Foster Care – Introducing To Existing Family
Sometimes just one kitty is not enough! If you are planning to introduce a new cat into your household, then you are sure to find these simple yet effective tips for introducing two cats very handy.
A quick caveat before you start
Remember, though, any combination of cats comes with the following caveat: you cannot force two cats to like each other! So do not be discouraged if, after all of your attempts your two kitties cannot stand the sight of each other. Cats are complex creatures with their own moods and personalities – and part of this complexity is why we love them. Cat standoffs will usually simply end in a haughty silence, so you can certainly have two cats in your home who are not the best of friends.
If things get really difficult between your cats, though, you may have to re-home one of them, or each give them a designated part of the house into which the other is not allowed to venture.
Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence, so read on to find out how best to introduce two cats to each other.
Kittens are easiest to introduce
Kittens have tiny territories, and if they grow up together they are much more likely to be friends for life. So, if you have always known that you would like to have several cats in your household, why not start things off the easy way by getting several kittens at once?
If one or more of the cats is an adult, though, the following tips for introducing two cats will help you to navigate this potentially tricky area with ease…
Think about the cats’ positions in the house
If one of the cats has been living in your home for their whole life and the other cat is a newcomer, then the new cat is arriving into your existing cat’s territory. Dealing with this situation takes some sensitivity. The best thing that you can do to start off with is to keep the two cats separated. Keep the new cat in its own room, where it feels safe and secure – make sure that it has a nice soft place to sleep and plenty of toys too!
Then, you can start feeding the two cats on opposite sides of the same door, so that they are aware of each other and yet do not have the opportunity to fight.Do this for a week or so: however long you think feels comfortable. Feeding them in this way at the same time, twice a day, will enable them to develop a routine of living together which they can then stick to once they have been formally introduced.
The big introduction…
First impressions count, and with two cats, this should be done under human supervision! Wait until the two cats’ dinner time has arrived and then feed them together, this time without any door in the way. Hopefully, they will just get down to eating their food from their separate bowls and perhaps sniff each other curiously. As they get to know each other better they may well become the firmest of friends and spend endless hours spooning together on the couch when you are away at work.
If things go awry…
You need to be on hand during this first meeting. Though, if you have done everything right and given both cats plenty of love and affection and introduced them slowly and carefully, you should be ok, the possibility remains that they might not take to each other straight away. Behavior to look out for includes: hissing, growling, arched backs, fluffed out tails and bared teeth. If you see any of this behavior, remove one of the cats from the situation in case they start to fight.
Stereotypically male cats are more aggressive, particularly if they have not yet been neutered. This can be due to hormones and the more intensely territorial behavior that results from them. However, I have also seen plenty of male cats get along just fine at a first meeting! As I said, who know what will happen? You need to play it by ear and be sensitive to any changes in the situation.
Good luck introducing your two feline friends to each other! I hope they get along perfectly.
Share your own experiences of introducing two cats.
Meow for now… Kristian