Adding an Additional Cat to Your Home

When throwing two cats into one environment you have to give proper consideration to their respective positions. Otherwise you may be asking for trouble.

Be patient when bringing a new cat into your home. The introduction must be gradual. It takes most cats 8-12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat.

Even if she has lived harmoniously with other cats in the past or was at the humane society, it’s unfortunately impossible to predict whether or not any two cats will get along.

The more cats you have, the higher the likelihood that there will be conflicts among them. The individual personalities of the cats are more important than any other factor, such as sex, age or size.

Step 1: Controlling First Impressions

If two cats display aggression during their first meeting, this may set the mood for their future relationship. It is strongly recommended that you separate your resident cat from your new cat when you first bring her home so that you can control their initial meeting.

  • The two cats should be able to smell and hear – but not see or touch – each other
  • Each cat should have her own food and water bowl, litter box and scratching post etc.
  • Feed the cats near the door that separates them so they learn that coming together (even though they can’t see each other) results in a pleasant experience.
  • In addition to regular cat food, feed the cats extra-special treats near the door as well
  • After two or three days, switch the cats’ locations so that they can investigate each other’s smell.
  • After a few more days, play with each of the cats near the door. You can encourage them to paw at toys under the door.

Step 2: Letting the Cats See Each Other

Assuming that you see no signs of aggression at the door (hissing, growling, etc) after a week or so, you can introduce the cats to each other.

Step 3: Letting the Cats Spend Time Together

  • Supervise these initial face-to-face interactions carefully.
  • After a meal or strenuous play is a good time to bring cats together, since they are likely to be relatively calm.
  • In case they begin to fight, keep a water bottle handy

Allow them longer and longer periods of time together as they become more familiar with each other.

Final Tips

When it comes to a multiple cat household, introduce each new resident to the newcomer individually.

Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care

Melanie Lovett

How Clicker Training Can Be Effective

When you are trying to teach your family pet basic commands, clicker dog training is one of the most effective tools that you can use for controlling a dog’s behavior. It can be used to reinforce those behaviors that you want your pet to repeat…and to help stop them from doing things that you are not happy about.

Clicker training takes very little time to master and you can use it to teach your dog nearly anything you desire.

How Clicker Training Works

Your dog can hear the sound of a clicker from 20 plus yards away. The idea is that you are teaching your dog to associate the sound of the clicker with a specific command you give. The goal of the training is to reward desirable behavior with the sound of the clicker.

Obviously clicker dog training does not start with a clicker. Your dog must first be taught that the clicker is a reward for good behavior. This can be done with a bag of treats and a simple, two dollar clicker you can purchase from your local pet store.

It is important that you use a clicker in this instance and to reinforce to the dog that he will never hear that clicker other than to tell him that he did a good job and that a treat is on the way.

How To Be Successful at Clicker Training

There are three basic steps to get your dog to respond to training via a clicker. First, you will get the desired behavior – convincing your dog to do something that you want. It may be sitting, speaking, or whatever other commands you are trying to get him to learn. Once you’ve gotten them to perform the desired behavior, mark it with the clicker and a reward.

It usually only takes a couple of markings before a dog learns what the correct behavior was and he will start repeating it whenever you use the clicker. Clicker dog training works well because he will immediately respond, allowing you to reward him and immediately reinforce the positive behavior in his mind. A verbal command will take some time to get through.

Once your dog has performed the desired command and received his reward, continue to reinforce the positive behavior you want from them as much as possible. Treats do not have to be used every time. Praise works just as well.

Whenever you are about to use the clicker, say the command and then click, followed by the reward. The dog will quickly learn the command you are trying to get him to perform.

Transitioning to a Command

Once the dog has learned the behavior, clicker dog training will allow you to be able to transition to a spoken command that can be used anywhere, even when a clicker is not available.

Eventually, with successful clicker training, a dog will respond to a verbal cue and at that moment you need to praise him for the action and then they will learn it. Treats or praise will no longer be necessary and the dog will simply know that the action has pleased you, his owner.

With a simple, sharp command, you can mark and reinforce nearly any behavior with clicker training.

Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care
Melanie Lovett

Should You Give Your Dog Rawhide?

While rawhide treats may be popular, here are some points to keep in mind when deciding if they are right for your dog.

imageThe inner layer of cow or horse hides are used to make rawhide. The hides are cleaned and or ground during the manufacturing process. Next they’re made into chewable different shapes and sizes. Some contain flavorings to make them more appealing.

There are some benefits of rawhide. Chewing can help relieve anxiety and can provide stimulation. There is less plaque and tartar build-up on dogs that chew regularly on rawhide.

While the risks are relatively small, they can be serious and for that reason should not be ignored.

Here are some of the most common risks of rawhide:

  • Rawhide chews can contain trace elements of toxic chemicals. Humans can also be at risk when coming into contact with bacteria on rawhide treats.
  • If a dog is sensitive or allergic to rawhide or the substances used in manufacturing, it can cause diarrhea.
  • There is a choking and blockage risk. This risk is bigger than digestive contamination or digestive irritation. A blockage can lead to death if not resolved.

If you decide to offer your dog rawhide, wash your hands thoroughly after handing the treats to minimize your risk of exposure to contaminants.

It is advised that you ask your veterinarian how much is safe to give your dog. Generally the smaller the dog, the fewer the chews. Give one at a time at first, then wait a day to see how your dog responds.

When the chew becomes small enough to swallow whole, take it away from your dog.

Contact your vet if see signs such as:

  • Gagging
  • Regurgitation
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lack of energy
  • Signs of pain
  • Refusal to eat

Not all rawhide treats are safe for your dog to eat. It has been reported that rawhides which have been produced outside the US were made from toxic chemicals. Try to be selective when choosing rawhide.

Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care
Melanie Lovett