by Barbara George
Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
Adopting a cat is a commitment to love, care for, and provide for her for the rest of her life, no matter what she thinks of the arrangements!
Often we don’t know the early life experiences that a cat in a rescue situation has known. These early experiences, as well as inherited traits from her parents, form the foundation of her personality. With patience, care and time, she can learn to be the cat she was meant to be, to develop her personality.
Cats in shelters are, through no fault of theirs, living in a confined environment. This can cause them to suppress their personalities and assume a survival strategy. Once they have a home, and have settled in, they will show their real personality. Crazy active cats become lap cats, shy ones become outgoing and friendly, and most are loving companions.
Stray cats, or those found on the street or elsewhere, have had to fight for every morsel of food and every safe place to sleep. They view all other cats as threats to these resources, and will either show aggressive or submissive behaviour when introduced to the other cats in the home. Careful introductions and time will help them to become at least house-mates, and maybe even best friends.
Unless born and raised in a home, your rescue cat may not have lived indoors before. She will need some training, and gentle discipline to learn the rules of home life. Understanding her lack of knowledge is the first step in helping her to settle in, and not becoming annoyed when she unknowingly misbehaves.
Understanding, time, love, and caring are the ingredients needed to integrate an adopted cat into your home. The effort is well worth the result.
Once she has left the rescue centre, street, or bush, and moved in with you, she is no longer a rescue cat; she is part of your family. Her history should not be her story, nor her future.
To contact Barbara, please email firstname.lastname@example.org