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Introducing a new feline in the home is very common among cat guardians, however, the idyllic image of several happy cats is often transformed into a reality of snorts, chases, fights and stress. And, due to the nature of the species, it is not always easy to achieve a quick and pleasant coexistence.
In this AnimalWised article we will explain how to make one cat accept another, detailing what to take into account before adoption to guarantee a good coexistence or how to act when two felines are already living together and conflicts appear.You may also be interested in: How to make a cat accept a dog? Index
- How to choose a second cat?
- How to introduce a new cat at home?
- Introducing the cats
- Why won't my cat accept another?
- Why won't my cat accept the new kitten?
- How long does it take for a cat to accept another?
- How to correct jealousy between cats?
- How to improve the coexistence between several cats?
How to choose a second cat?
It is totally understandable that we are tempted to adopt a cat because of its age or physical characteristics, however, it is essential to take into account the concrete character of the individual to guarantee a good coexistence. It will be important that we check with the shelter or foster home if he is properly socialized, otherwise it is very likely that he does not know feline language and that he presents fear or aggressiveness towards our feline. We will also ask about activity levels or your gaming needs among others, to know if they will be compatible In day to day.
An elderly cat that needs a lot of calm and tranquility will easily suffer stress if we adopt a restless and active puppy. Likewise, those cats that have a very close bond with their owners and that show little interest in the game will feel very uncomfortable in the presence of a feline that constantly wants to incite them to play..
How to introduce a new cat at home?
Once the perfect companion has been chosen, we will proceed to adapt the house for cats, placing shelves, nests, or a scratching tree so they can move to safety whenever they feel uncomfortable. We must also ensure that the new feline has its own utensils: bowls, bed, litter box and scratching post..
To ensure a conducive environment we can also use soothing pheromones for cats, synthetic copies of the natural pheromones that cats release to their young and that provides well-being and relaxation to all kittens. In this way, Feliway Friends Diffuser It is one of the most recommended options on the market, as it improves the well-being of felines, helping them to live together in harmony and thus avoiding tensions, fights and conflicts. This product also has scientific studies that support its effectiveness .
Introducing the cats
Once we have everything ready we will take the new cat home in a rigid carrier. In no case should we leave the cat free at home as soon as we arrive, as that would cause racing, nervousness and favor the appearance of aggressive behaviors.
We can use the 15 day method, which consists in that both animals must begin by being inside the home, separated, and without having the possibility of even making eye contact.
The first initiative for coexistence will be to mix the smells. Can exchange accessories or, simply, touch a cat and let the other sniff us and vice versa. We will maintain these exchanges until there is no negative reaction in any of the felines.
The next phase is visual and in it we can allow the animals to see each other through a glass or keeping one of them inside a carrier for about 10 or 15 minutes. If anyone is upset, we will end the contact and try again until the reactions are positive. Offer them awards or caresses creates a good environment that allows the cat to associate the other with positive feelings.
Finally, we can let them share space, always in our presence to be able to separate them to the minimum conflict. Each cat should have its own litter box, feeder, scratching post, etc. These items should be easily accessible to both.
Why won't my cat accept another?
The cats are territorial animals and customs. They like to live in an unchanged environment, as well as having their own space and resources. That is, your bed, your sandbox, your feeder, etc. And, although it may happen that our cat is a very sociable animal and willingly accepts the company of a second individual, the most common will be that he is dissatisfied with the arrival of another cat in their territory.
He will manifest it by acting against the newcomer with greater or lesser intensity or by developing a stress box. In the first case, the animosity will be evident to us. On the other hand, in the second one, it may go unnoticed because there are no direct attacks against the new cat. Although it is a significant problem, throughout the article we will see how to make one cat accept another.
Why won't my cat accept the new kitten?
If we introduce a new cat into the home without any precautions, the most common is that we witness non-acceptance symptoms in both cats, such as the following:
- The cat hiss at the new kitten or the other way around, which is usually the most common sign. In some cases, the disagreement remains in this gesture or, at most, the cat will growl at the new kitten..
- Other signs of disagreement will be to give kicking, staring, or preventing access to food, sandbox or rest areas.
- There are also cats that react by stressing. They seem to ignore the other and withdraw, they hide, stop eating, groom themselves excessively to the point of losing hair, etc. All of this describes a picture of stress.
- In the most serious cases the cat attack the new kitten or the other way around. Luckily it is not the most common behavior but we can run into cats that cannot even see a relative. We will observe a very specific body language: ears close to the head, back or to the side, hunched body, raised tail, hisses, hisses, grunts and other warning signs. In the most serious cases the tail will be bristled and the cat will attack while making powerful meows.
Many people also wonder "why does my cat hiss at the new kitten?" Well, we must know that aggressive reactions between cats are independent of the sex or age of those involved. Thus, it could perfectly be a cat who huffs, growls or attacks and a kitten of a few months can be a victim of this situation.
However, we must know that even in situations as serious as attacks can be it is possible to redirect the situation.
How long does it take for a cat to accept another?
Having seen how to make one cat accept another, it is important that we bear in mind that we can't talk about fixed deadlines to finalize the presentation guidelines, as these must be adapted to the reactions of each cat. We will follow the steps explained and we will only move on to the next one once both cats are comfortable with the new situation. The process can take days or weeks and it is important that we be patient as pretending to overtake could cause stress the animals and end up delaying the coexistence.
How to correct jealousy between cats?
Some problems between cats such as the ones we have described are interpreted by some caregivers as jealousy in cats, but the truth is that it is not proven that cats can express this feeling. On the contrary, the disputes between cats that have just become known are explained by the behavioral characteristics of the felines. In this way, these supposed jealousies are corrected by following guidelines that improve well-being of both individuals and that favor a good association between both.
How to improve the coexistence between several cats?
To finish the article we will share some basic tips that every owner should know to make two cats get along:
- We will always use the positive reinforcement (caresses, words, toys…) so that the cat associates the presence of the other individual in a pleasant way. Conversely, we will avoid the use of punishment, since it can cause the feline to negatively associate the presence or the approaches of the other cat. Even if conflicts do occur, we must not yell, "punish" or repress the felines. We will try to separate them calmly and firmly.
- We will ensure that all cats have their own accessories and places to take refuge when they feel scared, uncomfortable or in search of tranquility.
- We will use a synthetic pheromone diffuser that is supported by scientific studies, such as Feliway Friends Diffuser, to help us improve the well-being of individuals and create a more comfortable environment. We will only need plug it into a socket that it is not under any furniture, away from windows and doors, in the room that they spend the most time. In about 7 days we will begin to see the effect on our cats, that is, a reduction of conflict and hostile signals.
- If serious fights continue to occur and none of the measures taken seems to work, we will go to a veterinarian specialized in ethology to rule out health problems and arrive at an accurate behavioral diagnosis..
- We can also assess, together with the advice of our trusted veterinarian, the castration of whole adult males, since studies indicate that aggressiveness is reduced in 53% of cases, escapism in 56% and marking in 78% [2 ].