First cat post of the year! With a bit of pestering, I’ve convinced my family to let me get another cat. I’m so excited, but I’ve never had two cats at the same time that weren’t from the same litter. So let’s take a look at what it takes to introduce two cats and avoid literal hissy fits.
First, you need to know if the pets you already own will tolerate another, new animal coming into the house. Mako is relatively cat friendly, if not shy, but not all animals are, such as my previous cat who was aggressive towards cats wandering by the front door. If you bring in a new cat that the old cat cannot deal with, you may end up with fights, litter box problems, and other issues. So please consider carefully whether or not adding a new cat to the family is a good idea.
Second, you shouldn’t just push your new pet onto your existing cat—similar problems may ensue. You should section off part of the home to allow the kitten to get used to the smells and sounds of the place, while the other pet can get used to the overall new presence. There should be a barrier to keep the two from getting at each other.
After a week or so, the new cat may be permitted to explore the rest of the home under your supervision. The supervision bit is so you can ensure your pet is safe, begin teaching them boundaries, and ensure there are no cat fights. When the two pets do run into each other, there might be hissing, thrashing tails, or other aggressive gestures but it’s normal, so long as there isn’t an attack; this should settle down as the two get used to each other.
Also make sure you’ve got plenty of everything for both (or more) pets: litter boxes (one for each cat), toys, beds, food bowls, etc. It may be best to feed the cats seperately as well until they are comfortable around each other. This can be done in separate rooms, maybe at separate times, or even one on a table and the other on the floor.
If your cats do not show any signs of improving relationships and frequently fight, it’s important that you consider rehoming the new cat. Two cats who absolutely cannot stand each other should not be forced to be together. However, you should also consider other issues as we’re pretty sure Sora was not a fan of Mako because he had gingivitis that we hadn’t discovered yet. She used to beat him up until we got it under control. So talk to your vet about your options first, but be aware of the possibility you may need to rehome the new cat.
Probably the most important part of the entire process is that you ensure you give the existing cat lots of individual love and attention. Like people, they don’t want to feel replaced, so make sure you give them just as much attention as before.
Hopefully this helps any people adding a new pet to their family. Wish us luck.