Cats and Other Playmates: How to Inspire and Manage Interspecies Bonding

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In Search of a New Kitten Friend? Cats Are More Willing Than You May Think

You certainly love your cats, but others in your family may not necessarily feel the same way. Whether it’s your kids, a new kitten, or other pets, your favorite feline friend may not cooperate in getting along right away when you introduce him or her to a new living situation, or when you bring a new life into the home with an existing cat.

Here then is an all-inclusive guide with tips on how to get your cat to bond with other cats, other pets, or even your kids – from PDX Pet Design!

Creating Peace Between Cats and Dogs

There’s a reason that people are sometimes said to fight like “cats and dogs,” but these two popular pet species are not natural enemies. While wild dogs and feral cats are unlikely to get along in nature, there’s no reason why your canine companion and feline friend can’t make peace.

If you can get your cat and dog as a kitten and puppy, they may grow up together never realizing they should be anything but the best of friends.

If you’ve already got one or the other in the house, it may take them time to get used to each other. Make sure they each have separate safe spaces and monitor their interactions. When they see you paying loving attention to both, they may follow suit.

That being said, there are some cats and dogs that probably shouldn’t be put together. Hounds, terriers, shepherds and other dogs that are bred to hunt and kill foxes and other small animals probably won’t make the best pals for your cat, and adult cats that grew up feral might be best when kept separate from your dogs.

Cats and Birds Sharing a Home Together?!

Despite what you may see on YouTube, it’s highly unlikely that your cat will see your bird as anything other than a flying meal. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep both as pets.

For starters, make sure your bird stays caged and in a high place in the home, and if your cat starts showing too much interest, a quick spritz with a water bottle should send him or her back towards the much less dynamic prey in the food dish.

If you like to let your bird spread its wings every now and then, it’s probably best to make sure your kitty is safely locked away in their carrier or a different room.

cat bonding kitten

Homing Cats and Kittens

When older cats and kittens meet, it’s like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna’ get. Your cat could instinctively take on a maternal role or could immediately take steps to remove the intruder. What’s important is to give your cats a chance to get used to each other.

Start by creating a safe room where the new kitten can live in the house and take care of all of its food, water, and litter needs without encountering the other cat. This will give the kitten a chance to get used to your home, and both cats to get accustomed to each other’s smell from a distance.

After a week or so, rub a cloth or piece of clothing on one cat’s scent glands and put it in the other one’s area, and vice versa. Once they are accustomed to each other’s smell, you can introduce them in short, supervised interactions until it’s clear they have become comfortable with each other, if not best friends.

Cats and Kids

When you have a cat and a child, especially a new baby, the important thing is to make sure your cat has an escape route if the child gets too rough. Give the cat a chance to get comfortable with the nursery or the child’s room, and make sure the cat knows where it can quickly go if it needs to get away.

Make sure to supervise all interactions, especially in the beginning, and instruct your child as best you can that your cat is a living being, not another toy.

Although cats are solitary animals, they can be very friendly and loving as long as they feel safe. With the right approach, your cats can live with other household animals in blissful harmony.

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