Adding a Second (or Third, Fourth, etc.) Cat to Your Household
So you are thinking of adding another cat to your household and maybe you have some questions about that. Whether you are thinking about a brand new kitten or an older shelter cat, here are some things to think about to minimize the transition between your new and present fur baby.
Think about your current cat or cats’ overall personality. Is she out-going? Is he assertive? Look for another cat that won’t compete with that, but compliment each other. You should make sure that you are ready to deal with the transition time in both your current and new kitty as well because it won’t be an overnight thing.
Prepare Your Household
Prep your house by buying your new kitty their own bowl, carrier, and litter box. Figure out where you will house the new one while you work on transitioning and introducing one to the other. Make sure that room or area of the house is safe, secure, and comfortable. Add in toys and other goodies for your new kitty.
It’s best to integrate slowly, as cats are solitary and highly territorial creatures. Give the cats a reason to like each other, don’t toss them together too quickly and expect them to be friends. Let your new cat get their bearings in their separate room, make sure you offer companionship to both cats equally. Then start by placing water and/or food bowls near each other, keeping a close eye on their interactions.
Slow and steady really does win this race, you can’t force them to like each other. If they get along quicker, great but don’t worry if it takes some time.
Be sensitive to your main, resident cat – make sure you give them the security of their old routine and special time with you. And keep in mind that success doesn’t necessarily mean Best Buddies Furr-ever, it could just mean that they live in the same house and leave each other alone, with no fights, no hissing. Some cats will become bonded and some will nicely tolerate the other and share space.
This process can take anywhere from two to four weeks, if after a month your cats are still not getting along or fighting, it might be time to talk to your vet to see what they could suggest. HOpefully you will be able to grow your fur family with no issues and add love to your cat’s lives and your own.