How to Get Cats to Like Each Other

Two cat sleep on the table

Cats are solitary animals and can be very territorial, so unless they’ve grown up together, it can be hard to bring a new cat into your home. The resident cat will see the new cat as a threat to their territory and will go out of their way to make them feel unwelcome. There could be fighting, toileting problems and other inconveniences. However, cats can learn to get along and live together peacefully.

Give Them Space

You wouldn’t like it if a stranger suddenly moved into your home and started using all your stuff, so don’t expect your cat to like it either. The same goes for the new cat who’s already out of sorts and feeling displaced and uncomfortable. Now they have to tiptoe around some other cat’s territory with no way out. Give both cats the space they need to get away from each other and get to know each other on their terms.

Make Sure There’s Enough of Everything

Cats are not team players, so they don’t like to share their stuff. Ensure both cats have their own toys, litter box, food bowls and bedding placed where they can access them without encountering the other cat. The resident cat will have right of way since the new cat is on their territory. Make it easier for the new cat by giving them their own little piece of territory with familiar things if possible. The resident cat will eventually let the new cat have more territory as they get used to each other.

Age and Gender are Important

If you have a choice on the age and gender of the new cat, it’s better to choose a younger cat of the opposite sex to the resident cat as long they’ve both been desexed. An older cat might not like having to live in a younger cat’s territory, and there could be a lot of hissing, growling and fighting.

If your resident cat is male, the newcomer should be female as two males are more likely to fight. If the resident cat is female, she will eventually, with a lot of patience, accept another cat of either sex.

Go Slowly

When you bring the new cat home, they’ll soon know about each other by smell. Introduce items to each cat that smells of the other to help them get used to each other. After a while, allow them to meet safely on neutral territory if possible so neither cat has the upper hand.

Be sure both cats have a quick escape route if things get out of hand. They will soon get used to each other; it’s just a matter of letting them do it on their terms, not yours.

Veterinarian Rockingham

Call Port Kennedy Vets on 08 9524 6644 or contact us online for any enquiries or health concerns regarding your cat, including vaccines and desexing. Our wellness programs make pet care easier, and with affordable monthly payments, they’re an investment in the health and wellbeing of your beloved pet.

Causes of Coughing and Gagging in Dogs

Dachshund yawning, isolated on white

Dogs don’t generally cough much, unlike people, so if your dog suddenly starts coughing or gagging, it could be a symptom of something more serious. Smaller breeds and flat-faced breeds like pugs, bulldogs and boxers can often develop breathing difficulties because of their short snout, and some dogs can have food or environmental allergies that can cause snorting, gagging and other respiratory distress.

Let’s look at some of the most common causes of persistent coughing and gagging in dogs.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough causes a sudden persistent cough that can become violent enough to make your dog vomit. Similar to bronchitis in humans, kennel cough can cause your dog to gag, wheeze, snort, and produce deep, hacking coughs, but it usually isn’t as serious as it sounds.

Although kennel cough is contagious, and your dog will have to be isolated to prevent the infection spreading to other dogs, the condition will often clear up by itself. A normal healthy dog may take a couple of weeks to recover, but you might need to keep a careful watch on senior dogs and young pups in case they need veterinary care.

Choking

Dogs chew on all sorts of things, and they can sometimes get lodged in their throats. Usually it’s something small such as a grass seed, and you’ll know there’s something wrong because your dog will make gagging sounds, lick their lips and keep trying to swallow.

If your dog can’t cough it up, you’ll need to make a quick trip to your local vet clinic for treatment.

Collapsing Trachea

Small breeds of dog are susceptible to a condition known as tracheal collapse, which can be congenital or acquired. Your dog will often gag while eating or drinking and show an aversion to exercise with respiratory distress. Mild forms can be managed, but more severe cases may need surgery.

Heart Disease

Coughing can be a sign of heart disease in dogs, but there will also be other obvious signs such as breathing difficulties, bluish tongue, lethargy and fatigue, especially when walking or running. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

Pneumonia

A cough that sounds wet or phlegmy could indicate fluid build-up in your dog’s lungs, which could be pneumonia. Your dog might also have trouble breathing, be lethargic, and have a fever. Any wet-sounding cough needs immediate vet care so your dog can be started on the appropriate treatment, as pneumonia can be caused by a number of different things.

Veterinarian Rockingham

At Pork Kennedy Vets, your pet’s health and comfort are our top priority, and we’re open every day of the week for help and advice if your dog is coughing or gagging persistently. Call 08 9524 6644 or contact us online for any enquiries or health concerns regarding your pet. Our wellness programs make pet care easier, and with affordable monthly payments, they’re an investment in the health and wellbeing of your beloved pet.