How to Help Your Cats to Get Along
15 April, 2015
If you have one cat and decide to adopt or bring another cat home, it usually takes a little time for them to get along. Sometimes, it is love at first meet and other times, it is a bit of an adjustment. Yet, if your cats don’t get along after a week or so, there might be something else going on besides just jealousy. Your existing cat might even put up a fight and act like a tough kitty before relenting to your new cat. There are some things you can do to help strengthen the bond between your two cats and have a harmonious environment.
The first and most important thing to do is to make sure your cats are spayed or natured.
The first step toward helping your cats to get along is to spay and neuter your cats. Neutering and/or spaying your kittens invariably makes them calm down and it avoids their being in heat (not to mention that it helps with the overpopulation of our cats and so many other benefits).
Your existing cat needs to get used to the new cat’s scent
When you bring a new cat into your home, you kitty will have his own new cat scent that your existing cat won’t like (at first). Some cats are more bothered by the smell than others. Try to mix their smells so they won’t know whose is whose and merge their scent. Try taking a towel and rub one towel over one cat, then rub the same towel over the second cat to mix their scents. Do this several times a day for a few weeks and then they will knowingly like the mix and adjust to each other.
Pay extra attention to your existing cat while you make this transformation.
A new cat will almost always get more attention from you than your older kitty as you are trying to make the new cat comfortable. Try to set aside extra one-on-one time with your existing cat(s) to assure your existing cat that the new cat is not getting all of your attention. It’s hard for some cats, especially older ones, to adjust to someone interrupting their life and love from their owners. The more equal the love, the better the cats will get along. And older cats are used to getting their way so they are a bit more territorial.
Cats mark their own territory so try to get your new cat to a new spot
Cats are territorial, even if the territory extends no further than the end of your bed or a special place on the sofa. When you bring a new cat into your household, the new cat will need to establish his or her own territory and your existing cats will need to defend his or hers. This can result in fights. Try to discourage the new cat from taking over one of your existing cat’s spots by providing her with her own special spot. Sprinkle it with catnip, a treat and put a towel with her scent on it.
If your cats just can’t get along, you need to separate and then reintroduce them
Get a large dog crate and place it in a spare room, and put one cat (with a litter box and bed) in the crate, and the other cat outside the crate. Leave them alone in the room together. Do this every day for at least a week, alternating which cat gets left inside the crate. This way they get to know each other by scent.
When things appear calmer, let them out together in the room (but don’t leave them alone together). Play with them, give them treats, and praise good behavior. If one cat starts a fight, put him in the crate. Continue until they can be together in the room without fighting.
Then you can let them have the run of your entire home. If one cat starts a fight, he or she goes back in the crate. Again, always praise good behavior and reward with treats. Within a few weeks, the two cats should be able to coexist fairly peacefully.
With time, patience and effort, your cats will get along well. Even if they aren’t the best of friends, they should be able to co-exist harmoniously.
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