Frequently asked questions 

How much is the adoption donation and what does this include?

 

The minimum adoption fee for a cat or kitten is £95 and this includes the following: 

  • Microchip

  • Complete first course of vaccinations

  • Neutering

  • Flea/worm/mite parasite cover

  • Full health check

Our minimum adoption donation is MUCH lower than you would pay at your local vets for microchipping, neutering and vaccinations.

If kittens go to new homes prior to being old enough for neutering , arrangements will be made with you and our vet for you to return your kitten for neutering, once old enough.

What is the best way of introducing my new cat to my existing cat?

Introducing cats too quickly with little preparation can often lead to them feeling threatened and scared, which increases the chance of aggressive behaviour being shown. Once cats feel this way about each other, it can be very difficult to change their minds

It is important therefore  to introduce your feline companions carefully, using the following tips as a guide.

 

-Choosing the right cat-

Consider your own cats personality and age when deciding on another feline companion. Kittens are often less threatening to an existing cat than an adult. However, kittens are playful and energetic which may cause stress to an older cat who is unable to tolerate a cheeky youngster. Cats who have lived with other cats unsuccessfully in the past or who have lived on their own for a very long time may not adapt well to a new addition, so think carefully about whether introducing a cat into your home is the right thing for your existing cat. Adding another cat into the mix if you have two or more cats who co-exist well together, can sometimes destabilize the group. It is important to ensure that there is sufficient space and resources available for all the cats, and a slow careful introduction is needed.

-Preparing the environment- 

We recommend that you set up an area where your new cat/kitten can be away from your existing cat. A spare room works well for this. Everything that your new cat needs should be placed there; a bed, food, water, scratching post, litter tray and toys etc. Ideally this should be an area that your existing cat doesn't use very much. A large dog crate works well to facilitate introducing kittens, big enough to fit in all of the essentials listed above. Be sure to allow your kitten to get used to a new crate initially, by leaving the crate door open, allowing them to explore.

Ensuring that your home has plenty of higher spaces accessible to your cats can help. Cats naturally like to jump up to higher places to rest and hide, particularly when they are feeling worried. Some cats also feel safer if they can hide, providing them with a safe hiding place such as an igloo style bed can work well.

When you first bring your new feline friend home, avoid the temptation to let them explore your entire home, they will need a few days to adjust to their new surroundings. An important but simple process known as 'scent swapping' can be done during this time: Stroke each of your cats without washing your hands in between and regularly swap over their bedding. This allows them to gradually get used to each others scent. It is useful to delay your cats meeting for several days or a week while your carry out this process.

-First introductions-

It is best for initial introductions to take place in a relatively neutral area of the house to both cats. If initial meetings are rushed, this is when problems can arise. A good way to avoid this is to use a barrier between the cats such as a stair gate. This allows the cats to see and smell each other without being able to meet directly. It is also important that you make it possible for both cats to retreat to their 'safe' areas of the house if they feel the need to. Cats like to observe from a distance and approach in their own time and so it is advisable not to pick up your cat to move them closer. Tasty treats can be used to distract them from one another and to make the experience positive and helps to create a positive association. It is important to ensure there is plenty of distance between the cats when this is done.

Initial interactions should be kept short and its always good to end the interaction on a positive note.

At this point, the cats should be familiar with each others scents and will eventually sniff each other through the bars of the stairgate. Don't be alarmed if they hiss of grumble at each other initially, this isn't unusual but does indicate that things must be done slowly.

For small kittens a safety gate will not be practical as they will easily fit through the bars. Using a large dog create is a better solution. Cover one side of the crate which will allow the kitten to feel safe and allow the adult cat to approach. Ensuring each cat has plenty of space and using treats as above can be helpful, taking care not to overwhelm both the cat and kitten by taking regular breaks.

If either cat appears frightened or displays aggressive body language/ behaviour. Go back to keeping them separated and continue with the scent swapping for a little while longer. When these steps are carried out slowly, you will see a gradual reduction in your cats fearful behaviour and they will become more familiar with each others presence.

Once things start to progress in the right direction, you can allow the cats to explore the rest of the house. Remember that each cat is different and so the time it takes to reach this stage varies depending on the individual cat; for some it will only take a few days whereas others may take several weeks/months. It is important to work at a pace your cats feel comfortable with and by taking things slowly; this will hopefully result in your cats living together harmoniously.

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