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Our Devon Rex

A NEW HOME - A NEW CHALLENGE

Special Thanks to Gerri Logan of Loganderry Devons for allowing us to reproduce this wonderful information.

Q. I am a new Devon owner and I can't seem to teach my new Devon a single thing. What can I do?

A. You are new at being a Devon owner but if you turn that around you will find that your kitten is just days into his new, startlingly different life with you. Just a few short days ago, he had familiar furry bodies that were never more than a few feet from him at all times. Those other Devons kept him warm and secure while he slept, reassured him when a sudden noise startled him, were a constant source of entertainment and play, and pushed happily against his face as he ate his meals. He misses them and his old familiar, safe home . . terribly.

Q. I am trying not to feel guilty if I put him out of the room we are eating in so we can have a quiet dinner.

A. He cries because he is confused, alone for the first time in his short life, and quite possibly frightened. You and your family must now become his new *pride* and offer him the support he had come to rely upon from his old one. He will slowly adjust to the rules of this new life and will do so faster and more completely if you eliminate his fears of abandonment and gently ease him into your lifestyle. Perhaps he could sit in your lap during your quiet dinners? Or you could put his bowl of treats and bed on the floor near your chair? Or upon the empty chair next to you? Remember he has always eaten from a community bowl, jowl-to-jowl, prior to joining your table of separate place settings.

Q. I love many aspects of his personality and wonder if this is mostly just "kitten". He is a love and cuddles all the time whenever he can find a lap to curl up in.

A. It sounds like you love some aspects of his personality but do not care for many others. Your previous cats spent much time out-of-doors and were independent. You sound confused by having a cat that needs you and wants to be your constant companion. While he will become less confused and gain confidence as time goes by, his basic need to be with you, on you, in your face, and to l-o-v-e you up-close-and-personal will not change - - unless you drive him away with indifference or anger.

Q. My day to day life is very challenging as I work with people recovering from serious injuries. I don't seem to have much energy left over for a little naughtiness in a kitten. He is sleeping now and looks so angelic!!

A. Obviously, you have deep pools of patience and are not someone given to frustration easily. However, in the person-to-person situation you describe above, you are always the one in control. Your intellect is challenged in your life-work. You go home at the end of the day and are able to leave the work-challenge behind. With your compassionate nature and your obvious life-skills, you can attune yourself to his emotional point of view and soothe him. You cannot reason with him but you can prove to him that he is safe and loved and thereby give him the strength, eventually, to give you just a little more space. You may have to pamper him and even give in to him, to give up control, in order to uncover the joys and not-so-troublesome trials of being loved by a Devon Rex. Yes, he looks angelic when he is sleeping, so try to understand that he is just as angelic when his awakened big eyes constantly seek out your own.

My old girl frequently insists upon sitting by my plate at dinnertime; her paws make bread and her eyes never leave my face. If I gently tap upon her toes she understands that she is crowding me and will move back - ever so slightly. We have come to this accommodation of her needs and my own over such a long period of time that I can no longer recall precisely how we did it. I do know I greatly fear the day when that loving little cat will no longer crowd my dinner plate or sit between me and the book I am trying to read with her smooth jowl pressed against my face.

So, shower your new kitten with love, treat him with respect and understanding and give him a chance to learn your ways.

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