It is a good idea to not let your cats meet immediately. Cats are sociable and will usually take to new ones, but are wary and like to do it at their own pace. If a cat is hissing or growling at another it does not mean that they will never get on. Most of this noise is dialogue, and tells the cat it would rather have some more space if possible
Start your new cat off in a room of its own and after a few days allow the cats to see each other but not meet by putting up a barrier. A net or babygate across the door is a simple solution and it allows the cats to see and smell each other without meeting, which usually gives them confidence.
Cats that really don’t like each other will scream and yowl to warn another cat that it is too close, and these cats should be separated immediately. It is not an impossible situation and the cats can get to like each other, but it may take more time.
A large dog crate is a good way of keeping a cat in the presence of others without allowing them to chase each other.
If there is hissing and growling keep the barrier up for a bit longer and start feeding the cats on either side. This distraction gets them used to being around each other. Playing with toys and feathers on a string is another good distraction that allows the cats to focus on other things and gets them used to each other. Gradually you should find that your cats are ignoring each other more and become more curious.
Cats go a lot on scent and you can put their scent on each other by stroking one cat by the chin and cheeks and then stroking the other cats head and body. The flanks also have scent glands and so stroking a cat along the length of its body and doing the same to the other cat transfers the scent and can get them used to each other quickly.
Sometimes cats will be very resistant to others and more measures are required. If cats do not like each other they need as much space as possible. Giving extra litter trays means that they can avoid the stress of sharing a toilet space. Number of litter trays should always be ONE PER CAT PLUS ONE, so for 2 cats, 3 litter trays should always be available.
Give the cats as many hiding places space as possible and always have a high place like the top of a cupboard or wardrobe where one can stay out of anothers way. Lots of boxes and cardboard are also simple solutions to allowing the cats to avoid seeing each other.
Space is crucial and often letting the cats out into the garden can work wonders. If you have had your cat for more than 2 weeks then letting out into the garden is safe, but only allow one cat out so that they don’t chase each other away.
Finally, some cats just don’t want to share their owners and if all else fails we will always take a cat back. You can usually try with a different cat, as they all have personalities and different personalitities will gel and some will clash. We will always try to give you a peaceful stress free home for you and all your cats. We aim to home cats where both they and the adopter are completely happy and we will make every effort to ensure this happens. This of course does not always happen and we aim to make sure you are never stuck with a cat that is not suitable for you.
Start your new cat off in a room of its own...
Could you be a cat's forever human?
If you think you might be able to offer a cat their forever home, please fill out the adoption form and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you so much,
The Friends of Felines Team