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My Pet World: Reader takes right steps toward dog, cat introductions

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

If the new kitten got the run of the house from the start, the older cat may be feeling stressed by the new household dynamics. Cats are very territorial, and it would be easy for a dominate personality to change the mood of the entire household. Introductions go best when cats have time to adjust to each other more slowly.

Go back to making proper introductions by putting the new kitten in a room with a litter box and toys for a few days, giving your older feline the chance to relax and roam the house again. During this time, take turns sitting on each side of the door, using a feather toy under the door to play with whichever cat is on the other side. Fingers crossed they will connect each other's scent with something fun, and reintroductions will go easier.

Once they are around each other again, make sure there are at least two litter boxes. Also, don't feed them near each other until you are sure they are friends. They need to have their separate spaces.

If your older cat continues to have a poor appetite, however, please get her checked by a veterinarian.

Dear Cathy,

I have a cat who is five years old that we rescued from the Humane Society. He is a Russian Blue and a great cat, except he will not any wet foods. The only think he will eat is dry food. My vet has no answer. He is very healthy, but wonder what we would do if he needs a pill or other oral medication. We have tried all kinds of food, including tuna and chicken, and he will only drink the juice. - Harry, Marana, Arizona

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Dear Harry,

Even cats who eat wet foods know how to eat around their pills. If you ever need to give your cat a pill, use a pill popper, available online and at pet stores. It looks intimidating, but is easy to use. Ask your veterinarian or watch an online video tutorial to learn how to use it.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)



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