Cats are known to be very territorial, and when a new cat enters the house, this territorial nature of theirs will make things more difficult. It is their instinct to be possessive about what they consider theirs, including the pet owners and the smallest of things like food, toys, utensils, sheets, etc.
As pet owners, it is a necessity to discourage any potential fights. Cats might get aggressive upon finding another cat in their home, but there are some things you can do for the peaceful coexistence of these cats, and to develop a bond without going for each other’s throat.
How to Introduce the Cats
Must Be Given Their Space
The new cat will need some time getting adjusted to the new environment, and might even be frightened because of the unfamiliarity. Meeting the residential cat will only further intensify the fear, hence it is better to allocate separate spots for both cats, which will contain everything they need. This way, the new cat can familiarize itself by leaving its scent on everything, which will create a sense of belonging.
Cats can get familiarized with each other by their scent first before meeting each other face-to-face. It can be done by placing the toys, sheets, utensils used by one cat in the other cat’s space. The lingering scent of the cat on these belongings will get the other cat familiarized with that scent.
The pet-owners can then proceed on to visual familiarity once they get comfortable with the scent.
Installing Screen Doors or Baby Gates
The initial few days might feel like a cold war as both cats will likely try to invade each other’s space, and given a chance, they could attack to assert dominance. So, putting up barricades like baby gates will prevent them from colliding against each other. But at the same time, it will help them in getting familiar with each other’s presence by peeping through the bars of the baby gate.
Cats can’t magically develop friendship right upon seeing each other. Their natural tendency is to protect themselves from any potential threat. Therefore, both cats must be given enough time, to get accustomed to each other’s presence. The time taken by one cat to get comfortable might be different from the other. It is a slow process, but the result will be a blooming friendship.
It will be safe to do a face-to-face introduction only when the cats stop hissing, snarling, or swatting each other. A perfect sign that they are getting comfortable with each other is when they start sniffing or rubbing each other without any aggression.
Other than these tips, some small tricks will help in building their bond and making the cats grow comfortable with each other.
How to Make the Cats Develop a Bond After Introducing
Treats and Compliments
Cats are attention-seekers and compliments are always welcomed, which could be used to the advantage of pet owners. By giving them treats or dishing out compliments every time they even put in the smallest amount of effort to develop a friendship with the other cat, will help in the longer run. It would motivate them to continue doing it just so they can get complimented by their owners.
Playtime with Both Cats
It is necessary to have equal playtimes with both the cats to put off any potential territorial fights. Rather, it’s better to play with both the cats at the same time and cat treats can be used to make them play with each other. It will help them in getting closer, and developing friendship, as they get more and more familiar with each other.
Do Not Force
The cats must not be forced to interact with each other, rather they must be let to be on their own. Forced interaction will only lead to upsetting the cats. The cats must explore the house as they please and will interact with the other cat of their own will. Anything forced is considered not to be good.
Train the Cats
Even after the cats are done warming up with each other, there might be few hassles after the introduction period. It is essential to have trained cats to listen to commands, and this will help in resolving the issues in most cases. By training, the cats to listen to commands like stop by showing a flat hand or, by clapping hands, the potential brawls could be resolved.
The pet owners can not be expected to handle every possible situation thrown their way while handling two cats. Hence, the owners must never hesitate from asking for help or suggestions. It is recommended that the pet-owners approach veterinary doctors or cat trainers, who are more knowledgeable about this subject, to find solutions to their problems.
Veterinary doctors or cat trainers can be approached when;
- The cats just don’t seem to be getting along even after a months-long introduction period
- Fights or brawls lasting for an indefinite period, and nothing could be done to resolve them
- When either of the cats seems to upset mentally or physically. The usual signs are when they refuse to eat, start hiding, etc.
The potential adopters must be prepared for the responsibilities and workload that would fall upon them after adopting another cat. It is also essential that they have the patience and perseverance to deal with what comes after making both the cats are introduced to each other. It will not be much of a difficulty if the previously mentioned steps are followed and if the cats are given enough space and time to get accustomed to each other.