Bringing a Second Cat into the Home: What You Need to Know
According to recent a survey, it is estimated that over 95.6 million cats live in households across the United States. If you are part of this statistic, you will know how much love and joy you can get from having a feline friend by your side.
While many people are content with one cat, others want to bring in another as a friend for their cat. While they are solitary by nature, cats can bond with other felines which can benefit them in numerous ways. So, if you’re considering bringing another cat into the household, here is what you need to know first.
Choose the Right Time
If you have a kitten in your home and want it to have a friend, it’s advised to bring in another kitten, rather than a fully developed feline. Many cats are territorial creatures, meaning they don’t adapt well to change and will find it difficult to accept another feline in the household. If you have an adult cat, it is possible to introduce another feline. However, this will take a great amount of time and you will need to introduce them both gradually to each other. You can find more information on how to help a cat adapt by reading this blog, ‘are cats solitary creatures? | diamond pet foods’.
Keep Things Separate
Whether it’s a litterbox, food dish, sleeping cushion, or toys, when bringing a second cat into the household, you should purchase new items for your feline. The last thing you should do is let your first cat share things with the other, as this may not bode well, and fights may break out. It’s wise to establish a separate space for your second cat as they get used to being in your home. As time goes on, you can slowly integrate your cats.
Let Your New Cat Explore
Once your new cat feels comfortable and relaxed in their new surroundings, now is the time to let them explore around your property. This will give your new feline a chance to engage with your resident cat’s scent without the need for direct contact.
Keep a Close Eye
When your cats meet for the first time, you should be on hand to keep a close eye and monitor the situation. If there are any displays of aggression or fearful behavior like hissing or crouching, you need to be prepared to split them up should they begin fighting. You can do this by throwing a towel over them. Make sure you have treats and fun toys nearby that can help your cats associate being with each other as a positive experience, rather than a negative.
For your cats to get to know each other and bond, you need to have patience. If your cats are of different ages, getting them used to each other will take a lot longer than you first thought. As your cats begin to interact and feel comfortable around each other, there are tons of health benefits you will gain along the way too, such as reduced stress levels and feeling of loneliness.
When bringing a new cat into the household, you will want your feline to feel at home within an instant. For things to run smoothly, putting all the tips above into practice can help you and your cats form a strong bond.