You love having a fuzzball around so much that you decided to adopt another one. You figured that your normally sweet cat would enjoy having another friend to play and snuggle with.
But you probably never expected your home to turn into a kitty war zone. From hissing and swatting to territorial growling, you can’t seem to understand why your cats aren’t Best Friends Forever yet. Sure, some cats like each other the instant they sniff each other’s bottoms, but most cats need time to adjust to the new stranger living in their house.
Before you give up on the idea of a multi-cat household, try a few of our favorite tips to help your cats get along.
1. Give Your Current Cat Extra Love
New kittens typically hog your attention, especially if your cats are older and less inclined to take silly pictures for your Instagram. No different from a new baby, the older cat might just get a little jealous. When the new cat arrives, make an effort to give both cats equal play time, snuggle time, and praise. Your older cat will see that the new cat is not a threat.
2. Spay and Neuter Both
If you have a boy and girl cat, then they are probably already neutered…unless you want cats to take over your home! But besides controlling cat overpopulation, spaying and neutering your cats can help with their behavior. for behavioral reasons, too. Neutering/spaying will calm down your rambunctious cat and eliminate the aggressive behavior that comes along with being in heat.
3. Get Your Cats Smelling
Your new cat’s scent will be strange to your current cat (and vice versa). Try to familiarize your cats with their scents so they become almost indistinguishable. The Humane Society has great tips for confinement introduction, which involves separating your new cat from your current cat and leaving scent marks throughout the house for them to get used to. Rub blankets, soft toys, towels, etc. lightly over both cats to grab each of their scents. Place these objects in feeding or sleeping areas. Do this daily for a few weeks until they start to accept both scents as normal and comfortable.
4. Give Your Cats Space
Even the best of friends need time alone in their own safe spots. Your cat probably has several cat-only places in your house — like that comfy chair no one can sit in now. Before your new cat comes home, find places in your house that your current cat doesn’t frequent. Sprinkle catnip and treats in the new spots and let your new cat mark the area with their smell by placing a bed or blanket there for him to rub on. Your old cat won’t feel the need to fight for territory if the new cat has their own.
Following these tips should help acclimate most stubborn, change-resistant cats. Even if your cats aren’t best friends, they should still be able to keep the peace in your home without daily cat fights.