Back in March, I decided to take in Milo, a grumpy half Persian cat, who I had previously been visiting for playdates. His owner’s kitten had sadly passed and Milo spent a lot of time alone due to his owners work commitments. I knew I could provide a lot more company for Milo due to being self-employed and being able to choose my own work. I took him in hoping I could make him a lot happier. He was an outdoor cat back in his previous house and came to live with me in my 2 bedroom flat, meaning he was unable to be outside. After moving into my new home and slowly introducing Milo to our back garden, I noticed he seemed much happier in our new house, as there was so much more space for him and it came with the possibility of being able to go back to living as an outdoor cat.
It’s unknown how old Milo actually is and I’ve estimated him to be around 4-5 years old, he didn’t appear to like other cats but still seemed to be quite lonely. I really wanted to cheer up this miserable boy but didn’t quite understand how. You could come home with handfuls of toys, treats and try to spend all of your days playing with him and he wouldn’t even bat an eyelid. For a while, I thought that I had bitten off more than I could chew. This boy was far too stuck in his own ways. The only idea I had left was to get another cat which didn’t seem to preferable considering he couldn’t get along with other cats. He didn’t seem to enjoy their company and can’t stand to be around another male despite being neutered.
After a lot of thought, I realised it was worth the gamble at my cat’s companionship and began to look for a kitten to join my family. We had a hard time looking for the perfect cat to join our family and for a while all hopes of that looked impossible especially during the Coronavirus lockdown. That was until we came across Aurora, a beautiful kitten who was meant to be 8 weeks old and ready to leave her mum. Upon picking Aurora up, we discovered that she was actually only around 4-5 weeks old, and needed around the clock care. She was so young and hadn’t had the time to be taught by her mother how to do things such as use a litter tray or drink from a bowl.
I’d love to say that it was love at first sight for Milo and Aurora, but that was just not the case. He was petrified of this tiny kitten and couldn’t stand to be anywhere near her. I think part of him despised us for bringing her into his home as he became more distant from the family over the next 2-3 weeks. I just kept telling myself that he will get over it and at the end of the day this kitten needed me. I began to form a strong bond with her through bottle feeding, burping, cleaning her and spending large portions of my day cuddling her to sleep.
Aurora would meow every time she saw me until I picked her up. After around 3-4 weeks of having Aurora in the house, Milo began to start re-joining us in the living room and watching her from afar but still keeping a big distance. I’d struggled to get Aurora to use a litter box at this point, she wouldn’t cover the litter tray or even dig a hole big enough within it. I remember sitting one day and watching her use the litter tray, she hadn’t gone properly and I’d already succumbed to showing her what to do myself which didn’t seem to work. The next minute, Milo got up and strolled over to the litter tray and began to cover it for her and I felt so shocked! He began to do this daily, and started letting her slowly get closer to him each day and one day I even caught them snuggling.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, Milo began to take Aurora under his wing and show her how to be more cat. He started to become motherly towards her and responding to her meows. I’d hoped that they would be able to get along and keep each other company but it just didn’t seem promising and it took me by complete surprise. As the weeks have gone on, they have become closer, and spend hours playing together. Deciding to get Aurora has turned out to be one of the best decisions for our family. She has completed our little family and has really helped change Milo.
Milo and Aurora’s story was featured as the Star Letter in Cat Protection’s The Cat Magazine Winter 2020 Edition.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this story, which explains what we have been up to over the last couple of weeks. Bringing a new pet into your home can be very tough and stressful to get around a new routine. I never realised how difficult it was to try feed them both at the same time every morning as I don’t want them thinking I play favouritism. Trying to get your pets to accept other pets can also prove challenging. When deciding to adopt a new pet into the family, you should consider all possibilities. I’ve outlined some below as well as some tips on introducing pets.
Things to consider –
Do you have other pets in the home?
Do you have the time to dedicate to training and providing companionship?
Is your home suitable for that type of animal?
Can you afford the correct care necessary for that pet?
It is so important to remember that animals mean commitment and you should never just get one on a whim. It would be even more upsetting to have to give a pet up because your lifestyle isn’t suited for it, than to not have one at all.
Tips on Introducing new pets
- Introduce pets by simply allowing them to sniff each other from a safe distance to start with. This may be through a closed door, or holding one in safety away from the other.
- Always introduce pets in a neutral ground. Do not allow a new pet to intrude into your other pets normal spot, this may cause some territorial aggression or defensive aggression.
- Respect a pets boundaries. If your pet isn’t happy about it, then stop and try again another day.
- Take it slow, Rome was not built in a day.
- Allow room for each pet to be kept separated from one another.
- Most pets do not like sharing things, such as litter trays, toys or food bowls. Make sure each pet has their own things.
- Reward your pet for being kind towards the new addition and make sure you provide them with the same amount of attention.
Until next time, we wish everyone well and hope you have enjoyed this post! If you have any tips of your own about introducing pets, leave them in the comments below!