La coexistence among cats It is not always positive, since there are many cases of cats that quarrel, are buffeted or not accepted at all. For this reason, before introducing a second cat at home, it will be essential to prepare the home, inform us about feline behavior and make a good presentation.
In this new article we will show you the keys so you know how to make two cats get alongHowever, in the most serious cases, the intervention of a specialist will be necessary.
Understanding the behavior of cats
Cats are not a gregarious species, contrary to what many people believe, but it is about lonely animals who maintain social behaviors only during the time of heat. This does not mean that they can not socialize positively with other members of their same species, however, their way of feeding or hunting reveals obvious characteristics about their behavior independent.
It is also about animals very territorial, because they maintain a defensive behavior before the arrival of new individuals in their area, which is why the introduction of a new cat can be somewhat complicated.
In order to determine if our cat will accept the new member or not, it will be essential to ensure that he has experienced a good period of socialization with other felines (between the second and seventh weeks of life), otherwise, it is likely that understand the body language of cats and carry out a aggressive behavior, caused mainly by fear.
Likewise, some cats that have been properly socialized are not receptive when accepting a new cat at home. It can occur in cats that have not socialized with other cats for years, in older cats that receive a puppy cat or in cats that suffer from health problems.
As owners we must be aware that the introduction of a new cat in the home will cause a lack of stability, which may cause problems of coexistence. In such case it may be necessary to visit a ethologist or feline behavior specialist.
Preparing the home for the arrival of the second cat
While cats usually show a lower competitiveness Before the resources that the dogs, it will be fundamental to assure that each individual has his own accessories so that a conflict does not take place for this cause.
The ideal is that each cat has its own utensils and, in addition, can access one extra. This applies to virtually anything: feeder, drinking fountain, scraper, bed, nest, sandbox toys. In addition, we offer you some extra tips so you know how to distribute them:
- The sandboxes: they should be placed in an isolated and quiet area, so that the cats can relieve themselves without problems. They usually prefer open trays, although that causes them to mess up more. However, what is really important is that it is a minimally large sanitary tray.
- Drinkers and feeders: to encourage the behavior typical displacement of cats it will be positive to place them in different points of the home, always well away from the sandboxes. For greater acceptance we can bet on large drinking fountains or water sources.
- Rest places: Although it is important to place a bed or a nest in a crowded area of the home, so that the cat can rest with us, it will also be important to place others in quieter areas, thus ensuring a good rest.
- Synthetic pheromones: to promote wellness and avoid stress, we recommend the use of synthetic pheromones for cats, specifically those that have scientific studies that support them. It will be very positive to have a diffuser before the arrival of the new cat.
- Walkways and towers: it is important that cats have a place to flee and take refuge when they do not feel comfortable, for that reason it is so important to place walkways, shelves and different structures.
- Scrapers: Nail marking is an innate behavior in cats, which also helps them sharpen their claws properly. We must have several scrapers so that they can mark with tranquility.
- Toys and accessories: to finish it will be very important that cats have access to toys and accessories, which will not only enrich their environment, but also help them stay in shape and avoid stress levels. The ideal is to rotate on a regular basis.
If you want to know more about the distribution of the home and the indispensable accessories, do not hesitate to visit our article about how to prepare the arrival of a cat at home.
How to correctly present two cats?
Once we have clear everything we need for proper coexistence between cats, it is time for presentations. It is important to point out that, before presenting them, we will locate the newcomer in a separate room for some days so that a sudden encounter does not take place.
The goal is that, during this time, the cat that already lives in the home is aware that there is a new individual and begins to Recognize your smell through the cracks in the door. In the temporary room the new cat must have everything necessary: sandpit, drinking fountain, feeding trough. It is likely that the first days you hear how your cats are scaringHowever, it is important that you do not repress it, it is totally normal.
How to join two cats without fighting?
It is impossible to guarantee the success of the first encounter, however, there are some tricks that can make the presentation between two cats as positive as possible:
- Make sure both cats have places to take refuge: shelves, surfaces, structures for cats. Remember that it is important that they can flee if they feel threatened. However, in the first encounter we should not place nests, transportines or closed areas, since a fight inside this type of habitat could be very dangerous.
- Situate at the meeting point cat treats, wet pate or any other tasty food, in this way they can associate the presence of a new cat with large doses of food, something very positive.
- Do not force the situation. If they do not want to get close to each other we will allow it, because it is essential that they feel free to interact at all times, everything must be natural and progressive.
- Reinforce your cats with a soft and sharp voice when the first encounter occurs, calling them by their name and using habitual reinforcements, as a “very well“, So that they appear calmer. Be sure to reinforce them lovingly if they come to sniff or rub against each other.
- Do not overstimulate the environment with shouting, music, toys. Apart from food and voice, which act as positive reinforcement, there should be no other elements that distract the cat or that can cause generalized stress.
Finally add that it can be interesting to make use of kitchen gloves during the first meeting in case we had to act in case of a fight. Although it is unlikely to happen, it is best to be prepared.
How to know if two cats get along?
It is totally normal that during the first days of coexistence occur snorts and chases throughout the home and, at best, the cats will show tolerant the one towards the other. Once again we must respect their communication and not intervene, since they themselves must learn to communicate and set their role within the home. In addition, punishing or scaring animals when they are intolerant can worsen the situation, generating a negative association between both cats.
As the days go by, tolerance increases and we can then know that two cats get along when they start to show certain intimate behaviors, such as sleep together or lick each other. Both behaviors are very positive and reveal not only tolerance, but also affection towards the other animal.
Problems of coexistence among cats
It may happen that, despite making a good presentation, the cats do not get along and begin to show negative behavior towards the other, such as snorts and scratches. In these cases it will be essential to pay attention to the sounds that the cats emit and the corporal postures of the felines to better understand their attitude and discover the cause of the problem.
Here we show some behavior problems and some signs that identify them:
- Aggression by fear: may be caused by deficiencies in the socialization of the cat, bad experiences, genetics or trauma. Generally we observe the cat with the ears back, body bent and slouch, low tail, bristly hair and sharp vocalizations.
- Aggression for pain: is caused by present or past pathologies that have caused pain in the feline. He is generally especially vulnerable when we approach certain areas of his body and maintains an offensive attitude, which includes snorting and slapping when other individuals approach.
- Territorial aggression: manifests during the first days or weeks and usually manifests when the new cat accesses certain areas of the home. It is temporary and behaviors related to marking are also observed, whether in the form of urine, scratches on household furniture and rubbing.
- Aggression for protection of resources: in this case one of the cats is aggressive when the other feline tries to use some resource (sandboxes, water, food.) is rare and we usually observe an offensive position, in which the cat shows the firm body, taut tail and making serpentine movements, etc. In this case we need to add more utensils in the environment to avoid disputes.
Genetics, learning, traumas and many other factors they influence behavior of the feline and provoke the appearance of fears and aggressive behaviors. It is not always possible to discover what has been the cause of certain behaviors, especially when we talk about adopted adult cats.
How to improve the relationship between two cats?
The guidelines to work A possible behavioral problem among cats varies completely depending on the diagnosis, the available resources and the prognosis of the case. In addition, it may be necessary to adapt the guidelines according to the evolution, which is why it is impossible (and inadvisable) to offer a complete treatment of modification of generic behavior and adaptable to all cases.
Still, we offer you 5 basic tips that you can apply to try to improve the relationship between two cats:
1. Use of positive reinforcement
To educate our feline and encourage certain behaviors we can make use of positive reinforcement, which consists in rewarding those desirable behaviors (for example, we pet the cat when it is quiet next to the other cat) and the negative punishment, that supposes the end of something positive when a bad behavior takes place (for example, we stop petting the cat when it blows the other feline). Both are part of positive education and minimize the risk of the appearance of stress and anxiety. We must apply these techniques whenever possible for foster a good relationship between both cats.
2. Physical and mental stimulation
The stimulation through games of entertainment helps to keep the mind and body of our felines active, which favors the learning, the well-being and the enrichment of their day to day life. It is very important that these exercises are personalized depending on the cat for do not overstimulate.
3. Complementary aid
Previously we have already commented that there are products that can generate well-being and relaxation in the cat, such as the use of synthetic pheromones, but there are other products on the market, such as balanced foods that include the “calm” label or the use of pharmacology prescribed by the veterinarian.
Also, remember that your own behavior It influences felines, so you should not hesitate to maintain a state of calm and relaxation at all times, acting calmly and favoring the environment is relaxed and conducive to both cats can become friends.
4. Errors that we should avoid
Unfortunately, the Internet is full of articles based on outdated methods or written by people without training or experience in behavior modification in cats. It is very important to avoid certain types of errors, such as the ones we show you:
- Screaming at cats
- Pursue the cats
- Use spray with water
- Punish with newspapers
- Lock up the cats
- Scare cats
5. Visit to the specialist
If you are faced with a complex case or a behavior that is difficult to identify, it is advisable to go to a specialist, such as a veterinarian / biologist. specialized in ethology or a feline behavior professional. In addition to helping you with the diagnosis, the professional can conduct behavioral modification sessions with you and offer you concrete and personalized guidelines for your case
If you want to read more articles similar to How to make two cats get along?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.