Start A Scent Exchange
Your cats will be able to smell each other through the door, and theyll pick up scents on you, too. Allow the cats to sniff your hands and clothing when you interact with them, so they get used to each others smells.
You can also rub a towel or blanket all over one cat, then place it on the floor for the other to explore. Sprinkle favorite treats or catnip all over each towel and allow them to approach and sniff. These will help your cats form a positive association with each others scent. Repeat this towel game daily.
Adding A New Cat To Your Household
Adding a new pet to your household can be an exciting time, and there are many benefits to adding a pet to a single pet household. The pets will have a playmate when you may be away at work or school, the extra play may help to keep each of them at a healthy weight through exercise, playtime mentally stimulates pets, and having a companion around can increase a pets confidence in the home, decreasing stress and increasing their quality of life.
Adopting a new family member can also be challenging, especially in the instance of introducing a new feline friend to an existing cat in the home. This article will explore why some cats react the way they do to new cats, and some of the ways we, as responsible pet owners, can reduce stress and try to acclimate both pets to living together. It should be noted that not all cats are the same and, while these methods can work to alleviate friction between house cats, there are instances and individuals not suited to multicat life.
In the interest of your pets health, and in the interest of battling the overpopulation of unwanted animals in shelters, AAHA, the American Veterinary Medical Association , and the Humane Society of Missouri support the surgical sterilization of cats and dogs.
ResourcesHerron, M. E., & Buffington, C. A. T. . Environmental Enrichment for Indoor Cats. Compendium , 32, E4.
Get Them Used To Each Others Scents
While theyre separated in different rooms, cats will usually sniff each other through the door to get to know each other.
“During this period, the cats often smell each other underneath the door, and this starts a slow acclimation process,” Proietto said.
You can also let the cats smell each others toys or your clothing so they can become familiar with one another.
Another way to let your cats get used to each others scents is by switching their beds.
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Later That Day Swap Cats Scent
Cats communicate visually but also by scent. So you must start by introducing the cats to each other by swapping scent.
- Place your new cats towel on or near your resident cats favourite place and encourage him to approach
- If your cat starts to hiss, spit or avoid the towel place it on the floor away from his bed or food bowl. Each day move the towel closer to the cats food bowl.
- Do the same thing with your resident cats bedding giving it to the new cat for her to smell.
- Swap food bowls between the cats. They will start to associate the positive act of eating with the scent of the other cat. If one of the cats is sick or on a special diet, ask your vet before trying this.
- Once they are completely tolerant of each others scent proceed to visual contact.
How long will it take for cats to like each others scent?
This can vary from a few hours to a few months.
Important tip when introducing cats
Set aside special play and petting time each day. You want to have one on one time with each cat when your introduction is taking longer.
Second Step: Letting Them See Each Other
The cats must be able to see one another. If you have a transparent screen door, you need to get the cats on either side of the glass. If not, leaving a living room door ajar, and letting the cats see another through the opening will also suffice. This is a territorial concern. As cat behaviorists have noted,
From the resident cats perspective, theres an intruder in his territory. From the newcomers point of view, she has just been dropped on hostile turf. Both cats need to feel secure.
Feeding the cats together can also be beneficial, provided you supervise the whole time.
Feeding while cats are in sight, or in distance of smelling each other reinforces a positive feeling with the presence of another cat. Stressed cats may not eat, so its important to get them to make this connection.
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The Dos And Donts Of Introducing Cats
As we all know, cats are intensely territorial beings. And yet, when the subject of introducing two cats has come up through the years, I would constantly hear people advise, Just put them in a room together and theyll work it out. Does it work sometimes? Sure, but its cat Russian Roulette Just as often, they might work out who loses an eyeball, but they will not magically work out how to be friends.
Instead, bringing a new cat home can trigger the territorial panic switch in your existing cat, and this often means war. So, do yourself and your cats a favor, and follow this time-tested, step-by-step recipe to a T: It will give you your best chance for a smooth integration.
What Happens If You Introduce Cats Too Quickly
If youre thinking about getting a new cat, its important to know how to introduce them to your existing pet. Too often, people make the mistake of introducing them too quickly, which can lead to several problems.
Introducing cats too quickly can make them feel threatened by each others presence. Cats are naturally very territorial animals. Because of this, if they are introduced too quickly, they may feel threatened and scared, which can lead to aggressive behavior. First impressions tend to create a lasting effect!
If your cats do not immediately take a liking to each other, dont worry! There is a chance that they can grow closer or at the very least trust each other enough to live in peace. Giving them the time and space to adjust increases this likelihood. Just remember to take things slow and give both cats plenty of time to get to know each other.
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Households With A Cat
There are many advantages of a multiple cat household. Welcoming a new cat into a home that already has a resident cat is exciting but should be handled carefully with consideration for each cat. The key is to introduce your new cat in a systematic and gradual way, utilizing the principles of desensitizing and positive reinforcement.
How to Introduce the Cats
Advantages of a Multi-Cat Household
Explore The Door Method
Depending on their personalities, this behavior could continue for a while. Give the cats at least a day or two in this setup so they can become aware of each other’s presence.
Once youâve given the door approach some time, look for signs that your cats are ready for the next phase. Your current cat should start ignoring the presence of your new cat, and both cats should start acting more curious than aggressive. In either case, you still need to exercise caution as you proceed.
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Switch To A Baby Gate
If possible, the next step is to use a tall baby gate or glass door to let the cats “meet” eye to eye for the first time.
“Start doing short visual introductions that include lots of treats, food, and play to create positive associations,â says Char. âShort, frequent interactions over the course of several days are best in the long term â but they have to be positive.”
Start doing short visual introductions that include lots of treats, food, and play to create positive associations. Short, frequent interactions over the course of several days are best in the long term â but they have to be positive.
Creating A Harmonious Multi
As the warmer months arrive this year, so does kitten season. Most areas of the United States experience kitten season, when cats go into heat and begin having litters of kittens, between April and October. If you already have a cat and are considering adopting a kitten, or are bringing an older cat into your home where you already have a cat, its important that you take the proper steps of introducing the two cats together, including matching personalities, cat preventative care, environmental enrichment, and more.
If you were to suddenly gain a roommate in your home, you wouldnt just start living together and hope that things work out youd make an effort to introduce yourself and hopefully get along. The same goes with cats dont just throw them together and hope for the best. Getting another cat will have a big effect on your resident cat, so its essential to take things slow and introduce your cats to each other appropriately. Here are some tips for adding a new cat to a home with a single cat.
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Monitor For Warning Signs When Introducing Cats
When introducing two cats, its important to be aware of any potential warning signs that could indicate aggression. If the cats hiss or swat at each other during the initial meeting, this is a sign that they may not be ready to become friends just yet. The cats might also show signs of aggression by arching their backs, baring their teeth, and circling each other.
Its important to closely monitor their behavior during the first introduction and be prepared to separate them if necessary. Most cats will eventually learn to get along with a little patience and supervision.
Look Away From The Other Cat
If the cats seem calm about viewing each other, ask them to look away from the gate for treats or toys. If they will look away from the other cat to play or eat, you have verified that they are pretty calm. And it reinforces calm behavior. Now, allow them to spend an increasing number of minutes in sight of each other over the next few weeks. Allow them to approach each other if they are relaxed, but DO NOT use food to lure them closer. Rather, use food to have them look away after seeing the other cat, which lets you know they are handling things well.
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Introducing A New Cat To Your Other Cats
First impressions between pets are just as important as they are between people. By providing a slow and steady introduction, the result can be rewarding for both your feline companions. Here are a few tips and precautionary steps to help make cat-cat introductions pleasant for everyone involved.
Keep the cats separate at first. House the new cat in a separate room for at least seven days with food, water, comfortable bedding, a litter box, and all of the necessities to keep him happy and healthy. This allows the cats to get used to each others scent without needing to confront the other. We recommend using Comfort Zone® with Feliway® diffusers or spray during this separation, as well as the initial stages of the introduction. The Feliway® pheromone helps to reduce anxiety during times of change.
Encourage positive associations between the cats while they are separated. Do this by feeding treats or canned food to them near the door that separates them. You can also swap bedding every couple of days so they can further explore each others scent. Some hissing is normal during this stage. Dont punish the cats for hissing or growling as that can form a negative association about the other cat, as well as you.
Allow the cats to see each other once there has been no hissing for a couple of days.
If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email .
Introducing Kittens And Puppies
If you are introducing a kitten to a dog, keep in mind that kittens may not have any fear of dogs, so you must watch the dog carefully. Because kittens are small and want to run and play, dogs with a strong prey drive may be very excited by a kittens movements. Even if your dog is OK with your adult cats, it is important to watch her closely when shes with a kitten. If your dog is young and high-energy, she could hurt or kill the kitten simply by trying to play. So, for safetys sake, keep kittens and dogs apart any time you are not watching them.
Introducing adult cats to puppies can sometimes be easy, since a well-socialized adult cat might be fine with a puppy acting like a puppy. However, if your rambunctious puppy is chasing your shy cat, it is up to you to intervene. Until the puppy is old enough to have more self-control and has had some training, you will want to manage their interactions. You dont want your puppy to learn that chasing the cat is a fun game. Baby gates can be used to keep the animals safely and comfortably apart. To help you keep an eye on your puppy, you can also put her on a leash. That way, if she begins to chase the cat, you will be able to easily direct her away from that behavior.
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Signs Of Cat Bullying And How To Combat It
In any household with more than one cat, there is the potential for bullying. It’s important to spot the signs and take action as this can lead to stress-related illness.
Look out for
- Claiming resting places or access to owners by physically pushing another cat away
- Pouncing on another cat while they are asleep
- Blocking thoroughfares, sitting directly in front of the cat flap to deny entry/exit
- Blocking access to an indoor litter tray
How to combat bullying in a multi-cat household
- Provide all cat resources feeding areas, water bowls, litter trays, beds, toys, scratching posts, high perches and private places in the formula one per cat plus one extra, positioned in different locations to limit competition.
- Provide dry food for grazing throughout the day or divide wet food into frequent smaller meals to avoid competition at set mealtimes. Position the bowls to enable each cat to eat without the need to turn his back on a potential adversary
- Provide indoor litter facilities, even if the cats have access outside
- Provide two separate entry and exit points to the property, ie cat flaps, doors or windows, to avoid the risk of guarding or blocking and enable even the most timid cat to get indoors and outdoors unhindered
How To Introduce A Second Cat To Your Home Safely & Happily
Sydney ChamberlainJun 09, 2020â7 min read
If your cat has grown up as an “only child,” they may not be too quick to welcome a new feline friend. And, you understand, change can be difficult â especially when that change means splitting snacks, attention, and time on the sunniest windowsills in the the house. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to remain a one-cat household forever. And that also doesn’t mean your cat has to hate it! If you’re thinking about adopting a furry sibling, these tips and tricks to introducing a second cat into your home can help you do it right.
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How Should I Introduce A New Cat Or Kitten To My Existing Cat
Cats can be very territorial and sometimes they dont like change very much. Your cat is probably used to being the only cat around and probably had complete run of the house. Suddenly there is this strange other cat or kitten who, from the existing cats point of view, is just getting in the way. Whenever a new cat is introduced into a house with other cats it takes time for them to get used to each other, and your first cat might be a little jealous of the newcomer, so you need to take things slowly and carefully at first. The key points to consider when introducing cats are:
Not all cats will get on with each other. In situations where cats do not like each other in the long-term, they may still be able to co-exist in relative peace by seeking out their own space and spending most of the time on their own. Some cats have the ability to find a balance and share their territory. Having access to different rooms so that they may be alone can assist in these situations.
In rare situations where cats seriously injure each other or begin to show signs of severe stress as a result of being housed together, they may need to be separated. Your local vet can provide more information about available options in these situations.