Learn how to manage your cat around your smaller pets with Hill’s Science Diet and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Of course your cat can be super sweet, whether it’s curled up with you on the couch or sunning itself in the window. But it’s important to remember that cats are natural-born hunters – they enjoy hunting just as much as their wild relatives. If you have smaller pets, such as birds or hamsters, you may wonder about the best way to introduce the pint-sized animals to your feline. The last thing you want is a trip to the vet or worse. While safety isn’t guaranteed, there are some steps you can take to help socialize your different animals. Follow these tips from Hill’s Science Diet and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Introduce Your Cat to Your Other Pets
Introduce your cat to their small roommate. You want your cat to be able to satisfy her curiosity without harming your small pet. Let your cat sniff and investigate the new pet in a non-threatening way while in their cage. If your cat reaches with a paw or shows any aggressive behavior, make sure to use strong commands such as “no,” so she knows it’s not acceptable behavior.
Do not leave the animals alone unprotected. Even if you have a mellow cat, she might decide to playfully pounce or just get excited when she sees a small animal or bird nearby. You need to teach your cat that the small pet is a friend, not a toy or food. It’s best to keep the small pet in a safe cage when your cat is around.
Give Your Cat Enough Attention
Make plenty of time for your cat – you want her to know that she hasn’t been replaced by a new pet. Distracting her with toys and games is a good way to satisfy her need to hunt while also spending quality time together. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t use toys that mimic your small pet. For example, don’t use feathered toys if you have a pet bird, or don’t use a stuffed mouse if you have a hamster, mouse or rat. You don’t want her to confuse the toys with the real pets.
Make Sure You Have a Secure Cage/Tank
Keeping your small pet in a cage or tank is one thing, but making sure it’s secure is another. If your cat can knock over the cage or get into the tank, it’s not safe enough. For small animals like rabbits and hamsters, stress caused by being under attack can result in death. It’s important to keep your small pets out of reach and put them in a secure, durable cage. If you have fish, make sure your cat can’t get in the tank. Not only will your fish be in danger, but your cat will be, too, without a secure, covered fish tank.
Be at the Ready
Use a squirt bottle to deter your cat away from the small animal cage if she looks ready to pounce or hunt. This will help her learn to stay away. If you have kids in the house, it’s also important to teach them about the two animals. Make sure they know the two pets shouldn’t play together, and that they need to remember to close cages and replace lids after feeding the smaller pets.
Take Your Time
You know your cat the best, so give her time to adjust. With plenty of care, affection and attention you can help your pets live in harmony. For more tips on caring for pets of all sizes, visit our Pet Care blog.
Content was originally posted on www.hillspet.com.