If you’ve ever heard a cat fight in the middle of the night or felt nervous about territorial marking inside your home, adopting a second cat may seem like a bad idea. We assure you, it’s not!
However, introducing a new feline – and maintaining a peaceful multi-cat household – takes careful consideration and planning. Preparation ensures that your cats will truly flourish, so you can sit back and enjoy all the extra cuddles!
Solitary? Not Always
Many prospective owners consider adopting more than one cat, especially if choosing littermates is an option. While a solitary cat is not uncommon, having more than one ensures additional play, stimulation, and companionship, all of which is important to good feline health.
Preparing for a multi-cat household is made easier with the knowledge of feline dynamics. As we mentioned before, adopting from the same litter is ideal, but adopting young kittens from different litters is also doable. Kittens younger than seven weeks old can fall into step with each other quickly because personalities and strong differences haven’t fully developed yet.
If you have an older or senior cat, it may be sensible to add a younger pet instead of one who’s the same age. If that’s not an option, adopting a cat of a different gender may result in a higher chance of acceptance.
Consider the traits of your current pet and try to match them with a prospective kitty who has a similar personality.
Be patient before introductions and throughout the entire process. Because your resident cat is very territorial, he or she may unilaterally reject the presence of a new cat. However, if you bring your cats together gradually, integration without fear or aggression is (hopefully) imminent.
Tips and Tricks
- Provide your new cat with a separate area before integrating him or her into the larger household.
- Let your cats eat near each other but allow enough room to avoid conflict.
- Make sure your new cat has an individual litter box, bedding, and housing that doesn’t encroach on your resident cat.
- We recommend using as much vertical space as possible. Try installing climbing shelves/steps, wall-mounted cubbies, or platforms for either cat to use as a perch.
If at first you don’t succeed, separate your cats and try gradually re-introducing them again.
If you own a cat who’s suffering from feline grief after the death of his or her littermate, refrain from adding another pet to your household. After some time, you may introduce him or her to another cat, but if they ever establish a bond, it’s not likely to be as strong as the previous one – and that’s OK!