversely, a laundry room, garage, or basement is not a great place to set up base camp, since these are not rooms you likely want to spend a lot of time in, and they probably don’t smell strongly of you. New kitten to your resident cat how to introduce a new kitten cat older cat to accept a kitten new kitten to your resident cat. Hopefully, at the end of all of these steps of introduction, you have two cats who… don’t care about each other. Getting exclusive Jackson Galaxy catification tips is like being a kid in a candy store; it’s basically the best gift … Your Cat Needs a Private Space. Press alt + / to open this menu. Consider this: Urban planning maximizes the potential for discovery, time-sharing, and space-sharing required for cats to get to know each other, and makes the whole transitional period as noncompetitive as possible. Yup, that’s right. This is where your partner’s help is invaluable, because he or she can work to focus the other cat on the session while you do the same with yours. Cat vs. Dog Don't think you can walk up to a random cat and start petting it. Many cat guardians with senior cats may wonder if introducing a new cat friend into your household is a good thing... or an added stressor. They say “I live here,” and allow for rubbing, scratching, or lying in. Jackson Galaxy takes on the task of helping a family put an end to their cat's ongoing rivalry. Cat Introductions Part 5: The Final Countdown, Cat Introductions Part 4: Love at First Sight, The Ugly Truth About Cats and Christmas Trees Plus More Holiday Tips, 5 Essential Tips for Life with Senior Cats. B. Jackson Galaxy. Just toss it over one of them, scoop him up, and remove him from the room. You can control the chaos by controlling the space—and that means blocking off the Unders and sealing off the Outs. Option Two: In my experience, the better option is to introduce the cats by either using a pet gate or a screen door. If you do it the same way every single day, with one cat entering the perceived territory of another cat, then you’re inadvertently setting up a dynamic for overownership or lack thereof. Why Scent Marking Matters: The Ultimate Cat Confidence, Foods That Are Toxic to Cats: From Deadly to Upset Stomachs. The players would skate in circles, warming up their legs and taking shots at their goalie. Trust me, this one is important—not just to prevent worst-case-scenario conflict, but, as is the fact with many of these … Every animal is an individual, as is every human and every household. Last Resort Removal Option —In the event of a serious lockdown, when you can’t get the cats to budge even with sight blockers down, or if, despite your best efforts, a fight breaks out, a blanket can be a good friend. Facebook. In essence, it’s cat Russian Roulette; they will actually work it out sometimes, but when it doesn’t work, you are triggering the territorial panic switch in your existing cat… which means war. In the future, I hope you’ll be able to use individual techniques to enhance all of the relationships in the home, introduce even more cats, and head off problems before they begin. Each team would occupy an opposite side of the rink, with the red line dividing the ice right down the middle. In other words, the last thing you want is to hover—you’ve got to have the confidence to step back, be cool, and remove panic from a stressful situation. Catification is the art of creating an enriched environment that is acceptable to both you and your cat. Make sure he is engaged, and keep him moving. Switch It Up: Use the principles of site swapping when doing Eat Play Love. . Many cat guardians with senior cats may wonder if introducing a new cat friend into your household is a good thing... or an added stressor. This is to say, if your cat’s not hungry, good luck getting them to do anything you want them to do. By paying close attention to your cat’s ears, whiskers, tail, and eyes, you can know exactly what your cat is trying to tell you. Here are some extra tips to prevent a throwdown: Once you are secure in Eat Play Love—when you can accomplish EPL without having to end it prematurely, and it’s a ritual that has become a part of the everyday cycle—then you can break down the door/gate barrier for mealtime and end the session by feeding the cats on the side of the room that they occupy. Our cats are so energetically sensitive, and can certainly feel the raised temperature in the room.
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