How to get your cat to accept another cat


This is one of the most repeated questions. Why doesn't my cat accept the new one? This question, which could have multiple answers, immediately leads us to another question. Is your cat older? And to this one, is the new cat young? Okay…. Sometimes the older cat + young cat combination can be an explosive mixture for which we were not prepared.

If you already had a big cat at home and had thought it would be an excitement to have a younger companion who will give you a glass and keep you company, surely your initial rejection (the cat and you) will have caught you by surprise. Do not worry, you are not the first or the last. It has a solution, if we understand a little better how all this works.

An older cat (or adult) is a guarantee of tranquility

Well, there is never a 100% guarantee but it is true that the restlessness and nervousness of the first months (maybe years) of our kitty's life is falling behind ... sometimes very far behind, so much that we may not remember well or We simply have not taken those small differences into account. Our adult or elderly cat enjoys the tranquility of our house, of your favorite place, of our little mimics, always and only when you feel like it. Enjoy having food always in place. His bowl always overflowing. His sand, yours. From nobody else, nothing to share pets. Enjoy those who someday were his toys and now sometimes hunts, a bit like doing us a favor. Ok, it may be more active, but it is still an animal accustomed to living alone and quiet, with which we have a special, unique bond.

A kitten, guarantee of fun

On the contrary, kittens are a box of surprises. They put all their enthusiasm and all their energy into discovering and learning everything. They need to play and instinctively seek a playmate with whom to practice.

Welcome to the party, grandpa

Without offending our elderly, adult or reassuring cats, with that expression I just want us to realize in a second how our cat can feel. Although many cats can continue to enjoy endless hours of play, the cat that rejects the kitten may do so because it does not feel like playing, does not feel like being ambushed or sharing sand or food. He does not want to be stalked or nailed by those little kites or those little so cute little sticks that are so prickly. At least it's not funny at the moment (Oh-my-god-what-you-do-here-and-when-you-go).

If you have not yet brought the kitten home and you are simply considering that possibility, you may want to keep in mind that It is not the same to bring a kitten to a house where there is only one cat to bring it to a house with several, the impact is greater. It is also not the same to bring a kitten as two kittens. If we bring only one kitten, the big cat can be the target of all the ambushes of the little one, while if we bring a couple of little brothers they can manage to play. Impact there will be, only distributed in different ways.

My cat hates the new kitten and I think I do too. What can I do?

The first thing is to have patience and not get nervous, because that's how we only make things worse. In the end he will accept it (you can breathe easy) except in a very small percentage of cases of cats that do not want to share their space with others. We're just going to learn a couple of questions that can make the process a bit easier for us. You don't have to put them all into practice, only the ones you see that can be applied to your situation. Also, finally understanding what is happening, we can implement our own strategy if we know our cat well.

A peaceful place

Surely your older cat had his favorite place at home, maybe near you. The fact is that sometimes the new kitten takes possession of all the sites, including that one. Our cat will calm down and be less stressed if we provide a safe place to sleep peacefully away from the new one. At this stage it is good to leave the doors of the rooms open and facilitate access to less accessible places, even if we have a closet where he can enter or some taller furniture where the child can not climb, all this depending on the "overwhelmed" that the large one and its preferences regarding space be shown.

Play and ... play more

It is one of the most obvious things, but it can also become complicated. If our intention was to find a companion to relieve the loneliness of the other cat because we spent many hours outside, dedicating so much time at the beginning to both can be difficult, but it is necessary. The game is going to be our great ally. We will play several times a day with the kitten, so that its energy is channeled and moderated in the times spent with the other cat. We will also play with our older cat because the game will make him feel more relieved.

There is a common routine in cats that involves playing (hunting), eating, cleaning and sleeping. Knowing this we can organize a little better. If we play with the kitten and then give it something delicious to eat, surely in a little while it is asleep, which will provide tranquility to our older cat. The interesting thing about all this is to manage it so that we also plan some pleasant activity with our older cat, for example, games, caresses, grooming ... the things that you like the most.

Games at another level

Kittens love to climb our legs, curtains and everything that is climbed. If we prepare a home kit that allows you to climb and climb a piece of furniture where this comfortable will spend some extra time dedicated to exploring these new territories, letting the other cat take its place.

Interaction and surprises

We can also add some entertainment and fun for both of us when we are not at home. In this post I tell you a lot of tricks so you can use for the kitten continue to be surprised and learning while you are not at home. The big cat should also perceive all experience as pleasant as possible. So the idea is to leave distractions and surprises for both. For example, a couple of award dispensers like these or these may be a good idea. Also leave the blinds open in different areas of the house (something like a window for everyone, near your site) so they can see the street. You can also create pleasant experiences by hiding some prize or toy they like or some catnip, in a place where they will surely find it. You have more ideas in this link.

Sandboxes Together or separated?

The first days we can use separate sandboxes, but the idea is always to be able to put it together in a time, when everything is quieter. The first days of the kitten at home he will not know how it is distributed, only where his things are. In those days you can perfectly have your independent litter box, since you can get confused and not find the other one, the big cat may also take advantage of the access to the box to try to attack or harass you and it may simply make our cat feel uncomfortable because there Another cat using her sand. We are not in such a hurry, the first days you can use different boxes. When the kitten knows the house, it is most likely that his curiosity will lead him to use the other litter box. If the thing is quieter and there are no fights then we can put them together.

The needs of your adult cat

Sometimes, when we are in a situation like this we tend to "treat both cats equally." But that may not solve much. Adult cats love routines, they love repetition and rituals. If before we got home and the first thing we did was say hello, so be it. If we fed him every day as soon as we got up, so be it. If every Saturday we cleaned the litter box, we will try to keep it. Although now we put another cleaning in between. These are just examples, it is only to modify the life and customs of our cat as little as possible, as far as it depends on us.

Another issue that can be difficult to solve is when our older cat suddenly seems to hate us. Before he slept on our knees and now he prefers to go to the last corner of the house. In this case, I do recommend putting Feliway (info here) in the room that does not fit, because I did quite well (here I tell you my experience). Obviously this is not the solution, we must also do all of the above, but something helps.

Our cat is upset and isolated, but that doesn't mean he doesn't need to spend time with us. Our work will consist initially of taking these measures to channel the energy of our kitten and stop overwhelming our cat "resident." But our cat still needs his routines, and he still needs our attention, so we try to spend a quality time with him every day, in which we can be ourselves, without worries to convey, we will spend simply playing, combing , caressing him, giving him prizes ... whatever we did before. Even if we have to "keep" the kitten in another room, we can do it, but it is important that we be calm. No worries right now. That way you will feel safe and will be confident again about the place you occupy in our home and in our lives. It is possible that our cat feels displaced and we will try to make him see little by little, with perseverance (as they like) that he will always be number one for us.

If you have not yet brought the kitten home but its arrival is imminent:

In that case, you have done very well by reading this post, which warns you about the problems that can occur (so always, only sometimes) and we leave you some extra tips to make the union between cat and kitten a success.

- Read these tips to make a proper presentation between both cats

- Some professionals still recommend bringing a kitten of the opposite sex to the one we already have at home (in reality it is not a guarantee that they will get along better, but sometimes it just works).

- If you have considered the possibility of bringing two kittens home instead of one, keep in mind that this will solve part of the problem, but that you should still take into account all of the above and monitor that there is no extra complication: that the two kittens "overwhelm" the older cat. In case you choose to bring two kittens you must make sure that the two kittens are brothers or good partners with each other. It is essential that they know each other before and enjoy a quiet and friendly coexistence between them.

We must assess our personal situation, available space and character and experiences of cats before making the decision (if we are not very clear we can ask a professional for help).

Useful links (in English) Ask, Pets, Catchannel.

Arrival home

Input, never present at once to the two animals. As we have said repeatedly, cats are very animals territorial, so the presentation process between the two must be slow and progressive. Otherwise, the acceptance process between them will be much longer and it is more than likely to be accompanied by some scratches and snorts.

We advise you to leave the “new” cat in the transport and that it is the “owner” of the house who comes to smell it. Do not try to mediate between them, it has to be a process of mutual acceptance that requires patience.

The first weeks

After this first contact, leave them in separate spaces of the house, so that, among them, they can smell and feel - under the doors, for example - but not be seen or attacked.
This phase will last about two weeks, during which you will have to exchange the sand - already used - between them so that, little by little, they will become familiar with the new smells.

The official presentation

Having overcome this point, we can say that the “open doors” day arrives. Always under your supervision and avoiding sudden and rapid movements, use the order "NO" to the slightest symptom of fighting or aggressiveness between them. Arm yourself with patience and do not resort to punishment or scold either of you, as you will not get anything, since cats do not understand the punishment. Do not prolong this first encounter beyond one hour. When finished, we will return to the “separate rooms” and repeat these first cat dates, as many times as necessary.

Other factors to consider

The cats sterilized They are not as territorial as those that are not, so the process will be simpler and faster. Similarly, it is not the same to gather two adult cats than to join a puppy with an older one. Two cats with similar energies and activity level will be more compatible than trying to match an adult cat with a puppy, since it will need more games and activity than the older one.

Finally, with respect to sex, the ideal is that they are of different genders, although both females and males can live with cats of the same sex.

One more in the family!

After these first weeks, when you see that little by little they begin to accept, interact and play, you can try to put some malt or pate on your cat's paws, so that the new one can wash it and create links between them. Do not do this at the beginning of the process, as you could achieve the opposite effect and trigger a fight.

By giving a companion to our cat, we will also be improving their quality of life, because sharing their life with another member of their species will directly affect their health, their daily lives, their humor ... Do not forget that now you will have to multiply your pampering and petting for two, but what you will receive in return, I assure you that it will compensate you.

Dani Vico.

How to get your cat to accept another cat is a tip for Cats, and talk about Ethology.