Perhaps it has been you and your cat for as long as he can remember, so what happens when a new partner comes on the scene? Your cat is a hugely important part of your life, and if you meet a man or woman that you think could also be a significant part of your life, possibly even ‘The One’, what can you do to make sure that they both get on? You may be lucky and find that there’s an immediate bond between them, but often the relationship will need a helping hand.
Keep Your Cat’s Routine Consistent
Don’t assume that your cat will automatically adore your new partner just because you do; try to imagine how your cat sees them. They will be aware of a new and unfamiliar scent on the scene, but may also feel that their territory has been invaded, especially if certain items of furniture are now off-limits or they are getting less attention. It’s important that you continue to keep your cat’s routine as consistent as possible, for example, giving them the same love and attention and continuing to allow them to sleep in their favourite spots whether that’s your bed or the living room sofa.
Make Introductions Non Threatening
First impressions count, and I don’t mean your new partner’s first impression of your cat (because, naturally, your cat is perfect!). Cats see direct eye contact and waving arms as direct challenges, so your partner should let your cat come to them, not the other way round. If your partner is happy to get down on the floor for initial introductions then all the better, as being at the same level as your cat will be a lot less threatening.
Introduce Your Partners Scent Into Your Home
Keeping an item of your partner’s worn but unwashed clothing around your home is a great way to introduce your cat to their scent. Keep in mind though, that if your partner isn’t a cat person or not familiar with how cat’s think, you may have to explain your actions to avoid those ‘crazy cat lady’ accusations. Simply leave an item of your partner’s clothing on the back of a chair or on the sofa – when your cat curls up on top of it to go to sleep, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Make it Fun with Playtime
One of the best ways to help a new relationship along is to encourage your partner to play with your cat. Teach your partner how your cat likes to play, and make sure he or she handles the toy the way your cat is used to. Through play sessions, your cat and your partner will begin to relax around each other and form positive associations.
Food is the Way to a Cats Heart
Letting your new partner share in the cat feeding duties is a great way to introduce them as someone special, and if your cat has a favourite treat, then why not get your partner to offer it? One of the quickest ways to a cat’s heart is through their stomach, so your cat is quite likely to fall in love with this person with the tasty treats.
However important you think it is for your cat and your new partner to bond, whatever you do you shouldn’t try to force it. They don’t have to be the best of friends to happily share your life and love with each other, as long as there aren’t serious problems between them.
They’ll be able to happily co-exist as long as they at least tolerate each other, and if your new partner ends up uttering those fateful words “It’s Me or the Cat!” – just make sure that they don’t let the door hit them on the way out!
Have you ever introduced your cat to a new partner in your life? What tips or advice do you have?
Image: Ben Pollard via Flickr