There’s a reason why I am your Pet Space’s “Adoptions Editor”. Not only have I adopted animals of my own over the years and grew up with fellow adopted pets, I am adopted myself!
Being an adoptee has given me a unique bond with my pets and the adopted pets of my friends and other family members. Every fur-creature in my life came to me through random chance and or because I went to a place and selected ones with whom I /my family felt a special connection.
Adopting a pet, like adopting a child, implies great responsibility and sensitivity on the part of the new (pet) parent. Your home, even inviting and loving, is a completely foreign setting for the new addition. Your recently-adopted furry family member may be feeling overwhelmed with newness, uncertainty and change in routine. They may experience pangs of loss for former companions if they came from other human owners or lived with litter mates and or their feline/canine mother. Feeling insecure may be the reason for some inappropriate pet behaviors until the period of adjustment passes.
Even an animal coming to your fabulous home from a less than desirable setting might exhibit unwanted behaviors because of the change in their lives. The old setting, good or bad, was their “normal”. It’s the only thing they understood, but with consistency, persistence and lots of love, improvement will happen.
Many people adopt a new pet and already have other pets in their home. Be sure to still spend time with your first pet(s), reassuring them that they are still a part of your life. You can possibly use an old towel or blanket and pass it between the first pet’s living space to the newer pet and vice-versa. Allow for supervised together time and time apart so that all animals can socialize but regroup in their personal spaces.
Years ago, I subscribed to Cat Fancy Magazine and read many articles by feline behaviorist, Carole Wilbourn.
Paige Adams Strickland, our Adoptions Editor, is the recently published author of, Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity. She is a Spanish teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio and is married with two daughters and a son-in-law. She has owned both cats and dogs but currently has four cats. Her book blog is www.akintothetruth.squarespace.com, and she welcomes visits and comments there. Her book is available on iPad, Kindle and as a print version at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/akin-to-the-truth/id711164304?ls=1
or: Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity at Amazon.