I was asked by the human Mum of Addie (Staffy), Zeus (Staffy) and Willow (Maine Coon kitten) what she needed to do to help her dogs accept the newly arrived kitten and be one happy family.
Addie, Zeus and Willow (photo Willow and Addie)
I had been advised that Addie is a dog with attitude, and she is definitely a real character ! When I asked her what Mum could do to help her accept Willow, she immediately replied “Love me more !” She was joking but what a wonderful sense of humour. Addie said it was very important for Mum to continue her normal routines with the two dogs, and this is consistent with what I’ve heard before. The established animals are used to routines and their interactions with their humans, and any change in these routines affects them, and can make them feel insecure and concerned that they’ve done something wrong and they aren’t loved any more. Addie also said not to give the kitten too much affection in front of them. Again I’ve heard this before – the established animals have gone through the baby phase and been loved and adored, and now they have to watch the new arrival being overtly loved by their besotted human, which can be a bit hard to take. It is tactful to do some of that appreciation away from the rest of the animal family. You need to ensure that all animals have one on one time with you and usual play time which reassures everyone that things are as normal as possible, that you still love them just as much, and that you have room in your heart to love another animal. Since they understand everything you say, it is important to tell them these facts.
When you have had an only animal or a couple of animals for some time and then you introduce a new one, it does change the dynamics and energy in the house, and you need to consider the impact on everyone. The new arrival has to adapt to new humans, new instant fur family, and a new environment, so they will need time alone with you too. Adding a new family member is a big adjustment for everyone.
Addie then shared that it had just been her and Zeus with Mum for some time. She said that sharing her heart with Willow would take time. She said that she was “good for it” and asked that Mum be patient with her while she gets used to a bigger family. She did confirm that she would adapt, and confessed that she “may put it on a bit” – she loves the melodrama and claimed to be an unrecognised actress !
She said she wanted cuddles, walking, kisses and cheese. She also admitted that her back legs were a bit stiff and sore around her hips, and that she’d like massage please. Mum confirmed after the conversation that Addie had been hesitating to jump off the bed and lounge lately and had felt that something was wrong so she was glad that Addie had disclosed this.
Zeus also asked for cheese and Mum said afterwards she didn’t realise that the dogs loved it so much ! Zeus told me “ Willow’s okay, we’ll put her in her place ! Willow is getting a lot of attention but she’s new. We need love too. “
Both dogs shared how much they loved their Mum.
Willow told me “I know I’m the princess. Mum loves me and them (the dogs). We’ll all get on okay. I love my mum – I love being near her and cuddles and snuggling. Please ‘purrsevere’ – we’ll all be a family soon !
Mum has since confirmed that all of them have adapted and play together and chase each other around the house and have really integrated as a family.