Often it will happen that people who get a cat or adopt one enjoy them so much, it’s not long before they think about bringing another feline friend home.
Of course, it’s natural to think about how the cat at home will react. Will the introduction of another cat make them angry? Will they get nervous? Will they stop using the litter box as a sign of protest? Unfortunately, it’s hard to say just how exactly the two cats will get along. Unlike dogs and other animals, cats don’t naturally live in social groups. However, there are millions of home where two or three or maybe even four cats live together without any problems. If you’re thinking about have a multi-feline friend home, below are some tips and tricks to keep in mind that will help to increase the odds that you end up with a peaceful home, and not a war of fur!
Thinking about adding a second cat to your home? There are too many feline friends looking for loving homes. Don’t add to the problem! Some people will tell you that cats should be paired in opposite sexes, but there’s no real evidence to indicate that is the best thing to do. What does make a difference, though, is the age. A cat in an established home will take to a kitten much more readily than another adult cat, so adopt a kitten for the best chance of success. Two kittens that grow up together will generally get along fairly well. Just to be sure though, you’ll want to keep a close eye on everyone to make sure that there’s not fighting or don’t get along. Generally speaking, cats will usually get along with each other. When you’re picking out another cat to bring home, stop and observe how the cat is in a group. Look for a cat that will groom other cats, plays well with others or sleeps while others are awake. Beware of excessive hissing, real fighting or too much growling. There are some cats that are true loners, and they will probably be better in other homes. If you find an adult cat you just can’t say no to, and don’t want to go through the joy of kitten to cat timeline, just know that it’s going to take longer than normal to have two adult cats get used to each other than if one is older and the other a kitten. It can be done, so if your heart’s set on it, don’t worry too much, just proceed slowly and patiently.
Ok, now that you’ve decided to bring two cats together,
here’s the wrong way to do it. Bring your new cat home, drop him or her on the floor and hope that it they’ll be friends and it’ll all work out. Cats, by nature, live alone and have what they consider “their territory”. It might take weeks or even months for them to adjust to a new cat (or any animal, really) being in their neck of the woods. If you make introductions gradually, you have a better chance of it working out in the long term. When the new cat comes home, be sure to set things up so that he or she has their own bedroom, litter box, food, water and space for at least a week. After a week or longer, when you think it’s OK, put the food bowls of both cats in the same area so that they can get to know each other. What you’re trying to do is get them to associate the pleasure of eating with that of being around another cat.
Watch to make sure they’re getting along and don’t fight, and gradually move the bowls closer and closer to each other. It’s safe to say that you’ll know you’ve been successful when they can eat right next to each other with no hissing, scratching or fighting. Eventually, they may even be found sleeping with each other, or
engaging in playful behavior. If, however, they fight, break it up quickly, and make sure that each cat has their own room, food, water and litter box to go back to. And while you’re doing all of this, never be holding either cat. If they do decide to fight, you could be left with a bad scratch or bite mark. If you’re unsuccessful at first, try, try again. You may find that eventually both cats will get along with each other, but maybe they don’t end up being best friends. In the end, all you can do it to try to find a good match between two cats. Nothing you do will guarantee that they’ll get along. But with the information provided, your chances are excellent that you’ll be able to have multiple cats in your home.