Cats are very territorial animals which can feel extremely attacked with the arrival of another kitty in our houses. If you have one and are thinking of integrating a second cat at home, it is important to take into account a series of steps before the arrival of the new cat, and before their face to face, which generally becomes a very complicated and stressful process for all three. The two cats and the owner.
Your cat is the king of the house. He is used to you, not “sharing” with anyone and dedicating all the care and caresses (he allows you) exclusively. The arrival of a second cat at home will awaken its most primary instincts and make it want to defend its space against the “invader”. Grunts, scratches, bites, urine marks at certain points in the house are some of the “welcome acts” that the old cat will probably start doing. Sometimes it is inevitable that there will be a little fight, especially during the first weeks of living together. However, it is in your hands that the process is as short and as traumatic as possible.
If you can, bring a few toys or blankets to your cat a few days before taking the second cat home. Let him smell the objects and touch them so that his smell permeates them, then return them to your current cat. Thus, the new smell will start to wake up and he will not feel as invaded when the meeting takes place. It is also important that this does not happen right after the new tenant has gone through the vet for their physical and deworming, as your cat may recognize the smell of the clinic and think it is an uncomfortable visit. When the day arrives, let them smell through the transport cage, without opening the door, in a calm and patient manner and letting your cat be the one who approaches his “new brother”.
The adjustment process will not be easy. Therefore, it is recommended that the two stay separate stays for at least two weeks. Prepare a room for your new pet with its feeder, fountain, sandbox, bed and a few toys. Share your time between them. Thus, the new one will get used to your presence and the other will start to feel that you smell another cat and will gradually stop feeling it as a threat. Sometimes lock up your old pet and let the other walk around the house to explore and let them smell. Watch how each cat reacts to different stimuli.
When a reasonable time has passed, present them without barriers. It is normal for both to feel uncomfortable and even sniff, but they still have to adapt to the presence of the second cat at home. Start by organizing meetings of a few minutes, hours, etc., until calm begins to prevail and both are tolerated. It is easier when we introduce a kitten at home, because the little one can adapt better to the hierarchy that exists in your house than if the two cats were adults. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. However, the process may take a little longer.