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Welcoming a new four-legged member into your home may be very good news for you, but not especially for your cat. And it is no mystery that these animals tend to be quite reluctant to enjoy the company of another feline if they have just met him recently..
It is for this reason that in the event that your cat does not want to see the new member of the family even in painting, hisses at him and has even attacked him, you are worried and without much hope that he can improve this situation. However, and as you will see in this AnimalWised article, the how long does it take for a cat to accept another it can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. But if you follow the advice that you will read below, you will surely get your pets to start getting along better little by little..You may also be interested: How long does it take for a cat to adapt to a new home? Index
- Why won't my cat accept another cat?
- My cat hisses at the new kitten
- How long does it take for two cats to get along?
- How to introduce a new cat at home?
Why won't my cat accept another cat?
Generally, cats are usually animals very conservative and territorial, that is, they have the need to maintain their fixed customs and your space under control. This characteristic characteristic of felines is born from their instinct to seek security. To do this, you need to know your space, your social group and maintain your routines. In this way, your close environment is known to you and you know that you will not miss anything, so you can rest easy.
This means that any change, no matter how small, it can generate stress in your pet, since it breaks with the schemes that it had established and the novelty becomes unknown territory, a fact that generates insecurity. This includes a furniture change, a move, and even a litter box change..
Therefore, it is not surprising that welcoming another pussycat into your home can be an especially unpleasant surprise for your cat, since even though they are of the same species, it means sharing their valuable space and resources with a complete stranger. In other words, it perceives the new member as a threat.
This fact does not have to happen in all cases, as it will depend on the individual characteristics of each cat, but it usually occurs in those felines that they have not been socialized as puppies with other cats. Also in those cases in which the owners want their furry to want to share their home with the newcomer in good faith, as the latter does not have to want to lend their litter box, food or bed to the new kitten. Likewise, a cat may not accept the other if the owners try to force their relationship by bringing them together and not respecting that each one needs their own space and their own rhythm of adaptation..
My cat hisses at the new kitten
When one cat does not accept another, it clearly manifests it through its body language, adopting a threatening posture, and through sound communication through snorts and grunts.
¿What to do if my cat hisses at the new cat?
In case your cat huffs at the new kitten, you shouldn't panic, as this is clearly just a warning with which your furry tells the other to stay away. However, you should be careful and keep the kitten away or make sure that there is an obstacle between them (such as a fence), because if the little one is a little clueless or does not quite understand what the other feline is is telling you, you could approach innocently and receive a scratch.
Despite this, try to remain calm, since although you may be impressed by the fact that your cat attacks the new kitten, it is probably not his intention to seriously hurt him. Of course, don't punish your cat, Since they will not understand it and you will only be able to generate negative emotions to a situation, which is already stressful enough. And as you will see in one of the following sections, to correctly introduce one cat to another, what you should look for precisely is that associate the presence of the other feline with something positive. Therefore, punishment will be completely counterproductive to achieve this goal..
Fortunately, direct aggressions (without prior warnings) are not usually the most common, and the aggressions that may occur will hardly be dangerous if the cat does not have previous aggressiveness problems, unless the new kitten also responds aggressively ( in which case, they could end badly), since the most normal answer is that flee the conflict. Either way, the safest thing will be not to take risks and try to put distance between the two by means of an obstacle.
For more information, see: ¿How to make one cat accept another?
My cat does not accept the new kitten: other signs
There are many other behaviors apart from the snorting that your cat can manifest if he does not accept the newcomer, some of which are clear indications that he is under stress. For example:
- Stare at him.
- Do not let him access his food, litter box, bed…
- Hide in corners, under furniture, etc..
- Excessive grooming, even to the point of irritated skin or hair loss.
- Decrease food intake or, in severe cases, stop eating.
- Marking and / or urinating outside the litter box.
- Irritable or skittish mood.
In this other article we show you more Stress symptoms in cats.
How long does it take for two cats to get along?
There is no specific time frame in which it is determined that a cat must accept another cat, since this adaptation process could take days, weeks or months depending on what cases. This is because the reaction of each cat will be different depending on their individual characteristics, such as their age, character, previous experiences or genetics..
Now, we can firmly affirm that according to the guidelines that we follow when introducing the new cat to the home, we can shorten this time or, conversely, lengthen it if the new kitten is introduced in a forced and sudden, because trying to advance the process by presenting both cats when they are not yet ready, will generate stress and they will associate this negative experience with the other feline, a fact that will consequently make coexistence difficult.
How to introduce a new cat at home?
Taking in a new cat at home should be a decision that is made in a way conscious and responsible, as owner you must guarantee the well-being of your furry and the one that will arrive soon.
In that sense, the first step to take will be choose the best companion for your cat, especially if you want to adopt another furry to keep him company. It is for this reason that you cannot expect, for example, that if your cat is elderly he will get along well with a young kitten, as he will be much more active and playful, which will make him lose patience very easily..
In the same way, assess whether taking in another cat with the intention that your furry does not feel so alone is a good idea, since your cat may not have been properly socialized since childhood (having become accustomed only to living with people) and, for Therefore, do not appreciate as much as you the company of another feline.
Once you have chosen which cat will best suit your family, we advise you to follow the following guidelines. But first, we advise you to read this other article about ¿How to get two cats to get along?
Prepare the arrival
Before welcoming the new kitten into your home, you should adapt your home for their arrival, so that the cat that already lives at home can perceive small changes and get used to them, preventing everything from happening overnight.
Adapting your house involves, for example, placing nests or a scratching tree so that each cat has a intimate place in which to isolate oneself, in case they felt uncomfortable.
In addition, it is a bad idea to want your cat to share his bed, as well as his litter box or food bowl with the newcomer, because although sometimes they may not give it that much importance, the most common is that sharing his valuables only favors the conflict. Thus, add another sandbox, bowl, shelter, etc., it will be the most recommended and, if possible, in a separate room in which the new feline will be installed during the first days.
For more information, check out this other article on ¿How to prepare for the arrival of a cat at home?
Keep them separate
The first days, yes or yes they will have to remain separated. That is, you must install the new kitten in a room or an area of your house in which it is alone, at ease and feel safe. Therefore, you will need to have at your disposal all the essential needs: water, food, sandbox, toys… This environment will help you to adapt well to your new home and family..
On the other hand, preventing them from being suddenly in the same area and / or room will minimize the risks of any stressful incident occurring that could generate a bad experience and worsen the relationship between both..
Mix scents and use pheromones
Prior to the presentation, it is highly recommended that both cats get acquainted with each other through smell. To do this, what you should do is, during the period in which they are separated, exchange accessories and clothes that retain the cat's scent to give them to the other feline. In the same way, it is also advisable to caress one of them and then let the other smell you to promote this exchange of smells.
Also, it will be very flattering for you to usepheromones for cats, which you can buy in multiple pet stores with diffusers. The use of these volatile substances during adaptation processes has proven to be very effective, since they promote a calm and cozy atmosphere for both cats and, as a consequence, they minimize tensions and stressful situations, helping them to coexist in harmony.
Visual presentation of cats
Once you see that your new furry has adapted comfortably to his family and that both cats do not have negative reactions to the exchange of smells, but rather are indifferent, you can start the next phase.
By this stage, you should allow both cats to have eye contact, but never physical contact to avoid scares or forced situations. To achieve this, you must raise situations in which they can see each other without touching, for example with a grill or a glass in between. You can also try keeping one in a carrier if he's used to being inside and allowing the other to get closer.
If you notice that either of you is uncomfortable, it is best to end the session and try again when it is calmer to avoid the appearance of negative emotions that worsen the relationship.
Finally, the most important part of this phase will be that associate the presence of the other cat as something positive And, to this end, you must offer prizes and caresses to both in the presence of the other feline to promote this association.
In this other article we explain more about ¿How to introduce two cats?
If the evolution in the previous phases has been adequate, that is, if you notice that neither of them is upset in the presence of the other feline, you can start letting them share the same room or area, always being your present to avoid taking risks.
Finally, it should be noted that both cats must have access to a own shelter so that, in case they are uncomfortable, they can hide and not feel cornered by the other cat.
If once they share space you have doubts about whether they get along or not, we encourage you to read this other article about ¿How to know if my cats play or fight?