If it’s time to add another cat to your family, read this to find out what you need to do to get your cats to like each other and learn to live with one another.
Cats are independent creatures that like to do their own thing; however, they want company and can get lonely. So it isn’t easy to get them to get along, especially if they’re not used to each other. If you’ve ever tried introducing a new cat into your home, you know how tricky it can be.
One minute they’re hissing, and the next, they’re swatting each other with tails fluffed in anger! However, by introducing them slowly and using positive reinforcement, it is possible to get cats to like each other.
This is a rough guide for introducing cats into an only-cat household or helping the ones who don’t get along learn to live together peacefully. It will give you the basic information necessary to create a calm and content feline household.
Table of Contents
Why Cats Fight With Each Other
Cats fight for various reasons, such as territory, toys, and resources, but they also fight out of fear or anxiety. Fights between cats that live in the same home can be particularly stressful because they cannot often escape from each other.
Cat owners need to understand why they are fighting so that they can work to stop it.
It isn’t easy to generalize, as every situation is different, and cats have different personalities. However, studies have shown that female cats are more territorial than males in specific scenarios and may be more likely to fight for resources or territory.
Therefore, monitoring your cat (both male and female) closely when introducing them to a new cat ensures a peaceful living environment.
Tips To Help Them Get Along With Other Felines
If you’re looking for tips for cats to get along with each other like a family member, the key is patience. Introducing a second cat can be challenging, and staying positive throughout the process is crucial.
The best way to get multiple cats to like each other is by taking a slow and steady approach. Start by separating them and allowing short controlled introductions. Keep their beds in different rooms to begin. Each cat should have its own litter box in a separate area.
Separate food bowls in particular areas of the house will reduce fights over food. Investing in microchip-activated food bowls is also a good idea, especially for the long term if one cat needs specific dietary food for medical conditions or age-specific food.
Give Them Their Own Space
Ensuring cats have their separate rooms will help them feel secure. This could be a different bed, perch, or even an area of the house they can call their own.
Gradually and carefully introducing unfamiliar cats in neutral territory is ideal. Provide enough separate resources, such as beds and toys.
Avoid placing two unfamiliar cats in the same room so they feel safe from one another while eating or drinking. Providing your cats with safe spaces and resources makes them feel secure and comfortable.
Show Them You Care
The next step is to take the time to show each cat that you care for and love them. Then, spend quality time with them individually, especially when playing with or grooming them, so that they feel special. This can help create a bond between the cats and you, allowing them to form their relationship.
Make sure they get plenty of playtime, petting, and cuddles. Doing this will help them form positive bonds with you. It’s also essential to be consistent when rewarding good behavior. This will help build trust between you and your cats and create a positive association with one another.
Encourage Positive Interactions
Offer rewards when cats spend time with each other positively. For example, give them treats when calm in the same room. Also, if two cats tend to sniff each other’s scents, this is a good sign that they’re getting used to each other.
With time, they will become more comfortable with one another, building positive associations and making it easier to be in the same space without feeling threatened.
Monitor Their Behavior
Monitor their behavior as they get used to being around each other. If you see any sign of aggressive behavior or stress, separate the cats immediately and always ensure that they have an escape route from each other.
With patience and consistency, your cats should be able to adjust to each other and learn to coexist peacefully.
The critical thing to remember when introducing cats is to remain patient. Change requires time and understanding, so becoming friends may take days, weeks, or even years.
With patience and consistency, you’ll be able to create a better atmosphere in your home for all of the cats living there.
Getting your cats to like each other may not be possible, but with time, patience, and adjustments, you can get them to coexist happily. For example, when we introduced our current cat, as a kitten, to our old cat, they weren’t fans of each other.
They did, however, coexist happily. Even though we didn’t think they liked each other, when our old cat died, our current cat kept looking for him for weeks and grieved.
Spaying cats can help reduce aggression, reducing the desire for territorial disputes between cats in multi-cat households. This is especially true when introducing two unaltered cats to one another.
Ensuring all the cats in your home are neutered is a great way to reduce potential fighting between them.
Use Calming Pheromones
The use of calming pheromones can also help reduce stress among cats. Pheromone products, such as Feliway, work by releasing synthetic feline facial pheromones that create a calming and reassuring environment for cats.
They’re available in both spray and plug-in diffuser forms and are safe to use around cats.
Be Creatively Strategic
Use cat trees, tunnels, and other furniture that allow them to interact safely from a distance. This can help them get used to each other without feeling threatened. Ensuring your cats always have an escape route will also help them feel less threatened.
Also, use toys that encourage play and interaction between them. For example, you can try providing a distraction for the resident cat while introducing the other to a room or area of the house – this will help create positive interactions between them.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Finally, make sure your cats are getting enough mental stimulation. If you have indoor cats, provide them with interactive toys, like scratching posts and puzzle feeders, to keep them entertained and reduce boredom. Bored cats can become stressed and get along better if stress levels are kept down.
Time for a Vet Visit
If your cats are not getting along after trying the above tips, it’s time to seek professional help from a veterinary clinic. A vet will advise you and create the best plan for your cats. They can also recommend tips and guide you on managing any aggression or sudden change between the cats in your home.
Introducing cats is a process that requires patience and understanding. However, with the right strategies and help from a veterinarian, they can develop positive relationships with each other and feel safe and secure in the same home.