Making a New Pet Feel at Home

Over the past weekend, my fiancee came home with a kitten. And I honestly couldn’t tell you how off guard I was when it happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to throw a fit about something like this, or act like we can’t have a cat whatsoever. But after a long weekend camping with some buddies, I suppose I expected Sunday to be a very lazy day. That’s why I was pretty surprised when she came home with a cat. And more than anything, it was a bit stressful because we have a dog that has never been around cats, so raising them together will take some work up front.

Additionally, planning out something like this can be one of those things that you’ll feel like you’re always underprepared for. So, she actually heeded my advice and took a leap of faith by bringing the rescue home. Since we’re thrust into the fire with this situation, we’ll learn to take it day by day and slowly introduce the cat to the dog. We hope that within a week or two they start to settle into the home together, but for now, they’ll be separated.

I think a big part of getting the cat acclimated with the home is entertaining her and making her feel comfortable. To start, she’s extremely playful, which can be good for her age but bad if toys aren’t abundant. She’ll start swiping at our hands and nipping at us without something to occupy her, so we’re making sure to hit up the pet store this week.

One thing we’ve been keeping her occupied with is some packing tape, though. It’s funny how packaging supplies like this can be a free and easy way to tide a small animal over for the time being until we get some new toys and materials. And speaking of packaging supplies, we got out an old cardboard box and lined it with a blanket for her to sleep on, and she’s been loving it so far.

Ultimately, it all comes down to creating a hostility free environment, and if the dog is always nosing around the kitten, wanting to see her and smell her and be near her, she’ll be uncomfortable. Those moments are necessary eventually, as they’re going to have to get used to each other’s presence. But for now, we’re letting them become accustomed to one another’s smells, and keeping them in separate rooms and swapping rooms every other day will allow that to happen.