Thinking about getting another cat? Of course you are — they’re the best. Adding a second cat (or third … or fourth …) to your home can be exciting, but there’s a lot to consider before introducing another cat into the mix.
When it comes to cats, the more, the merrier, right? Well, sometimes. Some cats thrive with a playmate or two, while others are more content solo. Personality and age are two factors to consider before bringing home another cat.
It’s important to understand your cat’s temperament when thinking about adding another cat to the mix. It’s just like dating: Compatibility is crucial. Is your pet energetic and playful? Shy and gentle? A couch potato probably isn’t the best match for a marathon runner. Your best bet is to look for a cat with a similar energy level and personality. Not sure about your cat’s vibe? Read more about cat temperament here.
Similar to temperament compatibility, age is also an important factor. Your greatest chance for success is to introduce a new cat into your household when your current cat is still a youngster. If you have an older cat who’s been master of their domain for a long time (read as: cranky), they’re more likely to become territorial and hostile toward the new addition. That’s not to say it can’t be done; the introduction will just need to be handled more delicately than when introducing two younger cats or kittens.
So you’ve found a new cat you can’t wait to bring home to your growing fur family. While it may be tempting to simply put all cats in a room and let them work out the introductions, this can cause a lot of stress for new and resident cats alike. Here are a few ways to help the introduction go smoothly.
Double the cats means double the supplies needed. Before you bring your new addition home, make sure you have plenty of toys, scratching posts and lounging spots so territorial standoffs are less likely. The rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than you do cats, so if you’re becoming a two-cat household, you’ll want to have three litter boxes. You’ll also need double the food, so consider buying in bulk, like IAMS™ PERFECT PORTIONS™ 12 packs, so you can spend less time making trips to the store and more time snapping pics of your adorable new addition.
Give your new kitty a space of their own with a door that can be shut before doing a formal introduction with the existing cat. This will give both cats a chance to adjust to the other’s smell. Once you’re ready to have their official meeting, keep the initial interactions short and well supervised. If things start to feel tense, separate the cats and give them a chance to settle down before trying again. Don’t be discouraged; they’ll come around.
Adding another cat to your household is not without challenges, but it will ultimately bring immense joy to you and your family — and hopefully to your current cat. Or maybe we just shoot for indifference. Now what are you waiting for? Head to your local shelter today!
Taurine is an important component found in all IAMS™ kitten and cat foods. This important amino acid is essential for cats of all ages, and critical for healthy development, normal heart muscle function, vision and reproduction. It even aids in digestion!
Unlike other amino acids, taurine is found as a free amino acid in body tissues, such as the heart and eyes, and is not incorporated into proteins.
Most mammals manufacture taurine from other amino acids, but cats and kittens need more than their bodies can produce and rely on their food to make up the difference. Pet food’s animal-based protein ingredients are natural taurine sources, and the amino acid can also be added to pet food recipes on its own.
All IAMS™ kitten and cat foods are formulated with high-quality animal-based proteins that are naturally rich in taurine as their primary ingredient. So why supplement these foods with additional taurine? Two reasons: natural variability and the production process.
IAMS™ dry cat and kitten foods include taurine to supplement each food’s primary source of the amino acid — an animal-based protein like chicken, egg, lamb or fish. These natural sources naturally vary in their nutrient content, so adding supplemental taurine helps ensure your cat or kitten is getting enough in their diet every day.
For wet food, the canning process itself may affect the complex taurine balance of the food. That means IAMS™ wet cat foods must contain more taurine, as much as twice the taurine found in dry food, to ensure cats are getting enough.
Cats and kittens need their taurine! Kittens need taurine for healthy growth and development, and adult cats that don’t get enough taurine can develop serious health conditions. Low levels of taurine put your pet at risk for preventable health conditions that can become serious over time.
Taurine is essential to the proper development and ongoing health of feline eyes, particularly the retinas. Without enough taurine, retinal cells can’t function properly and may die, which can cause impaired vision and even blindness (a process called feline central retinal degeneration).
Taurine plays a key role in supporting cardiovascular health, too. A lack of taurine weakens the heart muscle, which, in turn, can lead to heart failure. This condition is known as dilated cardiomyopathy and can be fatal.
Optimal reproductive health and growth also rely on taurine to complete a number of important health processes. Maintaining adequate levels during pregnancy, nursing and early growth helps ensure proper structural development for kittens and wellness for the mother.
Feeding your pet well is an important part of taking care of them. Learning the importance of ingredients like taurine is one way you can ensure you’re giving them exactly what their body needs. By giving your kitten a healthy start and understanding their nutritional needs, you’re giving them the best shot at a long, healthy and happy future. Your cat would thank you if they could!