As a cat owner, maybe you already know that cats—well, most of them—don’t like change. They like being in comfortable and familiar spaces, and anything new gives them anxiety. However, at some points in your life, you would probably have to move homes. When this happens, it is crucial that you prepare your cat for the relocation so it will be a stress-free move for him:
Before the Move
- Give your cat the opportunity to be familiar with his carrier so he won’t make a fuss when you put him in it on the actual moving day. Leave it open and place a bed for your cat in it. You may also leave a few treats in it in order to entice your cat inside the carrier. Gradually introduce the habit of feeding your cat inside his carrier. For instance, you may start by placing his food dish near the carrier at first and slowly work your way inside.
- While you’re packing, enclose your cat inside a quiet room far from all the noise and activity, which could possibly make him anxious. It might also be be a good idea to get him familiar with your moving boxes.
- Even while you’re busy with all the packing, try not to change your cat’s routine too much. Keep to his regular feeding and playing schedule. Give him the same amount of attention. You can use a feeder with a timer functionality to make sure that he eats at regular times.
On the Day of the Move
- Moving day is a busy day, and your family members and the moving crew will be going in and out of the house. To prevent your cat from getting anxious and dashing outside during this busy time, you can enclose him in a small, quiet space such as a bathroom with his bed, litter box, water, and food. Make sure you put a sign informing everyone to keep the door shut and to be silent as they pass that area to ensure that he really stays inside.
- While you are traveling, your cat is sure to get very anxious and scared. However, try to resist opening his carrier in order to comfort him as he might dash out. You should only open his carrier when you arrive at your destination.
After the Move
- Take your cat right away to a relatively quiet room inside your new house. Set up his food and water containers as well as his bed and litter box. Make this his home base for a few days while you and your family are busy unpacking. Keeping him in this quiet space for a few days will allow him to get used to the new environment gradually.
- When you are done with the unpacking and you and your family are mostly settled in your new house, begin to introduce your cat to your new home. Supervise him closely while he is exploring this unfamiliar environment.
You should make the relocation as stress-free as possible for your pet. Otherwise, you risk having your cat meow constantly and loudly, cry, hide, show aggression, and even attempt to escape from his new habitat.
Nothing can compare to that moment when a cute kitten or a cat arrives in your household and charms his way into your heart. And at that moment, you might ask yourself, “What will I name this perfect little bundle of sunshine?”
Sometimes you can easily think of a name, but there may be times when it’s not so easy. If you find yourself at a loss as to what to name your newest member of the family, here are some cat-naming tips you can keep in mind:
Look to the past.
Some people choose to name their pets in remembrance of a beloved family pet they had when they were younger. If you had a special pet who you loved when you were a small child and have fond memories of, you can name your new pet in their memory. You can also give your pet a domestic name such as Junior; this will make him feel like he is a real member of your family.
Go with what’s popular.
You can also take a page from other people. If you have friends who have feline friends of their own, ask them for suggestions. You can also go online and search Google for the top cat names. Some of the popular names nowadays are Angel, Lily, and Oreo for females and Toby, Milo, and Tigger for males. Your own country and region might also have its own list of favoured cat names.
Be as creative as you can be.
If you don’t like the idea of giving your cat a name that someone else or you have previously given another cat, why not take this chance to think up a truly original name? Get your family together and hold a contest for crazy cat names. The craziest name wins, and your kitten or cat gets the privilege of being the bearer of that unconventional name.
Observe their personality.
Remember the Seven Dwarves? Their names—Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy,
etc.—perfectly captured their personalities. Why not do the same for your kitten? Observe him for a few days and take note of any unique personality quirks he might have. Their traits might give you clues as to the perfect name for them.
Animal scientists and behaviourists have found out that cats respond more to specific vocalized sounds than others; that is, they respond to higher-pitched sounds, especially names with a long “ee sound. It is no coincidence then that cats communicate with their humans with a high-pitched meow. You can take a hint from this study when thinking up the perfect name for your cat.
Just simply look.
Sometimes just looking at their size and coat colour and specific breed can give you hints. For instance, if your cat is of a breed that has a dark-coloured coat, such as a Russian Blue or a Bombay, you can give him names that are indicative of such dark hues. Or if your cat is odd-eyed or has heterochromia—that is, he has different-coloured eyes—then you can think of a name that can reflect this distinctive trait.
Whatever strategy you go for in naming your cat, one thing is important: make sure the name is a good fit for your feline friend. After all, that is what you will call him by and he will have to live with that name for the rest of his life.
Bringing home a new kitten, whether from a pet store or from an adoption centre, is definitely an exciting time for the entire family. In the succeeding weeks, kitty will see numerous opportunities to adjust to the new surroundings. At the same time, you will know more about him or her.
But while he or she is still in the adjustment stage, expect to see him or her hide and display nervousness, especially during the first few days of staying with you. These reactions are not that different from the normal human reaction to being in a new environment (i.e. new neighbourhood, new country, new workplace, new school). Like humans, cats feel stressed when taken away from familiar environments and moved to new, unfamiliar settings.
How To Understand Kitty Cat
* Spend lots of time handling kitty cat. By doing so, you develop a strong bond with him or her and make him or her feel comfortable in your home.
* The meow is usually reserved for cat-to-human communication, although this endearing means of communication is used to get the mother’s attention as well. That said, it follows that, instead of ignoring it, you should respond to it. However, if you notice that kitty meows way too much, ignore the meowing and respond only when he or she has quieted down.
* Kitty cat has so much energy to burn, and since cats are mainly nocturnal mammals, it follows that your new addition to your family will be more active during the night. As this can be an inconvenience to you, it’s important that you alter this behaviour early on. Make it a habit to play with kitty during early evenings so that some of the excess energy is spent. Set aside playing time for when you wish kitty to become very active. Lastly, avoid playing with them or feeding them if he or she will wake you up at night since this will only reward unwanted behaviour.
* All cats have a need to scratch surfaces. They do this in order to sharpen claws and to deposit their distinct scent, which happens because scent glands can also be found on cat paws.
To prevent damage to home essentials associated with scratching, you need to provide the cat with scratching posts. At first, these posts should be placed in areas where kitty scratches. Then gradually move the posts to the location you prefer. Posts should never be hidden in corners since it’s important for kitty to scratch in areas that are immediately visible.
* Cats are predators. Thus, it follows that as kitty grows older, he or she will spend so much time learning behaviours his or her ancestors have learned, such as chasing, pouncing, and stalking. While normal, keep in mind that kitty has sharp claws and teeth, so make sure that kitty only does these actions on suitable toys and not on humans and other pets.
Understanding the behaviour of a new kitten, as a whole, can be challenging. But as long as the tips highlighted above are followed, you can expect kitty’s stay in your household to be a pleasant experience for both kitty and your family.
If you’re feeling crafty, and it so happens that you have kittens and cats under your care, you can make for them any of the following toys highlighted below so that you no longer need to spend so much on commercially available playthings.
Cardboard Cat Playhouse:
Kitties, regardless of age and size, will love to wander around places they know they can explore. This is what makes the cardboard playhouse one of the best feline playthings.
You will need:
- Window and door templates
- Three sturdy cardboard boxes of the same size
- Bone folder
- Utility knife or razor blade
- Self-healing mat
- Glue gun
1. Print the window and door templates and cut them out. Position window and door templates on a box, using your ruler for placement. With a pencil, trace the templates to the box. Slide into the box a self-healing mat, making sure it is positioned behind the cardboard door; cut the top edge, the bottom edge, and the centre. Fold open along the straight parts. Repeat the tracing and cutting process on the second box, this time with the window template.
2. Put together the bottom part of the first box: fold in flaps, making sure they are coated with glue, then fold the other flaps over the first flaps. Hold flaps together until such time that the glue has settled. One the open portion of the box, cut off the flap of every long side. Then cut half the flap from a short side off, then fold it in. Get hot glue and use it to secure flaps to box side. Hold in place the flaps until the glue has settled.
3. Start creating the roof. At the top part of the second box, get a pencil and ruler and use it to create a line from top centre of a short-side flap to a bottom corner; draw another line from top centre to another bottom corner. Repeat at the opposite flap. Cut a long-side flap off; set aside. Proceed to remove a triangular shaped part from a short-side flap by cutting along a penciled line; cut along second line. Do the same with the other short-side flap–cut along a line and score the other.
4. Cut the long-side flaps of the bottom portion of box number two. Cut a short-flap so once you have assembled and stacked this box to the one at the bottom, all holes are aligned. Secure flaps to side of box using an application of glue. Hold these flaps until such time that the glue has set. Coat top portion of bottom box with hot glue. Position bottom of second box over top portion of bottom box, and hold until the glue has dried. Use a short side flap you have reserved and apply glue to one side. Set this flap, coated side down, to top box floor to serve as reinforcement.
5. Cut roof piece from box number three with crease down centre when it is folded from one short end to another. To attach the roof, you need to fold along scored lines on all short-side flaps located at the topmost section of the house. Glue the long flap to folded triangles from short sides. Coat pieces you have folded in with glue generously, and then set the roof on top of them. When doing this, make sure to hold pieces until the glue has settled. (Note: Do not glue shut the opposite side of the roof, as kitty will love to peek his head out from under there.)
Feather Cat Toy:
Feather toys resemble birds, which kitties also love to hunt. Here’s how you can make your own wool felt feather toy.
1. Using a template as your guide, cut one big feather and one smaller feather from differently-coloured wool felt.
2. Use a hot iron and crease down the middle parts of every feather.
3. Get a jump ring and add it to the jingle bell.
4. Slip the end of a yard-long length of cord through the jump ring. At the bell, tie the feather stems to a cord, making sure that a square knot is used to secure the cord. Aside from securing the cord, knotting can also help prevent it from fraying.
A ring ball is a ball made of cardboard rings. A treat can be placed inside this ball to serve as an incentive to the feline pet. You only need a cardboard toilet paper tube to create this toy.
1. Cut four rings out of the entire cardboard tube, making sure that scissors are used to do so.
2. Insert a ring to another ring. Insert the third ring, then the fourth ring, until a ball is formed.
As proven by the many toys that you can get from a pet shop, cats love to play with so many things. But there’s no need to spend so much on cat toys as long as you take time to learn to create your own kitty playthings from recycled materials.
When the Fourth of July comes around, it usually means one thing: a big nationwide celebration. Prepare yourself for lots of food, people, and fireworks. For your cats, however, it means chaos and a host of terrifying things. As a cat owner, you may already know that domesticated felines are sensitive creatures. Thus, this busy and exciting time is almost certain to overload their delicate senses.
While you shouldn’t forget about enjoying yourself on this annual holiday, you should also consider the well-being of your feline friend. Keep him safe during this time by following these tips:
This applies even to a cat that is used to exploring the outdoors. There are a lot of firecrackers going off during this time, and the sudden noise, as well as the burning smell of the firecrackers, can easily frighten and disorient him. Also, take note that there might be some pranksters around who delight in frightening and terrorizing small animals on purpose. Keep your cat away from all the chaos and the people who might possibly harm him by keeping him indoors.
- Keep an eye on the doors.
If you’re having some people over for your own Fourth of July party, remind your family members and your guests to be careful as they go in and out the doors to ensure that your cat doesn’t escape unnoticed. Check the doors and windows for any gaps, holes, or tears through which your pet might escape.
Just in case you do lose your pet during this busy time, make sure you’ve updated his information in the registry, if he has been microchipped. Collars with identifying information and a contact number can also be used. This way, the person who finds your pet will be able to get in touch with you and return him to you.
While you and your family are busy viewing the fireworks, have a sitter look after your cat. This way, if your pet reacts negatively to all the chaotic noise, he will have someone nearby to console him as well as to supervise him.
Designate a quiet room in your house as your cat’s sanctuary. This should be far away from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday festivities. Keep the room’s door locked and set it up with your pet’s food, water, toys, bedding, and litter box so he has everything he needs.
- Distract him with familiar noise.
Drown out the noise of fireworks and other Fourth of July noises by turning on devices that emit sounds familiar to him, such as a TV or a radio. The noises of these devices are things that your cat will certainly be familiar to and thus won’t be bothered by.
If your pet has an extremely sensitive or anxious personality, you can consider giving him some calming medication. However, you should first talk to your veterinarian about this as such medication often brings about certain side effects.
However busy you are with the Fourth of July celebrations, don’t forget to spend time with your cat. Look in on him every now and then and see to it that all his needs are attended to. More than anything else, your presence is sure to be the most reassuring thing for him.