Introducing a new cat to your feline household can rub everyone’s fur the wrong way. Acupressure helps ease the tension between your kitties.
Cats are alluring creatures that brighten our lives with their delightful antics and seductive purrs. But they’re also territorial by nature, especially when it comes to other cats. Your home is your cat’s kingdom, and as the residing monarch, he’ll do what he can to keep it that way. Introducing a new cat, then, can be tricky.
Resistance to the newcomer can take some unpleasant forms, including odiferous marking or direct conflict. Your original cat, if he has never before had a feline companion, is most apt to be upset by having an intruder in his territory.
Along with behavior management, acupressure is an effective way to ease a potentially disruptive situation between two cats. Specific acupressure points, also called “acupoints”, have the effect of calming the cats and allowing them to be less defensive and fearful.
Keep in mind that there are two issues here. The original masterof- the-house cat is naturally disposed to defending his turf; after all, this is his happy hunting ground. The new cat, meanwhile, is completely disoriented. He is scared because he has few resources to bring to this alarming predicament. Both cats shift into survival mode, which means you have to help both move through the experience of accepting each other.
By stimulating a cat’s acupoints, you can influence the chi (lifepromoting energy) and bloodflow throughout his body. Creating a harmonious flow of chi and blood enhances the cat’s health and well being. This in turn supports his ability to manage his emotions and ease out of survival mode.
For the new cat
Entering a new circumstance is particularly difficult for cats. They depend on routine. Being placed in new surroundings can be terrifying for them. The goal in offering acupressure to your new cat is to soothe his anxiety, allay his fears, and support his capacity to trust himself and you. Heart 7 (HT 7), Spirit Gate & Pericardium 7 (Pe7), Big Mound – When stimulated together, these two acupoints are known to calm the spirit and clear the mind. They can be held simultaneously with one hand while the other hand is placed gently on the cat’s body.
Place the soft part of the tip of your thumb on Ht 7, which is located in the indent on the outside of the cat’s forelimb just above the carpus (wrist). Place your middle finger on top of your pointer finger and gently press Pe 7 on the opposite side of the leg, above the cat’s wrist on the inside of the leg. Rest your other hand comfortably on the cat. Count to 30 very slowly before releasing the acupoints. Repeat this procedure on the other foreleg. These two acupoints together are powerful.
Pericardium 6 (Pe 6), Inner Gate & Triple Heater 5 (TH 5), Outer Gate – Using the same thumb and two-finger technique, move your working hand up the cat’s leg toward the trunk of his body to find Pe 6 and TH 5 (see diagram for their location). Together, these points regulate the energy of the heart and calm the mind while also building trust and helping the cat adjust to his new environment.
Stomach 36 (St 36), Leg 3 Miles – This is an important point that relates to the earth and helps the animal feel more grounded. St 36 is located on the outside of the hind limb, below the stifle (knee), just to the side of the head of the tibia (the larger bone connected to the stifle).
For the original cat
For the reigning cat, having a strange feline invade his kingdom is insulting and threatening. Here are some acupoints to help diffuse the intensity of his upset and reactive behavior.
Heart 7 (HT 7), Spirit Gate & Pericardium 7 (Pe7), Big Mound – Begin again with these two points, just as you did for the new cat. You want to calm the spirit and clear the mind of your original cat to reduce his feelings of being threatened.
Liver 2 (Liv 2), Moving Between – This point helps harmonize the emotions and lessen aggression. Liv 2 is located on the hind limb on the top of the webbing between the first and second digits (toes). This acupoint can be stimulated using gentle thumb pressure while your other hand is gently resting on your cat’s body. Hold this acupoint on both hind limbs legs in succession, while slowly counting to 30.
Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), Shoulder Well – This acupoint brings energy down and is used to disperse excessive worry, resentment and anger. It can help open your cat to accepting the newcomer. GB 21 is located in the soft tissue just in front of the scapula, at about its midpoint.
Used in this situation, acupressure can help minimize stress and avoid serious injuries while saving your home from destruction. Add regular sessions to some sound advice from a cat behaviorist, and you have a good chance of getting through the introduction phase unscathed. It could take time, so be patient. Eventually, you should be able to enjoy a peaceful and happy home again.