GO SLOW WITH CATS!

53

Alka Paul
Dos and Don’ts in Making Friends Between Two New Felines
If you already have a kitten, it is quite likely you believe in ‘the more the merrier’ and would want to have more. Cats are social by nature and enjoy being with their own gang. Though they can survive alone, they wouldn’t mind some additional company.
 
It might get a little difficult for a single cat to be left alone at home, especially if you have to step out for some work or on a short vacation. Though two cats tend to get along well within a few hours when they first meet, there are bright chances of conflicts arising if you introduce your new cat to the current one too soon. Hence you need to get it right the first time to avoiding ugly cat fights in the future.
 
A few thumb rules to consider when adding a new cat in your household

  • You may consider getting two kittens for your older cat. Both of them can give each other company while the older one learns to take care of them.
  •  If you have few cats at home, you can introduce your alpha cat to the new cat, making it easier for other kitties to follow suit.
  • You could bring home a cat who would match your current cat’s personality. If you already have a soft timid cat at home, getting an aggressive cat can cause more harm than good.
  • Try and bring the new cat in a cage, as your cat may try to jump over it. Act as normal as you can, by not over exciting your current cat. Let them take their own sweet time to get to know each other.
  • Do not expect the introduction to go well the first time itself. Your cats will not become familiar too soon, give them time and take things slow!

 
Patience is the name of the game
The time of introduction between the two cats can take from a couple of hours to a few months. If your cats don’t seem to like each other in the beginning, don’t worry. It will take time for them to become friends. You need to be patient; cuddle and engage them in playing some games together. The prime goal is to make them feel happy in the presence of one another. With dedication and determination, you can turn your home into a happy and safe place for your feline friends.
 
Sniff and smell, till they gel
Generally, when two cats meet, they will sniff the head area or even bump their heads together gently.Let them get habituated with each other’s scents. You can rub a towel on both of them by taking turns and let each one smell it. They will soon start accepting their scents as being normal.
 
A little safe cocoon to feel at home
Keep a comfortable safe room for your new furry member, away from your current cat. Provide her with separate bowls for food and water, toys, bed, a play mat and a litter box. You can expect a lot of hiss and spit sounds coming from both the cats. This is natural as they are getting familiar with each other.
 
Change is a good thing
You can interchange their places after a while. Let your new cat stay where your current one is staying and vice versa, giving them a chance to get acquainted by sniffing each other’s scent and smell.
 
Bring them closer, one step at a time
After few days, bring them closer by fixing a baby gate between them. Let them take a glimpse at one another and judge the rate at which they seem to get accustomed to each other.
 
First impression makes all the difference
The moment you think they are ready to mingle, get them to meet face to face under your supervision. They will start to growl and hiss at each other. There are chances that a physical cat fight may take place. That’s when you will have to intervene. Go slow, depending on how well they get along. If you see them tolerating each other well, shower praises and treats on them.
 
Interaction time: the final pleasure
Get them to connect to one another with pleasure. Engage them in some fun activities like playing fetch, hide and seek, teaching them some tricks and taking them for a walk together on leash. Hope these tips help you build a safe space for your new pet and strengthen the bond between all your pets.