How to introduce a new kitty to existing pets


For those of us with multiple pets who didn’t all come into our lives at the same time here are some tips and tricks on introducing a new kitten into a home with existing pets.

Why do you want another cat?

There are many factors that go into the decision to bring a new kitten into your life. It should be well-thought-out and well planned and never spur of the moment. For me, after 10 years of having my dog Lucy and two sister cats Chloe and Zoe, I was asked to take in a 14-year old male cat, Titan, who had once belonged to my Son but had been living with his ex-wife since their divorce 5 years ago. Suddenly she no longer wanted him and was threatening to take him to a shelter if I didn’t want him. Well OF COURSE I wanted him. I knew him to be a sweet loving and very unique (Pixie-Bob) polydactic, or 5 toed, cat.Titan In this situation it was a bit spur of the moment, but since I knew the cat I was getting it made it easier.

Initial preparation tips

Whether it’s an adult cat or a new kitten the steps to prepare for its introduction to your existing pets are the same. I followed them for taking in Titan, and copied the same process just weeks ago with my new kitten Misha.

For the first few days or weeks, depending on how the introduction goes, the newest family member should be sequestered in a “safe room” by itself. This space should include everything the kitty needs, food and water, toys and a bed, and of course a litter box. Continue reading “How to introduce a new kitty to existing pets”

My backstory: our pets impact our health


It takes a lot of “get up and go” to keep up with an active kitten. Make sure you are taking good care of yourself so you can take good care of them. When I had health issues my pets saved me.

Are you worn out yet?Sleepy cuddle

After several times a day playing with your kitten to keep her active and healthy you may be wondering “how much longer do I have to do this…I’m TIRED”!

That may be a clue you need to start focusing on taking care of YOU so you can continue to be great at taking care of everyone and everything else in your household. As a sixty-something-year-old woman with 2 cats, a dog, and seven grandchildren I have learned the importance of keeping my own energy level up. If I get too tired to say…run the vacuum a couple times a week my carpet tends to grow its own fur coat. Not a good look.

There are several new activities I have begun to incorporate into my routine over the years. I’ve always been a believer in vitamins. Now that so much of our food is processed the nutritional content is badly lacking. Even “fresh” fruits and vegetables are grown in nutrient barren soil and picked so early for shipment they don’t have time to reach their full nutritional potential. Continue reading “My backstory: our pets impact our health”

Preparing your home 4 kitten play


There are some definite “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to the safe preparation of your home for a kitten.

Where’s my kitty?kitty in a basket

Kittens, by virtue of being small and curious, can find hiding places you wouldn’t have thought of in your wildest imagination. One of my own most frightening experiences happened when I couldn’t find my new kitten for an entire afternoon. I called and called, spent hours getting up and down off my hands and knees peering under every piece of furniture that was more than 3 inches off the floor – because they can also flatten their little bodies and army crawl with the best of them. Exhausted and nearly in tears, I sat down in my recliner, raised the footrest, and voila…there she was. She had crawled into the sling formed by that piece of fabric between the chair seat and footrest when it’s in the down position.

In the picture shown here another of my kittens had gone to sleep in the basket where the dog toys were kept. Once again calling and calling didn’t bring her running. Only once she awoke and made her little mew was I able to pick her out from the rest of the plush toys in the basket.

So remember, there is nearly no place too small for kitty to claim as her own for those all-important cat naps! Continue reading “Preparing your home 4 kitten play”

How to play with kitten without the ouch!




Now we’re going to talk about how to enjoy playing with your new kitten that does not involve restocking your first aid kit with band aids when you’re finished! In other words without the OUCH!

About kitten teeth

For those folks who have never experienced the joy (and sometimes pain) of owning a new kitten, it’s a good idea to know ahead of time how to play with something that can both cuddle up softly AND draw blood from your fingertip faster than a diabetes test kit.

Kittens have approximately 26 baby teeth (similar to needles) and 30 adult teeth. Their process of losing baby teeth basically consists of digesting them since they tend to fall out while the kitten is eating (Yuck!) Whether it’s dry kibble or wet pate’ kitty won’t seen to notice swallowing its own baby teeth since they’re tiny and will not likely fall out more than 1 or 2 at a time. The ingestion of its baby teeth will not cause kitty any harm, but the need to bite and chew to relieve teething pain may be painful for the novice or unprepared kitten owner.

Luckily for us the entire cycle of acquiring baby teeth, losing them, and erupting permanent teeth will be completed by the time kitten reaches 6 months of age.

Play nice!

Playing with a kitten during its fourth to sixth months of life will take patience and preparation but is also very rewarding, and once learned will last a lifetime. After all, there are not many things cuter than a tiny kitten with its tail straight up in the air like a flagpole running to greet you when you call her name. And kittens are smart which helps a great deal in training kitty how NOT to bite the hand that feeds it.

It’s NEVER acceptable to hit, spank or physically do anything which may harm a kitten in the name of training. All that’s needed is a fairly loud “OUCH” or “OW” if kitty begins to bite during play, and gently place her on the floor away from you.

It’s also not advisable to use your hands for play, rather you should always have a toy of some type preferably on the end of a wire or string to play with kitty. And don’t frustrate your kitten by never letting her catch it. After all the point is to build a strong bond as a pet parent while building kitty’s self-confidence. Her prey drive will only tend to become stronger if it’s never satisfied which could lead to more attempted bites, so you’ll end up defeating the whole purpose of your play training.

Timing is everything

A kitten younger than 6 months old will need a lot of sleep, like all babies do. So feeding time, play time and nap time should be constructed in a way that complements your schedule and fulfills the needs of a growing kitten and should generally occur in that order.

After a kitten eats a meal her energy level will be on the rise. You may find your kitten becoming a Tasmanian devil and creating the racetrack of her dreams, and your nightmares, which could include running from the floor across the back of the couch and up the drapes!

This is when your skills at distraction and redirection will come in most handily with that toy on a string. And if you prefer sleeping more than 4 hours a night it’s a good idea to include 15 to 30 minutes of play just before bedtime. Kittens should be able to give you a good 8 hours rest if they’re properly exhausted.

Kitten in a basket full of plush toysPlay on the cheap

The investment in quality toys for interactive teaching play with kitty does not have to break the bank.

Several tried and true favorites include nothing more than the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet tissue tied to a 3-foot-long piece of yarn. A wadded up ball of aluminum foil about 2 inches in diameter also makes a safe toy that will keep kitty entertained. If you occasionally pick it up and roll it away to let her chase it you will become the source of her pleasure and strengthen the bond you have as her pet parent.

Other ideas include 2 or 3 strips of soft cloth rags tied together and than tied to a long piece of yarn or string; an old sock with the toe filled with catnip and tied closed with yarn, string or twine; a sock with the toe filled with a couple finely crushed ice cubes and tied off the same way…you get the idea. With just a few dollars and a little imagination there are multiple variations on these themes which can provide you and your kitten hours of interactive and painless teaching play.

Older kittens can actually be taught to bring their toy back to you for another toss much like a puppy plays fetch. This is best done with a soft plush toy filled with catnip and some treats to use as rewards when kitty accomplishes what you wanted.

Kittens: good for our health

It has been medically proven that at the end of a stressful day the love of a pet can be beneficial to our health by lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. When trained correctly our kittens, and later cats, can help calm our frazzled nerves, comfort us when we’re sad and love us unconditionally their entire lives.

Spending a little time initially learning the correct play training is a small price to pay for the dedicated lifetime of companionship with a loving furry friend.

Kyle Ann


A Little Bit About Me

Play 4 cats logo


Welcome to Play4cats!

My love began early

I have loved animals for as far back as my memory goes. Before I started school I can remember enticing stray animals into our yard with food from the refrigerator just to be able to pet and play with them. I would beg to keep them, though there were times they actually belonged to other families!

There is something so special about those trusting little faces and their ability to sense what we need, whether it’s companionship or to be left alone. Unlike wild animals they are completely dependent on us for their health and well-being. Which is why it’s important to me to ensure we give them the best life possible. Continue reading “A Little Bit About Me”