Cats are very territorial creatures and love having familiar places to lounge about. Cats love owning property and marking places as their own.
That’s why I could never advise you to simply adopt another cat or animal and assume that your cats will get along fine. This will never be the case unless your cat is very openminded.
What usually happens is that the first cat gets very defensive that another cat has invaded his home. If your cats are not properly introduced, they may make bad first impressions and their relationship could turn sour.
By taking the time to understand cat behaviors and how to introduce cats to a new home, you will never have to worry about your cats not getting along.
Just look at my own cats! I adopted my feral cat, Diba, from the outdoors. I also adopted Cornelius from a cat shelter. Diba is wild and has to work on her cat social skills.
Yet despite their differences, with plenty of time and patience, they were able to cultivate a friendship and are very frinedly with each other now.
How To Find The Perfect Cat Companion
Cats who live with a cat friend, or multiple friends, live longer and healthier lives. When choosing a second cat, aim for one that will complement your first cat’s personality and will not threaten her position as first in your heart and master of the territory.
|If Your Cat Is||Look For A Cat Who Is|
|A floor cat who perches on chairs or stools or under things||A high jumper who perches on upper shelves|
|A snuggler who loves to be with people||A playful cat who focuses on other cats more than people: a cat’s cat|
|Elderly or sick||A cat’s cat; mature and calm; loving to other cats – no rambunctious kittens|
|Healthy but overweight||Rambunctious but respectful; a kitten of two months or more would do very nicely|
|Too energetic and running you ragged; demanding of your time and attention||Young and playful and jolly; a kitten could work but it should be more than five months old; a young kitten of up to three years will keep your energetic cat company|
|The cat you adore, but you are worried that she is left alone too much||A cat’s cat who enjoys the company of other cats as much as, if not more, than the company of humans|
Often, there is no question of a choice. Sometimes a new cat suddenly appears and it is up to the human to make the decision to accept, protect, and nurture this cat. Sometimes, cats really do show up onto your doorstep to ask for help!
Before The New Cat Arrives
Whether you choose a second cat or have one thrust upon you, your first move is the same: don’t just bring the new cat home; take her to your veterinarian and have her examined for parasites and tested for feline leukemia.
You owe it to yourself as well as your beoved feling companions at home not to bring in anything contagious with a new cat friend. Besides, this will give you some time to prepare everything at your home before your newly adopted cat’s arrival.
Also, be sure to have all the essential cat products you will need to satisfy your cat’s needs. Some things you should keep in mind:
- Cats need separate food and water bowls to prevent territorial behavior
- Cats need one litter box for each cat plus one extra
- Prepare a safe room where this new cat can rest in privacy
- Have plenty of cat food, cat litter, and all other necessities enough for all cats
- Have a place for both cat’s to scratch, such as a cardboard cat scratcher
Demonstrate to your first cat how much you love and adore her. Be sure to give her extra attention the week before the new cat arrives. Lavish your cat with affection as it will certainly be very stressful for your cat for the next few days to weeks.
As I mentioned before, cats are naturally territorial, and you and any family members are the most cherished components to your cat’s territory. It’s very easy for humans to accept a new cat into the household, but its life-changing for any cat.
Taking your time to introduce your new adopted cat and following the correct procedure, your first cat will accept the new cat as well that the newcomer can slide smoothly into everyone’s life without experiencing any hiccups.
Steps For Introducing A New Cat
If you ever tried to introduce two cats before by simply putting them in the same room, things probably escalated very quickly and the two cats got into a fight.
I just wanted to mention this once more as this is very important to cat behavior: cats are very territorial. So when a new cat comes into your cat’s home, she instantly gets defensive and wants to protect her territory.
Bad first impressions could lead to a lifetime of frustration and stress for both cats and humans. Be sure to start things off on the right foot by following the process and taking plenty of time. Remember, this is on your cat’s time, not yours.
1. Keep Your Cats In Separate Rooms
In the beginning, it is best to place your cats in separate rooms, whether it be a spare bathroom or bedroom. This helps your first cat get used to the scents and newness of a recently adopted cat.
This also helps your new cat get acclimated to her territory and to start to feel safe and comfortable in her new home. By separating your two cats, you are giving them time to adjust to their surroundings and to the sudden change.
As mentioned previously, be sure to have enough cat supplies for both cats. Especially the litter box. The golden rule is to have a litter box for each cat plus one extra. This will be helpful in the future when both cats get
2. Timed Feeding With A Barrier
Now that both your cats have become acquainted with one another’s scents, we should begin to help our cats associate positive things with each other. The best way to do this is with the use of food.
Introducing your cats often during meal times help your cats to be near each other while getting used to each other’s different smells.
I would recommend that you first begin with each cat on opposite sides of a door or any other kind of barrier. You could even use a baby gate and place a large towel or blanket over it so that your cats can’t see each other.
Place the cat food a little about 3 feet away from the door on each side. Over time, bring the food plates closer and closer together until it is right next to the door.
Timed feeding is important as it closely mimics the cat behavior in nature. Cats usually have 3 or 4 small meals throughout the day as they needed to hunt wildlife in order to sustain their hunger.
Feeding your cat on a schedule also helps because it’s an event that your cat will look forward to. Your cat will look forward to meals, notice the new cat, be too hungry
3. Visual Introductions & Play Time
After you have give both your cats plenty of time to get adjusted and to get comfortable with each other’s smells, it is now time to let them see each other.
Your cats won’t be in a state of shock or will not get defensive when they see each other. By now, your cats should have an understanding that there is another creature in the household and not be as alarmed.
While not necessary, having a pet gate will help tremendously with introductins your cats and with setting boundaries. You can look getting a pet gate by clicking this link to Amazon.
Continue to feed your cats on a timed schedule and allow them to develop positive feelings for one another.
You should also site swap the cats in order to allow your cats to visit each others domain. This will give your cats further opportunities to explore and familiarize themselves with various scents. This will also help to get your new cat accustomed to the other parts of the house.
Eventually, you want to place your cats in the same and start playing with them separately. This will help distract your cats from each other and focus on play time instead.
Be sure to take things slow and to always end each play session on a positive note. With times feeding, plenty of treats, and enjoyable play time, your cats will slowly grow to like each other and become feline friends.
Cat Behaviors To Be Expected
Hissing is perfectly normal. Hissing is not aggressive; it is defensive, where one cat is asking another to back off and give her some time to adjust. Disgruntled muttering is less desirabe but should be ignored. Cat relationships should develop slowly and peacefully.
However, loud growling or screaming is a sure sign that serious trouble is about to develop. To distract the cats from their focus on each other, make a loud noise such as accidentally dropping something on the floor.
If the loud growling and screaming resume, you may need to separate the cats into their rooms again. Try not to let it get this far. Remember, our main goal as cat owners
If hissing or chasing occurs, such interaction is normal in cat society and is best ignored by humans, who seldom understandfully the complexities of cat relatioships anyways.
In truth, chasing can be a good sign, especially if the chaser and the chasee reverse roles periodically.
Another sign of progress is when your cats are sitting in the same room, no matter how far apart, and they are not staring at each other. This happens when your cats begin to develop trust with each other. No need to focus your attention on something you know is not a threat!
The goal of the loving cat owner is to help facilitate a strong bond of affection and communication between your two cats.
When that bond first begins to form and
You have spent a good amount of time learning and applying these principles to introduce your two cats! Take comfort in the fact that you will soon have two cats come greeting you at your door when you come home from work.
As always, I wish you and your feline companions all the best! Be safe!