If you have a cat for a while at home and you are going to bring a new cat, you may be afraid of what the reaction of both will be. Should you be? Cats are very territorial animals and that is why introducing another pet into their territory is like a threat to them. If we do not present them properly, it is likely that the resident cat defends its territory with nails and teeth in front of the new tenant.
There are some guidelines that can help us introduce a cat into our house, where there are already other cats, in the least traumatic way possible. But, let's not fool ourselves, adapting to living with new cats is usually hard and stressful for pets and owners.
These are the guidelines to keep in mind so that our resident cat and the new tenant do not bundle it brown every time they cross in the hallway.
1. Avoid possible infections: If you are a kitten of an association you will have your primer and all the certificates that you are healthy. On the contrary, if it is a kitten found, before putting them in contact, take it to a veterinarian to assess their health status and avoid unnecessary contagion.
2. When you take it home, NEVER collect them directly. We can generate a bad relationship between both cats. The new tenant will go in his trasportín: perfect, let the resident cat approach and smell it.
3. Once the presentation is finished,isolates the new in a room, but with the possibility that they smell and meet without seeing each other, to avoid disputes. At least they should stay that way for two weeks. To get used to their scents, interchange the sands if it can be with poop and everything. It sounds weird but it is effective.
4. Before the day of the presentation you can cut their nails to both cats, just in case ... This is optional. For some it can be even more stressful, so each owner must assess whether it is convenient or not.
5. Finally the big day arrived, let's put them together in a room. They should NEVER be alone. You must remain calm, do not make sudden movements and do not raise your voice. Be aware of all movements by both parties. If you see any attempt of attack or aggression, impose yourself as the biggest animal and put order. A spray with water by hand can be very useful if we do not want to take any scratches (in the worst case).
6. EYE! Imposing you does not mean hitting the cat, they do not understand it as punishment but as aggression. On the contrary, you can remove the one who caused the attack on a small seclusion of about an hour, it is like taking you to the corner of thinking, it will calm down for a while without having other stimuli.
7. Then we will try again. Encourage them with the game to get closer and interacting. This protocol must be repeated as many times as necessary until both mininos are able to accept themselves and not mount World War III in the living room of our house.
These guidelines are the most basic, but we must also take into account some others. Such as:
1. Sex: it is secondary when predicting how they will get along, since the most relevant is the character of each cat. If both are dominant, it will be more complicated. However, the adaptation between two unmarried adult male cats may be the most difficult, and sometimes adult female cats also have trouble accepting. We insist that these are trends: each particular case is a world.
2. Age: If we have a venerable old cat at home, it can generate a certain rejection towards an inexhaustible energy dwarf. We will try to make them cats of similar ages to be friends and playmates. If you have two cats of different ages we recommend this article.
3. Pampering: When we take a new cat to a house as a general rule, the resident must have everyone's attention. If you see that we dedicate more time to the new one, you can refuse it and even become depressed. When the adaptation process is underway and there are signs of acceptance by both parties we can create games in which both cats collaborate. We will reward both equally. And, above all, we will pamper the dethroned prince more so that he does not feel displaced. We pamper them again, for now, the less you see them the better. Remember that cats love routines, so we will never stop doing any of the routine activities we had with our cat before the arrival of the new one.
4. Food: It is recommended that each cat has its own food and water containers for at least the first few days. We will prevent the occurrence of stinging at lunchtime. That does not mean that there are for the slightest nonsense.
5. Sand trays. The most sensible thing is that we put a litter box more when putting a new cat. Then it may not be necessary and we remove it, but at first, at least, it is better that everyone can have their own.
Finally, the best advice is PATIENCE, because these periods of adaptation are not easy and never last the same. Each cat is unique and unrepeatable, so each cat will have its adaptation time.
How to introduce a second cat at home
There are several steps that you must follow to introduce a new cat in the family and thus ensure that both animals are tolerated and, in addition, become friends. Above all it is necessary have a lotpatience! Never force cats to be together because, if you do, they will most likely aggregate.
Remember that cats hate changes in their routine and are very territorial animals. How do you think your cat will take the arrival of a new cat if you don't follow the right steps? Although it is a slow process, you will see that in the end it will have been worth it and you will get your reward by seeing the kittens sleeping together, playing and spending hours next to each other. Regardless of the age of the new cat, either a puppy or an adult, the process is similar. We explain step by step what you should do.
Before introducing another cat at home
Even before the arrival of the new kitten, you can start the adaptation process. Buying synthetic pheromones in diffuser (such as Feliway) to place them in the room of the new member is more than recommended. Of course, the old cat will not be able to access this space, for now. In this sense, in addition to including the pheromone diffuser, you can start preparing everything you need to ensure the new member has their own room, litter box, water, food, toys, scrapers, etc. This space will be like a monastery for the new kitten, a place to take refuge and feel safe. The feeling of security is essential for the adaptation process.
First day: how to introduce two cats
Place the new family member in the space enabled for him. At this time, you should not let the old cat enter the room, since, for now, everyone must have their own space. By smell, both animals will know that they do not live alone and will feel uncomfortable, which is why it is important at first that they be identified only by smell.
If you notice that the cats are left at each side of the room door snorting or growling, don't scold or punish them. Try to distract the animals, get them out of that place, play with them and calm them. Most important of all, they are relaxed to start associating with positive stimuli, and a shout from you would be a very negative one.
How to present a kitten to another adult cat
The presentation between cats, whether they are two adults, puppies or one of each, is exactly the same, so you must follow the previous advice. Likewise, the recommendations we share in the following sections are equally valid for kittens and adult cats. In fact, in cases where some adaptation needs to be made, we also indicate it. The important thing in all cases is to relate the animals with positive stimuli and promote safety among them.
How to accustom a cat to another cat
After having properly housed the cats, each in their space, it is time to show them that this change brings positive things. For this, it is important to remember the importance of positive reinforcement, essential in the education of any feline.
An excellent way to get them to start associating as a good thing is, even being separated and after two or three days after the arrival of the new cat, place a bowl of food at each one near the door that separates them. In this way, they will approach to eat and begin to get used to each other's presence. The distance from the door should be sufficient for the cats to be comfortable, but if one of them begins to snort or ruff their fur, move the food bowl away until it is in a comfortable position.
Each day that passes, bring the bowls closer until the time comes when they are attached to the door. Remember that you still cannot open the door, as we have said, it is a slow process that must be done correctly to obtain good results. A little carelessness may be enough to return to the beginning.
Inhabit the smell of one and the other
The smell is the way cats know each other. The pheromones they release are the main method of communication between felines. In order for your cats to get used to and know the smell of each other before seeing each other personally, you must place an object of each of them in the space of the other. You can also lightly rub the cat with a towel or cloth when it is calm and gentle. For this, the fabric passes through the region of the cheeks, where they release more pheromones. The most important thing is to do it when the cat is calm, that way the other cat is calmly transmitted when it smells the towel with the pheromones.
Now you just have to put the towel near the other cat and carefully observe its behavior. If you simply smell it and do nothing, reward it! It is a very good sign that they do not transfer or show signs of aggressiveness. Play with the cat near the towel and reward it. It is very important to associate the smell of the other cat with positive things so that it recognizes it as something good for him.
Once the cats have become accustomed to the smell of the other, it is time to change them. Start by inserting the old cat into the space enabled for the new member and leave it locked for a moment. Meanwhile, release the newly arrived kitten around the house and let him walk freely. You may find that he does not want to leave his comfort space, if so do not force it and try the exchange again another day. Whenever any of them behaves properly, remember to reinforce that attitude positively with food and love.
If at any time the new cat begins to stress, return it to its safe space and try to calm down and relax.
Let the old cat explore the space of the new
When the new cat is completely at home, without the old cat nearby, lock him in a room and go find the old tenant so he can explore the new member's space quietly. As we have pointed out with the previous one, if the old cat does not want to collaborate or is restless and stressed, do not force it. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary, and it reminds the popular saying: "hurry is the enemy of perfection."
Introducing a second cat at home does not have an exact science. Each cat has a different pace of adaptation to new situations and, therefore, it is important that respect the rhythm and limits of each of the cats. Always adapt the rhythm and training sessions to the most shy and nervous cat.
The first encounter between the two cats
When cats are already completely calm and comfortable in the environment, it is time to present them. This moment is very important and you must be very careful to avoid any situation that triggers an aggression between them.
There are different options to make cats see each other for the first time. If you have an area with a glass or window in the center, this is an excellent idea. Another possibility would be to place the new cat in your room and repeat the previous feeding session but with the door slightly open so that they can look at each other. If they are calm, you can use the toy known as fishing rod to play and associate with fun moments.
If the new kitten is a puppy, putting it in a carrier for the old cat to approach can also be a good alternative.
And if any of the cats get stressed or aggressive, throw a treat or toy away to distract and separate them. As we have already mentioned, some animals take longer to accept the other and you can always try again tomorrow. The important thing is not to spoil everything for wanting to do things fast.
When cats no longer demonstrate any kind of aggression or discomfort in relation to each other, congratulations! You have managed to tolerate them. Now you can let them know each other, be together, smell and play, but always with caution. Keep an eye on them during the first days of total freedom to ensure that no altercation occurs between them. Also, keep the prizes and toys close by in case you need to use them to ward off any of the felines.
How to make two cats get along
Now, if after discovering how to present to your cat another cat you have been able to verify that you carried out this task badly and, therefore, your cats do not get along. there's still hope! Our advice is that perform the entire process exposed in the article, as if the newest has just arrived, and you will enable a space for him. Although we cannot guarantee success, it is possible that by following these steps you will be able to bring your animals closer and, at a minimum, be tolerated to return peace to the home.
If, unfortunately, none of this works and you don't get your cats to stop fighting, you should go to a feline ethologist to ask for their professional help.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to introduce two cats?, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.
Behavior of cats when living together
However, before starting with the new adventure remember that being responsible with animals is the priority: the first thing is to make sure that the new tenant is in perfect condition, contact the veterinarian! Keep in mind that otherwise, we can transfer to the old kitten any infection or disease.
Once we have the assurance that the new tenant is in good health, we must keep in mind the personality of the cats. Are especially sensitive to changes in the environment and of the changes in behavioral and company guidelines, that is why adaptation needs Time and care.
The recognition among the felines is carried out mainly by the olfactory channel, so that avoid different odors at home and in the cat that usually lives in your house, so that there is no rejection effect.
Adaptation of the cat at home to the new environment
The best way to introduce two cats is a guideline of progressive mutual knowledge, so we recommend placing them in different rooms the first days.
In this way, the separation will prevent attacks between them, while the new tenant gets get used to the guidelines of food, affections and smells, while the first cat continues to receive its daily dose of pampering and care.
When you notice that both are comfortable in this situation, it is time for the next step: olfactory recognition of the other cat.
It is very important that you do not face them yet directly, but that by playing and by means of a towel or sock you get their smell. So, you can transmit the foreign smell to each of them, avoiding too direct contact. Safety first and foremost, we do not want to be harmed!
One technique that ensures a good adaptation is to place the sock or towel next to the food. In this way, you will instinctively get a positive association
Before the final step you can try to see how each of the cats react in opposite rooms. Always taking out the usual tenant from each of them. Once these steps have been completed, the new partners are ready to meet!
Visual and physical contact
Now we are going to present two cats officially. Start with eye contact, always watching that there are no attempts at mutual attack. Try to beef up always your positive behaviors, rewarding them with games or food and always watching that neither of them feels rejected. If you have doubts about whether your cats are playing or fighting, don't miss our article to differentiate it.
As you can see, giving your cat a new friend is an easy task that everyone can enjoy. Do not be afraid of rejection ... with a good dose of pampering and enough time, you have the perfect ingredients to form a happy family!
If you want to save yourself the stress generated by going to the vet with your cat (both for you and for him / her), and you live in Madrid, contact us and we will take care of you home 🙂 And if not, you will always have more than 300 clinics arranged with Pet and Health so we can help you whenever you need it.
Step 1. The environment
During the first days of living together, the most appropriate thing is that they do not spend all their time together and that the first cat becomes accustomed to the presence of the new one progressively. This should also be taken into account when the second receives the caresses, since if we exceed the affection for the new, there may be little timely reactions.
The best thing is that at the beginning each cat has its own bed and feeder. Many specialists also emphasize that they should sleep in separate rooms, but this depends on the situation of each cat. You can buy a couple of these adorable little beds so that they have the same space although separated.
However, if the first cat is very comfortable in his old bed, we should not change it as he could see too many different things by the arrival of the new partner. This could cause him to feel threatened.
Once you have become accustomed to the presence of the other, we can move on to the next step:
Step 3. Physical contact
Now you can join them both in the same game room. You will have to be very attentive to any attack attempt, but above all it is important to reinforce your positive behaviors with caresses or snacks. None should feel rejected.
One idea is to use a toy in which both participate at the same time. These hanging feathers or the toy mouse can be perfect for game time.
From now on you will have your two pets together!