How to Successfully Add Another Cat to Your Household

Although it may seem trivial to some, bringing a new cat into the home can actually be more challenging than you'd like! While for many families, cats can live together in harmony, for others, things can be more difficult. That's why it can be helpful to follow some guidelines to ensure that introducing a new feline into the home is a smooth affair. Of course, there are different techniques that can help you achieve harmony among all the members of your whiskered family, but here is the recommended method for successfully welcoming a new cat into your family.

Psst! Above all, it is important to remember that cats are solitary animals. Thus, most of them prefer to avoid interactions with other cats and live without competition on their territory, even if some cats can live harmoniously together. Knowing that most relationships between cats in the same household are closer to those of roommates than accomplices, it is important to welcome a new cat for the right reasons and not solely to provide a friend to your cat who seems bored. The only real reason to adopt a new cat is because you want to.

Here are the steps to follow to promote a good start to a new cohabitation between cats:

1- Arrival

The stress that the newcomer will experience while being transported to his new home is usually very intense and can be sufficient to ruin the first meeting with your resident cat if it takes place on the same day. To ensure a good first impression, be sure to prepare things. First, separate the new cat by isolating him in a room, allowing him to recover from his emotions. This acclimatization can take several days and that's normal! Be patient and respect the time your new pet needs to get used to his new environment. If he appreciates your presence, take advantage of this time to visit, offer him treats and spend some quality time with him!

2- Exploration

Once the newcomer seems comfortable with his daily routine, you can move on to the next step: letting him explore his territory. To avoid conflict, allow your cat to visit the house quietly and isolate the other animals in another room. Take advantage of this first visit throughout the house to give your cat some surprises and treats to make the event interesting and stimulating. During this step, keep a close eye on his behaviour: if he refuses the treats and doesn't eat anything for the first 15 minutes, it's a sign that he's not quite ready. Return him to his quarters and repeat the exercise later or the next day. When your cat finally accepts the treats and adopts a relaxed body language, it's time to move on to the next step.

3- The Meeting

The key to a successful encounter between cats is to make sure that their interaction is associated with a positive moment. The goal is to associate the presence of the other cat with the appearance of treats, and there are several different ways to reach this goal. Close the door between the cats so that they can see each other without touching, for example, by separating them with glass, a barrier, or a screen. Then offer food to each cat and put it down so that they can see each other while staying in their own rooms. Gradually move the cats closer together by placing the food closer to the door and continue as long as they continue to eat. Stop or move the food back if either cat chooses to ignore the food and focus on the other cat instead. By taking this step-by-step approach, your two pets will soon be able to eat in front of each other without any difficulty.


4- Living Together

When your cats are comfortable enough to eat near each other, it's time to let them live together. Set up your environment so that each cat can have their own hiding places and access to high places. They should each have their own litter box, water bowl and the opportunity to eat their meals without the risk of interference from other cats. The goal is to always give them the space to avoid conflicts. Trust your cats – but be aware that in order to get to know and understand each other, small conflicts are almost inevitable. As long as your cats don't hurt themselves, continue to eat well, stay clean and don't show any drastic changes in behaviour, you can consider the situation under control. After a few weeks on average, harmony in the household should finally be achieved!

If you would like more advice, feel free to contact our team who will be happy to assist you in this great adventure!


Happy integration!



How to Plan Kitty’s Annual Visit

Pour beaucoup de chats, la visite annuelle chez le vétérinaire est la seule occasion de sortir de la maison pendant l’année! Le chat étant un animal très routinier, cette sortie peut s’avérer très stressante pour lui. Pour permettre une sortie chez le vétérinaire la plus agréable possible autant pour le chat que pour les parents, voici quelques recommandations pour le transport de Minou.

Tout d’abord, il est important de se procurer une cage de transport qui convient bien à votre animal. Pour votre sécurité ainsi que celle de votre chat, évitez de le laisser en liberté dans la voiture pendant le trajet ou encore sur les jambes de votre passager. L’utilisation d’une cage de transport est la façon la plus sécuritaire et rassurante pour les déplacements avec votre chat. Cette cage de transport doit être assez grande pour que le chat puisse se tenir debout. Celle-ci devrait idéalement être munie d’un couvercle facile à retirer ou encore d’une ouverture par le dessus. Il sera beaucoup plus simple et moins stressant de sortir Minou de sa cage une fois en salle de consultation.

Pour éviter une association négative avec la cage de transport, on recommande de laisser la cage dans l’environnement du chat pour qu’elle puisse être utilisée comme cachette. Disposez-la dans un endroit calme, idéalement en hauteur, déposez-y une couverture confortable et retirez la porte. Chaque jour, déposez-y une gâterie et la journée du rendez-vous, optez pour une super gâterie. Ainsi, la cage deviendra un endroit sécuritaire et apaisant pour le chat.

Dans la voiture, il est très important de fixer la cage à l’aide d’une ceinture de sécurité. Pendant le trajet, une couverture peut être déposée sur la cage et surtout, il est important de ne pas répondre ou parler à Minou s’il vocalise!

Une fois de retour à la maison, s’il y a d’autres animaux, le chat devrait être isolé dans une pièce pendant environ 5 heures. De cette façon, il aura le temps de refaire sa toilette et remettre son odeur pour faciliter l’acceptation des autres chats de la maison. Vous pouvez aussi lui offrir une couverture avec l’odeur des autres animaux pour accélérer le processus. La réintroduction devrait se faire avec une association positive (ex.: offrir un repas de nourriture en conserve à chaque animal et ouvrir la porte de la pièce). Par la suite, reprenez votre routine habituelle. Il sera rassurant pour votre chat de retrouver ses habitudes.

Finalement, lavez la cage ainsi que la couverture au retour pour éliminer toutes les phéromones d’alarmes que votre chat aurait pu y déposer pendant le transport avant de la remettre dans son environnement (et surtout pas dans le garde-robe du sous-sol jusqu’au rendez-vous de l’an prochain!)

Creating a Feline Environment

Have you ever thought that your cat may be suffering from boredom? Indeed, if you think about it, the cat is an animal strongly anchored in its roots and has remained despite its domestication, a hunter at heart! Therefore, he needs space to hide, climb, run (hunting territory) and also prey to chase and chew. As well, he wants to have access to secluded places to sleep or simply to rest from his family members!

As for his litter box, he likes a very large box that’s always clean, without a dome, and containing soft, non-dusty and unscented litter. He would like to have two (one more than the number of cats in the household) and prefers it to be located in a quiet, non-passing area.

Did you know that several health or behavioural issues arise because Kitty lives in a human home and not a feline environment? These include obesity, certain types of urinary tract infections, poor hygiene, aggressiveness, obsessive disorders, etc.

Here are a few tips to help you enrich your cat’s environment. First of all, if he doesn’t go outside, give him easy access to windows by keeping them open in the summer to provide olfactory stimulation. Install bird feeders near the window. Provide a cat tree for your cat for him to climb and hide in. Have several places to hide, safe toys to keep him moving and stimulate his predatory behaviour, and catnip to chew on (instead of your plants!)

There is an entertaining toy called Pipolino designed to feed your cat while promoting exercise and hunting behaviour. It shows great potential for preventing obesity and the many disorders associated with the shortcomings of our human homes.

Just talk to your veterinary team... they can help you build your cat’s environment with simple tips that will be most beneficial to your cat.


How to Introduce a New Pet With Your Dogs and Cats

The arrival of a new cat or dog is often stressful, both for the new arrival and for the pets who already live in the home. Here are some tips for introducing this new pet with your dogs and cats:


Preparing for the Arrival of the New Cat or Dog

In order to promote a positive encounter between the new animal and your pets, it is essential to separate them for the first few days. This is especially true for cats: it is important to give them time to adapt to their new environment before meeting their new companions. Provide a safe room where your new pet can live for the first 24 to 48 hours. It can be helpful to change rooms for your pets before you have them meet for the first time, so the new pet can explore the whole house.


Show Available Resources

One of the first steps to take after releasing a cat or dog into their new environment is to show them the location where they can relieve themselves. It is also essential to make fresh water and food easily available, safe from competition with other animals in the house.


Pheromone Diffusers

There are products available in veterinary stores that promote animal cohabitation and help reduce stress in pets. Among other things, some products use synthetic pheromones to generate a soothing and harmonious environment. Find out more from the store of your veterinary clinic.


Supervised Meetings

After the first days of adaptation to the environment, you may proceed with the meeting between the current house pets and the newcomer. Do short, supervised, remote encounters first. Then, depending on how each animal behaves, allow them to gradually get closer. It is important that these meetings be voluntary at all times. Let the animals interact at their own pace.


Positive Encounters

To make every experience positive, reward them with their favorite treats. As well, promote play between your pets, which is always joyful and often allows harmonious relationships.


Disease Prevention

Make sure your new companion is adequately protected so as not to expose your pets to pathogens. Consult your veterinarian for vaccination, screening and deworming recommendations. This also applies to your existing pets, who will now be exposed to a new animal that could potentially carry certain pathogens.

Is a Cat Really for Me?

Have you fallen for the adorable kitten in the shop window? A stray cat keeps coming back to see you? Cats are unrivalled charmers - they know how to make us fall in love! However, before giving in to love at first sight, it’s advisable to ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you could offer a cat, what your expectations and needs are, and what kind of budget you can afford.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • Do you have a busy schedule? Will you have time to dedicate to your little protégé?
  • Are you dreaming of a fluffy kitten like those featured in those toilet paper commercials? First of all, don’t forget that all baby kittens turn into adult cats! You should also be aware that a long-haired cat will require regular, deep brushing to avoid becoming thickly matted – in which case, the cat may need to be shaved! As well, a “flat-faced” cat will require daily eye cleaning.
  • Do you have leather furniture? It may fall prey to Kitty’s sharp nails. Adopting a cat also means making compromises!
  • Can you afford it? The first year, Kitty will need several vaccinations, neutering and deworming treatments. Your vet’s general examination may reveal surprises such as fleas, ear mites, ringworm, or a viral disease. You’ll be glad you had the cat checked BEFORE you brought it into your home! It’s a wise decision to budget for contingencies... they can add up your health care costs!

Once you have weighed the pros and cons, you can make an informed choice. Keep in mind that you are responsible for those you tame!


Oh No… the Cat Peed on the Bed!

The horror! Max has urinated in the middle of the bed. Once you get over the initial shock, there are a few things to check:

  • Under which circumstances did this happen? Was there a stressful event?
  • Is the litter box clean?
  • How has Max been feeling lately?
  • Did he urinate a lot more, or a lot less than usual?

Urinating out of the litter box can hide a medical problem. Having a physical exam and urinalysis done is a smart choice. Bladder inflammation, urinary crystals, diabetes, or kidney failure are all factors that can explain this "bad" behaviour. If the tests do not reveal anything, it may be a behavioural issue.

It is very important to keep the litter box spotless! We recommend that the number of litter boxes in a house be equal to the number of cats + 1. It is preferable to use a litter box without a dome, filled with unscented material... And it must be emptied every day! The box itself should be cleaned thoroughly once a week and replaced every year. Place it in a quiet and easily accessible place. Not next to the furnace!

Despite normal test results and perfect litter box management, Max may continue to urinate in inappropriate places. In this case, anxiety may be the source of the problem. This is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that other reasons have been ruled out. Possible therapeutic approaches include synthetic hormones, milk protein hydrolysates, antidepressants, environmental enrichment. We will discuss these further in a subsequent article.

When it comes to cleaning up Max’s mess, there are different products available to neutralize odours. Cleaning should be completed quickly. Avoid bleach, as it will attract Max to the same spot! Note that bleach is an excellent disinfectant... except in this case, it’s not the best idea!

If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian!


Kitty 1 – Couch 0!

Is Kitty getting ready to tear up your beautiful new couch? Here’s what you need to know: clawing is an innate behaviour in cats. Changing an innate behaviour is not an easy task. Kitty does this to “clean” her claws and to mark her territory using small glands between her toes.

Cats whose claws are regularly trimmed develop fewer problems. It is important to keep track of where and when the scratching occurs. Is it on a vertical or horizontal surface? Does the cat do this while alone, or in the presence of other cats? In the dark or not? This information will be invaluable in directing Kitty to an attractive scratching post. Meeting Kitty’s needs will help, but you increase your chances of success if you reward her for clawing in the correct spot. An older cat who scratches for a “social reason” will appreciate a post where he can mark his territory with scent and sight.

Some cats will use a scratching post immediately, while others need to be shown how to do it. The key is to direct Kitty to the right place, reward good behaviour, and return her to the appropriate spot if necessary.

Putting a small bell around your cat’s neck will help you know where she is, and prevent bad behaviours. The cat must be caught in the act – within 60 seconds of the sequence of events leading up to the scratching. The goal is to surprise the cat without terrifying her, ideally without being seen! Do not trim her claws immediately after a scratching incident to avoid any association. Wait for a calm period. Be careful, however, with stray or aggressive cats. You could get hurt. A scratching post can be made of cloth, wood log, rope, or cardboard. It must be sturdy and suitable for Kitty’s preferences.

In your absence, block Kitty’s access to the area you wish to protect when possible.

Finally, do not encourage “Baby Kitty” or “New Kitty” to scratch your clothes, pants or skirts… to avoid tempting her into scratching everywhere!

In short, be patient and use strategies to make sure the count goes to Kitty 0, Couch 1!



Hôpital Vétérinaire du Boisé

Your pet is a member of your family and ours; it is a best friend, and even a confidant!

That's why our dedicated team of veterinarians, technicians, assistant technicians and receptionists is always there, ready to care for your pet and give you the most appropriate advice to ensure its well-being and health.