* Choose 2 compatible cats to start with. This may be similar kitten/cats from the same litter or re-homed from the same social group. * Ensure they have access to their own resources- food, water, litter trays, beds and have enough space for both cats. Cats are a solitary species and generally do not… Read more »
* Choose 2 compatible cats to start with. This may be similar kitten/cats from the same litter or re-homed from the same social group.
* Ensure they have access to their own resources- food, water, litter trays, beds and have enough space for both cats. Cats are a solitary species and generally do not like to share resources so it is best to have their own and then one extra of each item. Also it’s advisable to separate these items for each cat so they do not have to be in close proximity to one another at these times. This will prevent any disputes starting.
* Use natural pheromones in the house to try to relieve stress such as feliway or feliway friends (a new product for multicat households!) especially when they are moving to a new environment as this is very stressful for cats and may cause friction, even with bonded cats.
* Ensure they have plenty of access to safe hiding places where they cannot be interrupted. Cats like to hide when they are scared and need time to adjust.
* Also ensure other cats cannot enter the house. A microchip cat flap may be a good option if they will be going outside (once fully settled). Other cats entering the home and leaving their scent may cause fights between the cats already in the household and is a common cause for stress. Just like us, they would not like to find a stranger lurking in their living area! Microchip cat flaps are easy to install and easy to set up too!
* If the two cats have come from different places it is best to slowly integrate them together. Put them in their own room to start with and their own resources. Then gradually swap blankets between each other to exchange scent. Once they are comfortable with the scent of another cat, try to place them nearer so they can hear and smell one another but still cannot see. Once you think they are then happy with this, try placing a gate between them so they can see each other but cannot get into a fight. You will be able to tell at this time how comfortable they are together. If this goes well, then continue this often until you are confident the cats will not fight. If at any time they show conflict or become anxious then go back a step and take it slow. This process may take a long time. Ensure positive behaviour is rewarded with attention and treats but remember not to use negative reinforcement as cats do not learn from punishment; this can sometimes just cause anxiety and fear in a cat.
Are you thinking of getting a new cat for company for your current cat??
We would not recommend doing this because:
Cats are solitary and are happy and content without socialisation, although they have learnt to appreciate their owners, as they come with positive rewards i.e. food! Cats do not like to share their items and see other cats as competition. They also do not need company like we do to prevent loneliness and are not pack animals like dogs that work together, so cats do not feel the need to be with other cats or bond with other cats.
The chances are….your cat is much happier living on his/her own!