Green-eyed mon­ster

Pets (Singapore) - - Ask The Expert -

My cat is in­cred­i­bly ter­ri­to­rial and sassy. If she smells an­other cat or dog on me, she will pee or even poop on my bed in protest. I’ve been con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing a sec­ond cat, but am afraid of what my cur­rent cat might do. Is get­ting a sec­ond cat com­pletely out of the ques­tion? What would you rec­om­mend?

Ay­ounger kit­ten may be less threat­en­ing to your ex­ist­ing cat, as the younger kitty may still be ex­plor­ing its en­vi­ron­ment and hence less likely to quickly es­tab­lish its ter­ri­tory. You can try in­tro­duc­ing the new and old cats in a for­eign en­vi­ron­ment, away from your home. If this is not pos­si­ble, in­tro­duce them in an area that is sel­dom used by the ex­ist­ing cat. Try us­ing fe­line pheromones such as Feli­way dif­fusers to ease the process. Place them at the new in­ter­ac­tion spot for a cou­ple of days be­fore the cats meet for the first time. In ad­di­tion, you may drip a few drops of laven­der es­sen­tial oil on a small piece of cot­ton or cloth and place it in the room.

In­tro­duce the cats to each other be­fore they even meet by trans­fer­ring their scents. Rub pieces of cloth over their heads, cheeks and chins—th­ese ar­eas se­crete oils with their in­di­vid­ual scents. Sub­se­quently, in­ter­change the cloths and rub the fab­ric with the other fe­line’s odour on each cat and their re­spec­tive liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments such as their beds and reg­u­lar hang­out spots. Do this for a few days prior to in­tro­duc­ing the cats.

You can try to re­move or re­duce the aroma of the present cat from her en­vi­ron­ment by wash­ing your bed­li­nen and clean­ing the house. Add sodium bi­car­bon­ate to the clean­ing so­lu­tion and mop wa­ter.

On the day of in­tro­duc­tion, place each fe­line in a pet car­rier. Have the car­ri­ers face each other to al­low them to see and smell each other. Grad­u­ally open the car­rier and leave the door slightly ajar. Let them emerge from the car­ri­ers at their own pace and ob­serve their re­ac­tions to each other. You may need to re­peat this a few times a day or on con­sec­u­tive days. Try feed­ing them si­mul­ta­ne­ously while they are in the same room. Try play­ing some sooth­ing mu­sic to re­duce their anx­i­ety.

If your cat is very ag­gres­sive or ob­jects strongly, bring your cat to the vet to dis­cuss this is­sue. Anti-anx­i­ety or calm­ing med­i­ca­tions may help your cur­rent cat be­come less anx­ious and more amenable to ac­cept­ing the new­comer.

EX­PERT: DR TAI YESUN BVSc (Syd­ney), MVS (Mur­doch) MRCVS CVA GDBA Vet­eri­nary Sur­geon Cer­ti­fied Vet­eri­nary Acupunc­tur­ist Nam Sang Vet­eri­nary Clinic

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