Introducing nervous cats to new pet products
12th March 2015
Cats can sometimes feel nervous when a new product is introduced to their environment, especially if it is a product they are being asked to interact with on a daily basis. Older cats that have lived in the same home for years can find any changes to their daily routine particularly difficult. With a bit of time and patience, most cats can be persuaded to use a new pet product.
Don’t make them use the product straight away
Introduce the new product to your cat’s environment but if they are unsure of it, don’t expect them to start using it straight away. Get them used to having it in their home before coaxing them into using it.
Introduce electronic products gradually
Electronic pet products have moving parts that a cat might be wary of initially. Introduce them to the product whilst it is switched off to get them used to the smell and look of it before activating the moving elements.
If you have a SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap or Pet Door, turn it off and use it as a standard cat flap for a few days. You could even tape the flap open if they have never used a cat flap before to make it look more inviting and to help them understand that they can get through it.
If you have a SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder, try introducing them to the bowl on its own before placing the bowl inside the feeder. The feeder also features a training mode so that your cat can gradually get used to the lid opening and closing.
Add your cat’s scent to the product
Unusual smells can make a cat wary. Giving the new product a friendly scent will create trust. To add your cat’s scent, rub their face with a cloth and then rub the cloth over the new product. Your cat should then get the idea that the product isn’t a threat.
Reward, don’t punish
Encourage your cat to use the product by offering them treats. They will then associate the product with a reward. Never force your pet to use it as this could be detrimental. Be patient and give them time to adjust. Some cats might take days, weeks or even months to get used to using a new product. It will be worth the effort when they do get the hang of it, especially if it is a product that is designed to improve their environment, health or lifestyle.