VETS Q&A

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE - VICKI LARKHAM

Dear Vicki, My bunny, Thumper, keeps thump­ing his back legs when­ever the next door neigh­bour’s cat comes into our gar­den. Why does he do this? This is what rab­bits do when they are alarmed and ner­vous. In the wild, it is a sig­nal to other rab­bits that there is dan­ger nearby. Your rab­bit is ob­vi­ously anx­ious when your neigh­bour’s cat comes in to your gar­den, so it is im­por­tant that you make sure he has some­where to hide, so he can feel safe. Try giv­ing him some large tubes and card­board boxes in his ex­er­cise run that he can re­treat to. Dear Vicki, One of my two cats died re­cently; they were broth­ers and got on re­ally well. My re­main­ing cat, An­gus, was re­ally lonely and de­pressed, so I got a new kit­ten to keep him com­pany, but they don’t seem to get on at all. How can I get An­gus to ac­cept the kit­ten? Cats are a nat­u­rally soli­tary species and of­ten don’t get on well with other cats they didn’t grow up with. In­tro­duc­ing an un­fa­mil­iar cat to a house­hold can be very stress­ful for both cats. You should keep your kit­ten in a large in­door cage or play pen for a while, with ac­cess to a lit­ter tray, food, wa­ter, bed and toys. Feed An­gus treats when he is re­laxed in the kit­ten’s pres­ence. Once he is more com­fort­able around the kit­ten they can have pe­ri­ods of su­per­vised con­tact. A pheromone dif­fuser may also help, how­ever, it is worth re­mem­ber­ing that un­for­tu­nately some cats may never get along. In this case it may be kin­der to find a new lov­ing home for the kit­ten and let An­gus live alone.

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