By Marva Marrow
As a feline behaviorist I am invariably called in to "fix" problems that are already in progress - sometimes ongoing for years. And generally, by the time I am called, the situation has escalated to a crisis. But on other happy occasions, when I am asked to advise before someone makes a decision to add a cat or kitten to a family with one or more resident felines, I welcome this great opportunity to educate and put odds in favor of finding the RIGHT companion for the furry family member(s).
Knowing how to choose a "pet" for your cat will give the best odds for avoiding personality conflicts - which often show up as behavior problems, such as litterbox avoidance, spraying or marking, aggression, fearful attitude and other unwanted behavior. Here are some tips for making that right choice:
For pets without these deterrents, there are pros and cons to both ages. A kitten, especially a domestic random-bred kitten, is an unknown quantity. You won't really know what their personality is until they are grown. But older cats are often more accepting of kittens - once they survive the adjustment period. Finding an adult cat to fit in with the felines of the family can also work seamlessly - if you keep the above suggestions in mind. Usually a shelter or breeder will be able to give a detailed description of the personality of the older cat and you can judge by that if it should work. If you don't have this information, try to spend as much time as possible with the older cat to see if the personality seems compatible with what you know of your cat. Keep in mind that cats in shelters or other stressful situations may not show their true colors. Keep your head about you and try not to be swayed by emotions that don't have anything to do with making the right match - whether you are choosing a kitten or an adult. Use the above criteria and you will assure yourself and your family the best chances of success.
Marva Marrow is a feline behaviorist with over 30 years of experience. To find out more about her services, or to schedule a consultation, visit her website www.kittykouch.com.
Share with your followers.
This program is supported by
The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.
This program is supported by The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.