How do I introduce my cat to another cat?
Without a doubt, the question “how to introduce a second cat at home? “Is the most common among cat tutors who consider that their best friend needs company. We know how difficult it is for us to adopt a single kitten, either because we love these beautiful animals, because we want to expand the family or because we have found an abandoned cat in the street that needs a home urgently, and, therefore, We explain how to carry out the presentation.
Unfortunately, the introduction of a new cat in a house where a feline already lives is not so easy! So much so, that if the presentation between cats is not performed correctly, the introduction of the new member can be very stressful for both the old feline and the newcomer. Many are those who choose the technique of putting them together and wait to see what happens, however there are few cases that result properly. Most likely, the animals are nervous, anxious and even aggressive among them. For this reason, we have prepared this article about how to present your cat another cat, take note!
How to introduce a second cat at home
There are several steps that you must follow to introduce a new cat into the family and get, thus, that both animals are tolerated and, in addition, become friends. Above all, it is necessary have a lot patience! Never force cats to be together because, if you do, they are likely to be attacked.
Remember that cats hate changes in their routine and are very territorial animals. How do you think your cat will take the arrival of a new cat if you do not follow the correct steps? Although it is a slow process, you will see that in the end it will be worth it and you will get your reward by seeing the kittens sleeping together, playing and spending hours side by side. Regardless of the age of the new cat, whether it is a puppy or adult, the process is similar. We explain step by step what you should do.
Before introducing another cat at home
Even before the arrival of the new kitten, you can start the adaptation process. Buy synthetic pheromones in diffuser (such as Feliway) to place in the room of the new member is more than recommended. Of course, the old cat will not be able to access this space, for now. In this sense, in addition to including the pheromone diffuser, you can start preparing everything you need to guarantee that the new member has his own room, sandbox, water, food, toys, scrapers, etc. This space will be like a monastery for the new kitten, a place to take refuge and feel safe. The feeling of security is essential for the process of adaptation.
First day: how to introduce two cats
Place the new family member in the space enabled for him. At this time, you should not let the old cat enter the room, since, for now, everyone must have their own space. By smell, both animals will know that they do not live alone, and they will feel uncomfortable, that is why at the beginning it is important that they identify only by the smell.
If you notice that the cats are each standing by the door of the room snorting or snarling, do not scold or punish them. Try to distract the animals, get them out of that place, play with them and calm them down. The most important of all is that they are relaxed to begin to associate with positive stimuli, and a cry on your part would be very negative.
How to accustom a cat to another cat
After having properly lodged the cats, each in their space, it is time to show them that this change brings positive things. For this, it is important to remember the importance of positive reinforcement, essential in the education of any cat.
An excellent way to get them to start associating as something good, is, even being separated and after two or three days after the arrival of the new cat, place a bowl of food to each one near the door that separates them. In this way, they will come to eat and begin to get used to each other’s presence. The distance from the door should be enough for the cats to be comfortable, but if one of them starts to snort or ruffle his fur, move the bowl of food away until it is in a comfortable position.
Each day that passes, bring the bowls closer until the time comes when they are glued to the door. Remember that you still can not open the door, as we have said, it is a slow process that must be done correctly to obtain good results. A small oversight may be enough to return to the beginning.
Habituate the smell of one and the other
Smell is the way cats know each other. The pheromones they release are the main method of communication between felines. So that your cats get used to and know the smell of each other before they see each other personally, you must place an object of each of them in the space of the other. You can also lightly stroke the cat with a towel or cloth when it is calm and peaceful. For this, the fabric passes through the region of the cheeks, where they release more pheromones. The most important thing is to do it when the cat is calm, that way the other cat is calmly transmitted when he smells the towel with the pheromones.
Now you just have to put the towel near the other cat and observe carefully its behavior. If you simply smell it and do nothing, reward it! It is a very good sign that they do not transfer or show signs of aggression. Play with the cat near the towel and reward it. It is very important to associate with positive things the smell of the other cat so that he recognizes it as something good for him.
Exchange of rooms
Once the cats have become accustomed to the smell of the other, it is time to change their room. Start by introducing the old cat into the space enabled for the new member and leave it locked for a moment. Meanwhile, release the newly arrived kitten around the house and let him walk freely. You may find that he does not want to leave his comfort space, if so do not force it and try the exchange again another day. Whenever one of them behaves properly, remember to reinforce that attitude positively with food and a lot of love.
If at any time the new cat starts to get stressed, return it to its safe space and try to calm down and relax.
Let the old cat explore the space of the new
When the new cat is completely comfortable at home, without the old feline nearby, lock him in a room and go to look for the old tenant so he can explore the space of the new member quietly. As we have pointed out with the previous one, if the old cat does not want to collaborate or is restless and stressed, do not force it. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary, and remember the popular saying: “haste is the enemy of perfection”.
Introducing a second cat at home does not have an exact science. Each feline has a rhythm of adaptation to new situations and, therefore, it is important that respect the rhythm and limits of each of the cats. Always adapt the rhythm and the training sessions to the most timid and nervous cat.
The first meeting
When the cats are completely calm and comfortable in the environment, it is time to present them. This moment is very important and you must be very careful to avoid any situation that triggers an aggression between them.
There different options to make cats see themselves for the first time. If you have an area with a glass or window in the center, this is an excellent idea. Another possibility would be to place the new cat in your room and repeat the previous feeding session but with the door slightly open so that you can look at each other. If you are calm, you can use the toy known as fishing rod to play and associate with fun moments.
If the new kitten is a puppy, putting it in a carrier for the old cat to approach can also be a good alternative.
And if one of the cats is stressed or becomes aggressive, throw a candy or a toy away to distract and separate them. As we have already mentioned, some animals take more time to accept the other and you can always try to try again tomorrow. The important thing is not to spoil everything by wanting to do things fast.
When the cats no longer show any kind of aggression or discomfort in relation to the other, congratulations! You have managed to tolerate them. Now you can let them know each other, be together, smell each other and play, but always with caution. Watch them during the first days of total freedom to ensure that no altercation occurs between them. Likewise, keep prizes and toys close in case you need to use them to keep one of the cats away.
How to make two cats get along
Now, if after discovering how to present your cat to another cat, you have been able to prove that you carried out this task badly and, therefore, your cats do not get along. there’s still hope! Our advice is that do all the exposed process in the article, as if the newest one had just arrived, and enabled a space for him. Although we can not guarantee success, it is possible that by following these steps you will be able to approximate your animals and achieve, at a minimum, that they will be tolerated in order to restore peace to the home.
If, unfortunately, none of this works and you do not get your cats to stop fighting, you must go to a feline ethologist to request their professional help.
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