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    Introducing two cats together

    Articlegeneral cat adviceTuesday 19 March 2013
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    It is well known that cats like to be the king of the house and if you introduce a new face it can often go down badly. Here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible so all parties concerned are happy with the new living conditions.

    First of all make sure the new cat is clean of any nasty disease or illness. This is especially important if the cat is a stray that you have rescued. Go to a vet so they can check and make sure the new cat has all the proper vaccinations. If a fight breaks out between them the consequences could be a disaster.

    The next things to look at are the characteristics of both cats to understand just how much you need to prepare for the introduction. If they are both female then this is a good start as males are known for fighting amongst each other. Next you look at age; an older cat who has been living on their own their whole life may not take too kindly to a new kitten bouncing and jumping around the place. A rescue cat is likewise going to have problems fitting in due the stress it has faced in the past and will be fearful of it’s new surroundings and partner. On the other hand if it is a new born kitten which has just left the litter, they should relish the chance to live with other cats.

    So what sort of preparation is required before the first meet? The first thing you should not do is put them in the same room and just hope for the best. This is simply a gamble that is likely to go wrong. The cats will most likely start fighting or, at best, the resident cat is likely to mark the walls and show his distaste at the new guest. One tip that can sometimes work is placing the cats in separate rooms and with a simple sock or towel rubs both cats to get their scents and place the towel or sock in the other's room. This can help them get used to each other’s scents.

    For cats it is all about territory and when you introduce a new cat with a new litter box and new feeding accessories then you can be sure that the resident cat will know about it and be displeased. To counter this try and spend as much time as possible with the resident cat through play time, attention and even letting them sit on your lap. This will show that they are still very much important and that they still get your undivided attention.

    After preparing both cats for a few days it is time to finally bring them together. Take this slowly and be careful. Once ready allow both cats to meet in a neutral room (not the ones they have been living in) and watch over them with supervision. What they are likely to do is one of 3 things. Sniff at each other, stare at each other or walk around with their tails postured. If you feel it necessary to help these tense negotiatios then introduce a toy.  The last thing you want is for a fight to break out. If you sense that this is going to happen first of all shout or talk loudly to distract them, if it continues then remove them immediately and keep trying gradually each day. They should accept each other over time. If you take things slowly and have patience then let time work its way and things should work.

    Source: Discovery

    Photo: barbourians

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