If you recently added a new cat your family and things haven’t been going well with the resident cat(s) in the home, you now have the time to dedicate to doing a proper introduction. Here’s the technique:
New Cat Training
If you have just adopted your first kitten or adult cat, take this time to do some training, such as getting your cat comfortable with being held, being in a carrier, having his teeth brushed and his nails trimmed. You now have opportunities to work on these things in short, positive sessions. Take a few minutes several times a day to work on helping your newest feline family member adjust. This way, you can do multiple short training sessions so you don’t overwhelm the newcomer.
Address Current Behavior Issues
If you’ve been dealing with ongoing behavior issues but haven’t had the time to effectively address them, you can now give them the time and attention needed. Maybe it’s an ongoing litter box problem that hasn’t been resolved after the veterinarian has determined there are no underlying medical causes. Just by being home more, you are able to watch for behavior triggers that you may have easily missed during your normal work/school schedule.
Do Necessary Maintenance
Even though you faithfully scoop the litter box (hopefully at least twice a day), you may not have had the time to completely empty the box and give it a good scrub, including cleaning litter scoops, used litter receptacles, and any other litter box-related tools. Before you empty the box though, make sure you have an adequate supply of litter for refilling. Do an online order if needed, to ensure you have enough litter while in self-isolation. Here’s more information on the litter box set-up:
If your cat has a habit of peeing over the box or you’ve been dealing with a spraying problem, do a thorough inspection with a black light so you can identify and completely clean soiled areas.
When it comes to the cat’s feeding station, it’s important to thoroughly wash the food and water bowls every day. Water that sits in the bowl for days will taste stale and can end up getting contaminated from saliva, dust, debris, and food. Get on a schedule of washing food and water bowls regularly and keeping the water bowl filled with fresh, clean water.
This is especially important if you have a long-haired cat. Under normal conditions your cat may visit a groomer on a regular basis but now it’s up to you to maintain his coat and prevent matting. Don’t make it a torture session by trying to get all grooming done at one time. Brush your cat a little bit every day to keep the coat healthy. Even short-haired cats benefit from regular grooming to remove dead hair, evenly distribute oils and improve circulation. Check the nails as well because if left un-trimmed, a cat’s nails can grow back around into the paw pad which is extremely painful and can lead to infection.
Think about the things you wished you had time to work on previously. Perhaps you have a cat who is terrified at the sight of the cat carrier and it becomes impossible to transport him to the veterinary clinic. Or, it might be that you’ve wanted your cat to be more comfortable being petted or held. You can now tackle these training challenges in a gradual and positive way. The time you spend each day to work on these ongoing behavior issues can make a big difference when the self-isolation is over and you return to your normal busy schedule. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to traumatize your cat whenever it’s time for a veterinary visit? So, just as I mentioned in the earlier section on new cat training, use this time to gradually address ongoing training that would make life so much easier for you and your cat, whether it’s being able to finally trim nails without trauma or just being able to have your cat trust you enough to enjoy sitting in your lap. Here’s more reading: