I’m getting a cat!
We’re adopting a cat whose family can’t keep her due to allergies, and i have a couple of questions for all you cat owners out there, and any advice you can give would be eternally appreciated.
-how does one introduce a cat to a very anxious dog without causing chaos?
-how often should you clean a litter box?
-dry food? Wet food? Should you leave the food out all day or have specific feeding times?
1. It is usually best to introduce new animals through a closed door. Give the new cat a small room with a kennel to have as a safe spot for the first few days. Let the cat out of the kennel to smell the dog through the door. Do this for one or two days, then switch the sides. The dog will now be in the room where the cat was and the cat on the other side so neither will try to establish either area as “their territory”. Do this until the hissing stops or it seems neither is being aggressive.
Now they can meet face-to-face. Put the dog on a leash and move the cats kennel into an open room and let the dog sniff around the kennel. Then separate them again. The next day try feeding them on opposite ends of the open room (dog still leashed) and just generally get their food closer as time progresses. By the end of the week they should be almost comfortable but never leave them alone until you’re absolutely sure they’re comfortable.
2. You should scoop litter at the end of everyday. Just scoop out the clumpy pieces and you’re good. At the end of the week wash the litter box and add new litter. Some cats do go more often, especially kittens so you may need to change the litter more frequently as needed, just keep an eye out.
3. We personally leave the food out all day since our cat is older and he likes to eat a little at a time and that’s just how he is. If your cat likes to eat their whole serving at once I would introduce feeding once a day at a set time. This one really comes down to personality. But leaving food out does contribute to Obesity in a lot of cats so make sure he isn’t eating too much. Feed him an appropriate serving for his age and if he eats it all through out the day wait until the next day to feed him again.
It’s another personality toss up for the wet food/ dry food. Although a lot of times very cheap foods can cause diarrhea so the brand is really what matters in food.
Cats are designed to get a hefty portion of their water from their food. Wet food will help ensure they stay hydrated. Wet food is definitely the healthiest route.
But if your cat is a slow eater like mine, I’d stick with dry food so it will stay fresher longer.
Purina and Science Diet typically have the healthiest food but not necessarily the cheapest, and for wet food Blue Buffalo is my go-to.
But the best thing to do here is when you take him to the vet for his first check up (which I assume you’re doing, if you’re not then disregard) ask your vet about this toss up. Every cat is different.
If you have any other questions inbox me and I’ll be happy to help. I worked in an Animal Shelter for two years so I’m no veterinarian but I do have a decently extensive knowledge :) Also, good luck with your new family member!