How to Expand Your Feline Family to Include a DOG!

Do you have cats and are considering a dog? Do you have a dog and are considering a cat? Cat Faeries offers advice for introducing these two very different species to ensure the transition is as peaceful and harmonious as possible!


How to Expand Your Cat or Dog Family

Prepare in advance!

  • Have My New Home is a flower essence formula to help the new addition to your fur family adjust, acclimate, bond, make new friends, and enjoy each other.
  • Have Multi Cat Household Harmony, a flower essence formula which can be given to both species for acceptance, friendship and bonding. No, the dog will not start to purr!
  • Have Calm and Serene on hand to steady the nerves of either species! Here’s a what customer recently told us: “What a wonderful difference Calm and Serene has made for our 3 kitties and one in particular who is high anxiety. Thank you!!” Mary Ann
  • Have Convivial House Cat which is calming to a cat and prevents peeing/pooping out of the box two problems which could start but are easy to prevent
  • Have Anti Icky Poo for any urine clean up needs. Puppies are learning to hold it or learning how to signal you.
  • Think carefully about how and when you’ll begin introductions. Decide which humans will be involved.
  • Look into a good dog trainer or videos. Read about clicker training and crating dogs.
  • Has the dog had experience with cats? Ask about how the dog previously interacted with cats. Ask the same questions about a cat if you already have a dog.
  • Do you have a dog at home who hasn’t met a cat before? Invite a friend’s cat over to play to see how they interact. If you discover your pup is aggressive or rough with cats, work with a trainer before you bring a cat home. If you’re a cat family, do the same work to ensure they’re ready to welcome home a dog.
  • What is the personality of the new cat or dog? Are they playful or mellow? Do they have a quick temper or are they easily frightened? Consider what kind of cat or dog would work best with your current family. A fearful cat probably won’t like a dog. A good dog trainer and a good shelter volunteer can help you match personalities.
  • Think about the age and activity level of your animal family. If you’ve got kittens who like to play, they may respond fine to a younger dog who has lots of energy. However, if you’ve got a chilled out older cat, adding an active puppy to the mix may be difficult and a senior dog might be better.

When you’re ready for introductions, take your time moving through each phase of the process.

  1. Before the official introductions, find a separate space for the cat and dog to reside in your home. After a few days, have them switch places. Repeat this process several times. This will allow them to learn the scent of the other animal before physical contact. They may be curious, excited, or anxious about the new smells in the house. This is normal!
  2. Next allow them in the same room but make sure the dog is on a leash held by an adult who knows how to let the dog know who’s in charge. Start by having them in the same room for 15 minutes and increase in increments of 15 minutes until you are up to an hour. Let them sniff each other out. Then, separate them for a few hours. Repeat this cycle as often as you can. We encourage you to have that dog trainer help.
  3. Once the dog is calm and the cat is comfortable moving around freely, let your dog off leash but continue to oversee their interactions. It may take time, but you’ll know they’re comfortable with each other when your cat eats and uses the litter box freely and your dog is relaxed with the cat.
  4. Some dogs like eating what they find in cat’s litter boxes! Having a dog nosing around a litter box could cause your cat to not want to use it and therefore pee/poop out of the box. Make sure the dog does not have easy access to litter boxes.
  5. Cats and dogs should ideally eat away from each other – this helps to keep the peace. A dog should have a separate water bowl near the bed or in the crate.

Don’t worry if this takes longer than you hoped for. With love, patience and consistent practice, your new family will find their own rhythm living together!

How To Help Feral Cats This Winter

Winter is a cold and potentially dangerous time of year for feral and homeless cats, whether or not a polar vortex is pushing arctic air into your neighborhood. Here’s some ways to help.

Alley Cat Allies is a national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of feral cats (www.alleycat.org). You may have seen their “I’m an alley cat ally” ads featuring Hollywood personalities including Portia De Rossi. Alley Cat Allies has posted a good article on how to help feral cats during the winter at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.

Another way to help is to contact one of your local feral cat organizations. Alley Cat Allies has a posted a contact form at www.alleycat.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1452 so they can connect you with an organization in your area that is a member of their Feral Friends Network.

You can also find local feral cat assistance groups by doing search via Google for “feral cat (insert your city or area).” Contact your local group and ask how you can help.

One of the best ways to help feral and homeless cats during the winter is to provide shelters to keep them warm and out of the weather. Here’s a great video on how to make a simple low cost shelter from a plastic tote box. It even includes a cute cat helper providing supervision.

So get out there and help feral cats this winter. You may make some new friends – both human and feline.

Cats Need to Eat 15% More Food During Winter

We people know that chilly weather makes us hungry for more food. This time of year we begin to crave roasted vegetables and meats, and we hunt for new recipes for stews and soups. Hot food warms our bones and hearts!

Often we don’t realize that our cats respond to weather changes like we do. During Summer while we are eating salad our carnivore friends might leave food behind in the bowl. But in Winter the bowl is licked clean and they meow for more.

How much more? A study that we found told us that in Winter cats will eat about 15% more food than during the rest of the year.

Be a rock star Feline Chef and don’t grab food for your cat from the fridge and serve it cold. Steam it for a minute or two, or warm it up in a pan with a bit of water so it won’t stick.

Warming up or steaming cat food does some nice things for your cats:

  • If the cat has a cold or a respiratory problem warming the food brings out the aroma. Cats only eat what they can smell.
  • Increases digestibility especially for older cats with slower digestive systems
  • Nice for cats who are missing teeth
  • Kittens and cats of any age will be reminded of warm mother’s milk. The food will be much more appealing and soothing to any cat.

Four years and 38 cats later a study by the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science revealed some interesting things about cats.

Veterinarian and study author, Dr Alex German, said: “Cats, like many humans are more inclined to comfort eat when it’s cold outside but, in their case, it’s likely to be due to the extra energy they need to keep warm when out and about.”

Seasonal food intake has been examined in the past on farm animals, such as dairy cows, to establish new ways of increasing milk production, but this is the largest study that has yet taken place with domestic cats.
Dr German said: “People should consider the amount of food their cats need at different times of year as this can be part of helping them to maintain a healthy weight.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-cats-winter.html#jCp