Changes and Cats don't exactly go together like two peas in a pod. Most cats don't like changes, even if they don't outwardly express it. Our feline friends can get rather stressed and I discovered this Summer just how much that can affect a cat. Arthur Cat was very poorly due to stress - we had moved our bedroom and wardrobe, and I had gone away for 10 days to England. Whilst he had my mum and sister popping in a few times a day to feed and cuddle him and his siblings, he obviously got rather upset by the changes that occurred.
Since then I've read up on cats and how to make their lives as stress free as possible - I know what you're thinking, cats?! Stressed?! Well something as little as moving a chair to a different part of the room can put them out of sorts, who'd have thought it?! Cats can show signs of stress by acting unusually quiet or hyper, become abnormally vocal, spraying, hiding, moving their tail quickly, dialated pupils and their ears pushed back in alert. This blog post is a list of things that have helped our cats adjust to changes.
I have included affiliate links to FELIWAY products - something we use every day and highly recommend - this is not a paid promotion by FELIWAY.
Hiding Places & Their Space
I have four cats, only one of them likes meeting new people. In fact she LOVES it and immediately climbs all over them for a full inspection. The other three however will do anything they can to make sure they go unnoticed. Make sure your cat has a place they can escape to, where they're warm, feel safe and no one will disturb them. For mine it's in the spare bedroom or under the sofa (Arthur's favourite hiding spot). Be sure to have a bowl of water and some food in those places too. Whenever they go to these spots, I make sure they are never disturbed - especially when friends or family have popped in!
Routines & Special Occasions
Special occasions such as holidays, birthdays and Christmas mean that routines go out of the window. Cats LOVE routines. We have been giving the Feliway plugins a whirl in preparation for a trip I'm taking for six days back to the UK. The FELIWAY Classic 30 Day Starter Kit comes with the electric plug and a refill which lasts for 30 days and they are much calmer when it's plugged in. I've also noticed that Arthur is so sleepy and cuddly and loves to sit next to it - I think he may get a little high from it. You can then buy FELIWAY Classic 30 Day Refill, Pack of 1 which is just the individual refill.
Feliway releases a pheromone that cats naturally produce at the top of the head which calms them instantly. Arthur's Vet recommended it and I'm so pleased he did, I think we'll always have one plugged in from now on. We found it took about a week for it to really kick in but since then it's been a much calmer cat home with very few cat arguments.
Cats like their food to stay the same - and many are very fussy. If you'd like to try your cat on a different food, try introducing it slowly by mixing a little into their current food. Slowly introduce a little more each day over the course of a week or so.
New Furniture & Cat Beds
If you know you're getting new furniture or cat beds then Feliway also do a spray - FELIWAY CLASSIC Spray, 20ml, which is very useful! Spray it over the new bed or furniture and it's existence shouldn't affect them nearly as much! Try not to move too many things around at once or bring lots of new pieces of furnite into the home at one time. Easing pieces in little by little is much more favorable.
This year Albert Cat joined the family, as the furbabies are no longer kittens, I thought there could be a few possible problems with his being inside. We bought the Feliway Friends plugin FELIWAY FRIENDS 30 Day Starter Kit
and that's worked brilliantly. It's created especially for multi-cat homes. I'd also recommend making sure the new cat has it's own space and there are various levels in rooms where the cats are. The cat on the highest level is saying they are the boss, this is super important for them to establish a ranking.
These are things that have worked for us, but please check with your vet if you're unsure about any of the above before giving them a go.
Peta & The Four K.A.A.Ts - (Katie, Arthur, Albert & Tina)