Do you think your cat needs company while you are away for work? If you don’t get the stimulation you need, you can feel lonely and depressed, but how do you add a second cat to the home without territorial disputes?
In this entry of SoyUngato we collect all the information that you must keep in mind at the time of carrying it out. As necessary as following the steps of the process is to respect certain aspects that we show you in the following lines. Ready?
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Advice prior to the arrival of the second cat
Why do you think your cat needs company? Is there an ideal companion profile for your pet? To answer these and other questions, we are going to develop the aspects that you have to attend to before taking the step of welcoming a new cat:
- Is your feline properly socialized and has not been separated from its mother and siblings before one month of life? If so, if you consider that your cat tolerates his peers and that his quality of life will improve, a second cat will be a good idea.
- Do you have enough space for both cats to be happy? If you live in a small apartment, place shelves on the walls or raised platforms so they can lie down and observe everything. You will gain space.
- Make sure that the new tenant is vaccinated, dewormed and does not present any infectious disease through the corresponding veterinary check-up. The last thing we want is for pathologies to be transmitted.
- As for the profile, it is recommended that you opt for a second young cat with a similar character to the one you already have. Cats up to 5 years of age generally accept puppies.
However, if you have a very calm or older cat, it is not advisable to introduce a puppy because its energy level or its perception of the game are not comparable and conflicts could arise.
If you have an unsterilized male, we do not advise you to add another unsterilized male because the fights, the escape attempts and the markings will be constant .
Coexistence is more peaceful between specimens of the same sex and that have been sterilized . If you don’t want to sterilize them, a male and a female will get along. Of course, get ready for the demographic explosion that you will experience.
How do I introduce my second cat smoothly?
At this point you have to know that the self-knowledge of both felines must be approached in a calm and progressive way. It is decisive that you be patient and that you do not force them to do what they do not feel like doing . They must set the pace of the process.
There are different boarding alternatives based on the so-called “15-day system”. However, some ethologists advise against this technique because it encourages territorial disputes once the fifteen days are over.
Therefore, our recommendation is summarized in the following stages.
1. Prepare the home
You must have a room ready with all the belongings of the new tenant (sanitary tray, feeder, drinker, bed and toys) and close the door when they have arrived.
It is necessary that this room does not occupy a preferential place in the house, since your primal cat could feel relegated to a second place.
The duration of this initial phase will vary depending on the reaction of both felines, but it should not last beyond several days.
Reward your primal cat with his favorite snack or treat every time he comes to sniff his new companion’s room.
One resource that accelerates the acceptance of both cats is to share objects, such as a blanket, impregnated with their pheromones and exchange them. In this way you will promote their self-knowledge . They will seal your particular common chemical signature.
You can use artificial products made to achieve this. We refer, for example, to Feliway, a diffuser of facial pheromones of the cat that facilitates the marking of the space recognized as its own. With him they will not feel invaded.
2 Allow the new cat to search the entire house
After several days being aware of the presence of the other you can allow the new cat to leave his room to see the rest of the house. Your primal cat can enter the new tenant’s room without their presence.
3 Prepare for eye contact
The next stage is to prepare the first eye contact between them. To do this, use a rigid plastic carrier. Introduce the new feline into it and let them see each other.
Do not worry if you notice that they hiss, it is within the natural and does not have to mean that they are not tolerated. After a while inside the carrier you should let the cat go out with the other feline at a certain distance .
As a precaution, close all the doors and cover the bottom of the beds or the sofa to prevent disputes in which you cannot intervene.
The healthiest thing is that you resort to neutral deterrents, such as water, to stop fights that you consider endanger their integrity and that prevent you from taking sides in favor of any of them.
4 Let them meet
If the meeting has been satisfactory, you can leave them alone in the same room , always with some supervision, at least for the first few minutes and even sleep together.
As you can see, the priority is that they get to know each other little by little, that they become familiar with each other’s smells and that neither of them consider the other an intruder, quite the opposite.
You must facilitate the knowledge of the new space to the newcomer and the acceptance of the other by the primal one, making him understand that his status is not going to be diminished by the arrival of his companion.
Now that you know how to add a second cat to the home, we encourage you to put it into practice. They will enjoy your company, learn from each other, and end up loving each other, despite not being gregarious animals like dogs.