Sunday, January 3, 2010
Kitten Training 1/3/10
We adopted two kittens last week: Arturo Fuente and Lew Rothman, age 12 weeks. After reading the kitten books and online veterinary advice on introducing new kittens to the resident adult cats (Patsy and Eddy, age four), I formulated what I thought was the best plan to follow: Put the kittens in the carrier when the adult cats are upstairs. Sit carrier in the middle of the living room. Adult cats will become curious and come downstairs. Let the kittens sit in the carrier and allow the adult cats to sniff them. When adult cats start to ignore the kittens, allow kittens out and roam a bit to spread their scent so adult cats can get used to it, and kittens can explore their new surroundings. Under no circumstances allow kittens to roam unsupervised.
Here is how it went:
Took kittens downstairs in carrier. Patsy and Eddy, who have been staring at the closed door to the kitty safe room for the past four days, wondering what is behind door number one, completely ignore the two kittens and stay upstairs. I wait as the kittens sit in the carrier and start to get restless. REALLY restless. O.K., I thought, if the big cats are upstairs, I might as well let the new kittens get used to their environment. I let Lew and Arturo out of their carrier. After bouncy, bouncy, bouncy-ing around the downstairs, elder-cat Patsy decides to see what is going on downstairs. Patsy is the poster cat for the phrase "curiosity killed the cat". Patsy comes downstairs and crawls into the kittens' carrier, sits inside of it as the kittens sniff HER from the outside. Lew shoots off up the stairs. I follow suit. Elder-cat Eddy stands at the top of the stairs, looks at Lew with disgust, then fear, and runs and hides under the bed, where she has remains all morning. Eddy is the poster cat for the phrase "'fraidy cat". Eddy is a full grown, 12 to 13 pound kitty. The kittens weigh about two pounds each. After chasing down the kittens and returning them to their safe room, I realize I have my exercise plan for the New Year.
Note to self: Cats do not read cat training advice.