How to make two cats friends in the house: what a smart owner should do

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Little unites as strongly as shared food

Many cat lovers who would like to adopt a companion for their furry pets are stopped by fears that the animals will not get along. Felines are indeed not always ready to harmonize. However, there are several ways to make cats friends.

The charity project for the rescue of stray animals, Adopt Don't Stop, shared some insights. All you need is a little time and patience.

Don't try to force things

If you simply bring a new cat into the house and confront the existing one with the fact that it is no longer alone in the family, it is likely to end in conflict. The newcomer may behave aggressively out of fear, and the old-timer may defend his territory. Therefore, do not try to force things. It is not advisable to lock the cats in one room, allowing them to figure out their relationship on their own. This can result in irreconcilable enmity rather than friendship between the animals.

Also, avoid bringing the animals close to each other, even if you are confident it will make them sniff and calm down faster. In reality, this might not be the case.

Divide the room

Moving to a new place is stressful for a cat anyway, so it's best to separate it from a rival for territory first. Separate the cats into different rooms right away. Allow the animal that has already lived with you to be in a larger room, and the new one in a smaller one. It will not be too cramped. On the contrary, limited space, especially if there is a hiding place, will give it a sense of security. A cat carrier can serve as a hiding place for a while - don't force it out; it will come out when it is ready or when it needs something (food, water, toilet).

On the contrary, your experienced cat shouldn't feel too restricted in its movements. This is his territory, and he should know it for sure. The cat will definitely feel the presence of the newcomer, but let him get used to it gradually and without direct contact, so that he does not have a desire to fight for living space.

When they are both sniffing around in their rooms, which can take a few days, you can switch them for a while. Let them get to know the smell of their new roommate. Such "relocations" can be done every 2-3 days.

Provide each animal with personal belongings

Each cat in the house should have its own things - bowls, a litter box, toys, a scratching post. In this case, they will have fewer reasons to compete with each other. They will decide for themselves if and when they want to share their possessions.

Life hack with stroking

If you want your cats to get used to each other's scent faster, you can help them do so in a fairly safe way. Take a clean glove, sock, or handkerchief, put it on your hand, and stroke the newcomer with it. Pay special attention to the cheeks, forehead, and chin - these are the glands that help animals emit odors. The cat will be happy to receive a little attention and affection.

After that, take the thing you stroked him with and take it to the old-timer. Don't shove it directly into his nose, just put it somewhere nearby - the animal will smell the new scent and become interested in it. When the old cat gets familiar with the "letter," stroke it with a clean thing and take it to the newcomer. This exchange of "messages" can be done several times a day. For each approach to the odorous message, you can give the cat a treat, so it will have positive reinforcement of the new smell and get used to it faster. Negative reactions (aggression, attempts to beat the fabric) should be ignored. When both cats begin to react to such handkerchiefs or socks completely calmly, you can move on to the next stage.

Make eye contact

In the next step, remove the wall between the cats, but still don't let them make direct contact. Let them see each other and smell each other, but that's it. You can do this by placing a net or grate between them. Even some kind of fabric will do.

Don't forget to play with the animals. Pay attention to the old-timer, but within the usual limits, and amuse the newcomer. Make them feel safe. And gradually begin to create prerequisites for contact. Several times at the same time, feed both furry animals near the barrier. This way, they will see that there is enough food for everyone and there is no need to fight over it. It will also help them feel that they are not a danger to each other.

Face-to-face acquaintance

When the cats start to behave calmly in the presence of a permeable barrier, it is finally time to try to bring them together. Remove the barrier between the animals and observe how they behave.

Have a spray bottle of water with you. If the cats try to fight, spray them - this will cool them down a bit and make them separate. Do not manually break up the fighters, as you may get hurt as well.

For the first time, 10-15 minutes of such acquaintance will be enough. Then you should put the barrier back up. If the cats tolerate face-to-face meetings, you can increase their duration. You can consolidate success by feeding and playing together. Just give the animals the same amount of food and use a separate toy for each of them.

Reinforce any behavior you approve of with treats. If one cat passes by another without showing aggression, give it something. If they are trying to settle the relationship, distract them with games. This stage can be considered successfully completed if the cats have not quarreled during a week of such meetings and are calm. In this case, you can leave them alone - they will get along.

What if you introduced the cats incorrectly?

If you have already tried to make friends with the animals and the attempt was unsuccessful, start all over again according to the suggested scheme. The process will be more complicated than if you were introducing them from scratch, and the stages may take longer, but eventually the cats should get along.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you why cats can be very noisy at night and how to react to it correctly.

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